Marchand aware reputation puts penalty target on back

Marchand aware reputation puts penalty target on back
April 30, 2014, 6:00 pm
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BOSTON – Brad Marchand showed up in a bulky, puffy winter jacket armed with a smirk on his face, and plenty of one liners when asked why he wasn’t on the practice ice Tuesday morning. Marchand spoke with a hoarse voice and actually looked a little under the weather while speaking with reporters on Wednesday following practice, but said he simply demanded a day off.

“I just felt like taking the day off, and I called Claude and told him that I’m not coming in,” said Marchand. “He’s a good guy like that.”

All jokes aside, Marchand returned to the ice skating in his normal place alongside Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith, and clearly will be a “go” for Thursday night’s Game 1 against the Montreal Canadiens. The Nose Face Killah will be looking for his first point of this year’s playoffs after going scoreless in the five games against the Detroit Red Wings.

Marchand has been all around the net and missed multiple open net chances vs. Detroit, so there isn’t all that much concern about his offense. But one thing the left winger knows he must watch is how closely he’s being scrutinized by the referees, and the reputations calls aimed at him that can hurt his team. It didn’t turn out to be a killer, but the Brad Marchand shove to the back of Niklas Kronwall in Game 5 wiped out a Bruins power play in the third period.

It's something you see happen countless times in the physically intense playoffs with a penalty call, but Marchand no longer gets the benefit of the doubts from referees given his ratty reputation. He knows that he’ll have to avoid those kinds of “reputation” calls that saw him rack up the second-highest PIM total of his career (64 penalty minutes) during the regular season.

He got tagged with four minor penalties in the five games against the Wings, including a pair of calls in the clinching Game 5 for Boston.

“The second [penalty] was a push, and you don’t see too many penalties called, even in Peewee, like that," Marchand said. "So it was tough. But it’s the reputation I’ve built for myself and I’ve got to play through that. I think the biggest thing is trying to walk away from things that I don’t need to be a part of.

“In the past two years during the playoffs they let a lot more go, and that doesn’t seem to be the case this year. They’re calling it just like the regular season. So you’ve got to play it intense, and play it within the rules.”

Marchand knows the refs will be watching him intently after the Game 3 antics where he drew a tripping call on Brendan Smith after taking a knee-on-knee hit on his left leg, and then limped off the ice favoring his right leg. It’s all part of his reputation with the referees that will be a big factor for the Bruins/Canadiens in this second round series sure to be nasty, and dangling out on the edge.