By Joe Haggerty
WILMINGTON Brad Marchand has done his time after hitting R.J. Umberger with an elbow to the back of his head, and is ready to return to the Bruins lineup after his two-game suspension.
Marchand has experienced a rocky past couple of weeks: taking key penalties late in games, getting benched in the third period against the Islanders after one ill-timed interference call, and finally dropping the elbow on Umberger.
The 22-year-old winger admitted some of the penalties and other extracurricular activity might have something to do with Marchand being stuck on 19 goals for over three weeks. Marchand and Patrice Bergeron had formed an offensively potent combo with Mark Recchi for the last couple of months, but the well has gone dry just as the team lost six of their last seven games.
There was definitely some frustration . . . especially with some of the penalties as of late. Its been out of my character as of late. I think Ive gotten out of my routine a bit and the bad penalties are creeping in a bit, admitted Marchand. Its frustrating when youre getting chances, you go into a little bit of a slump, and the team starts losing. It all kind of gets frustrating, and I might have reacted in the wrong way. Maybe the suspension had something to do with that, but now I can change it all around. I can do things the smart way.
The offensive slump has bugged Marchand a bit, but he felt that stepping away from the NHL action for a couple of games allowed him to hit the reset button along with the rest of the team.
I cant wait to get back and play. Its always frustrating to sit there and watch in a situation like that, said Marchand. Its tough to watch even when youre winning, but when youre losing that makes it even tougher. It was a bad situation, but its very exciting to get back.
I didnt mean to do it. With our game there are always going to be things that guys dont mean to do. I think we saw that with Patric Hornqvist on Tyler Seguin, too. But plays like that happen, and I cant let that affect my game. I have to play my game, but also be smart about it and watch what Im doing.
Its expected Marchand will be reunited with Bergeron and Recchi Tuesday night against the New Jersey Devils, and will be looking for that elusive 20th goal of the season in his rookie campaign.
Several sources inside the Bruins dressing room confirmed that Tuukka Rask did indeed start screaming and flailing his arms in the direction of Dennis Seidenberg after Torontos fifth goal of the night. Rask approached Seidenberg almost immediately to apologize for the action, and Tim Thomas was brought into the game for the third period.
Claude Julien said Shane Hnidy continues to skate with the rest of the Bruins team while rehabbing from a shoulder injury and has been placed on injured reserve until hes fully cleared to play.
Nathan Horton didnt want to recount much from his Saturday night dust-up with Dion Phaneuf at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, but seemed to insinuate hed reached his boiling point with the entire evening.
Its done with. Its in the past, said Horton. Were just getting ready for Tuesday.