Marchand sick of diving, pot-stirring Habs

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Marchand sick of diving, pot-stirring Habs

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

MONTREAL While its clear the Canadiens would be better served avoiding the kind of fight night fisticuffs that characterizedtheir last meeting in Boston, the Bruins dont appear ready to budge an inch.If it comes down to fighting again and preventing the Montreal skaters from stirring the pot, as Claude Julien accused them of afterMonday's practice, then Brad Marchand is one of the Boston players ready to strike back.Theoutspoken rookiewas a target earlier this season when he was completely obliterated by a clean P.K. Subban body check near the Bell Centreblueline that perfectly signified Montreals early season dominance while winning their first three meetings. But the Bruins tired of the Habs antics in their last showdown at TD Garden in February, and the result was nearly 200 minutes in penalties, 13 fights and pandemonium all over the ice.The 8-6 Boston win was described by many as the best NHL regular season game of the season, and it'll be difficult for Tuesday's follow-up in Canada to match it.Its highly unlikely there will be a repeat of that gong show from the Garden, but there are also plenty of statements to be made between a pair of teams prepared toface each other in the first round of the playoffs.Thats the kind of game face Marchand was donningat the Bell Centre morning skate when asked question after question about Montreals tactics, and he replied with honest, disdainful answers.We have to not worry about them diving and chipping away at us, said Marchand. We just have to play physical and things will be all right.They like to get in and shoot their mouths off, and then when you hit them they dive down easy. They give a lot of shots behind the play, back of the legs and stuff like that. Then when we run them they play it off like they didnt deserve it. Its the kind of team they are. Theyre pretty good at it.Marchand said much of what happened in Februarys penalty-filled homageto Slap Shot was a result of Boston refusing to turn the other cheek at any of Montreals cheap shots, and instead forcing the normally evasive Les Habitants to pay for their crimes against hockey.Its tough. Its very frustrating. When you have a team like we do thats big, tough and strong you dont want to take any of it, said Marchand. I think thats kind of what happened in the last game. Guys werent putting up with it, and I dont think the Canadiens wanted to back down. Thats why things got so crazy. Thats what happens when you want to play that kind of game.Marchand wouldnt say that hes "not going to run P.K. Subban back if he gets a chance to hit him after the flamboyant Habs defenseman attempted to run into him againin their last meeting. But its an interesting predicament for Marchand to be the one trouble-maker on the Bs side that plays the same kind of antagonistic game as Montreal, and must keep himself in check like his teammates willon Tuesday night.That's no easy task when there's blood boiling all over the ice in such an intense rivalry, and coming off a game that saw so many of Montreal's players bloodied and beaten down.If the refs dont take control of it early in the game then things are going to get really chippy, said Marchand. We heard that they were a little upset about Spacek and Hamrlik getting into fights, but they willingly dropped the gloves. Nobody made them. Gregory Campbell didnt want to get into a fight, but he did anyway.They threw the first punch. They stir the pot and they got what they deserve. It wasnt our fault. They played into our hands. Whatever theyre mad about they can suck it up. Its not our fault.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Heinen looking to show his offense in his shot on Krejci line

Heinen looking to show his offense in his shot on Krejci line

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins mixed things up with their roster a bit on Saturday after dropping a couple of games in a row to Washington and Colorado. 

Fourth-line energy winger Noel Acciari and playmaking forward Danton Heinen were called up from Providence and will be in the lineup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden on Saturday night. 
Acciari went to Providence the past couple of days to get some game action in after missing the past month with a lower body injury, but clearly showed he’s ready to go. 

So, Acciari is back to provide the same hard-hitting and energy he showed before he was hurt and Heinen is looking to show off a little more offense than in his first stint with the Black and Gold this season. He’ll be featured in a top role as left wing with David Krejci and David Backes and with marching orders to shoot the puck like he never shot it in his previous stint in Boston. 

For the Bruins, it’s about getting another look at a candidate to play left wing beside Krejci with both Ryan Spooner and Tim Schaller, with limitations to their respective games, unable to fully grasp that same opportunity. 

“My hope is that Heinen can come in and give us some good hockey. He’s a skill player and he’s been down there for a while, and he’s back up again because he’s been playing well,” said Claude Julien of the Bruins rookie, who had four goals and seven points in his past five games with Providence. “Hopefully he can play well here also. It’s about getting some confidence. When he went down to [the AHL] the pace of his game had to get a little bit better, and in the battles coming up with the puck along the walls. Those are the kinds of things we thought he could work on down in Providence.”

Heinen knows he needs to shoot the puck a bit more to show off his offense after a seven-game stint with the Bruins where he went scoreless, was a minus-2 and had just six shots on net.

“Being hard on the walls, playing fast and shooting the puck, those were all things I was working on [in Providence],” said Heinen, who has seven goals and 13 points in 13 games for the P-Bruins after being assigned to Providence. “I was doing what they told me to do [in Providence] and that’s shoot the puck. They were going in, and I was getting some good opportunities on the power play. It’s seriously tough to get chances [at the NHL level], so you can’t pass them up when you have chances. That was kind of my focus down there.”

Fellow fourth-line energy winger Anton Blidh has been shipped to Providence after three solid games with the Black and Gold. 

Julien said Blidh goes back to Providence having adequately shown that he can play in the NHL. He clearly showed the Bruins that he understands his role as a player that stirs things up a bit and gets his nose dirty on a regular basis.

“[Blidh] was fine. No issues there. He does his job. He plays with lots of energy and obviously he’s getting more experience. He’s a lot better at understanding his positioning within the game and what he has to do,” said Julien. “I thought he helped us out for the time that he was here.”

With Heinen and Acciari both in the lineup and Blidh back in Providence, that means Jimmy Hayes will be scratched after dressing for three of the past four games for Boston.

Saturday, Dec. 10: Vegas, scoring on NHL governors' minds

Saturday, Dec. 10: Vegas, scoring on NHL governors' minds

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while doing some early Christmas shopping ahead of the late rush. 

*Mike Zeisberger sits down with a quartet of NHL governors and discusses a number of hot topics including the Vegas franchise and scoring around the league. 

*Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos has been removed from the NHL Board of Governor’s Executive Committee amid rumors that the Canes might be a prime candidate for relocation. 

*Pierre McGuire weighs in on Connor McDavid’s war of words on the ice and Carey Price losing his mind in the crease against the New Jersey Devils. To that end, Wayne Gretzky liked seeing McDavid get a little combative at such a young age. 

*The New York Islanders signed Cal Clutterbuck to a five year contract extension, and some are skeptical it will turn out well for the Isles.

*David Pastrnak is a premier scoring threat in the league, and Scott Cullen has some details behind that. I will say this: his stock falling in the draft had less to do with his size or heaviness, and more to do with him being concussed for a long stretch of time during the year leading up to the draft. 

*The Florida Panthers are really struggling to stay positive with a 1-5-0 record since the ownership group and management decided to fire Gerard Gallant. 

*For something completely different: Baywatch stars then and now.