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

Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’

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Bruins coaches: Czarnik a ‘Belichick-type hockey player’

BOSTON – Austin Czarnik is off to a good start at Bruins training camp.

He’s got points in each of the first two exhibition games and just the fact that he’s cracked the B’s lineup in both games tells you that the coaching staff wants to get a long, good look at the undersized forward.

But the 5-foot-9, 167-pound Czarnik brings more than simply a touch of the Napoleon complex after always being told that he was too small to make it to the elite levels of hockey. The 23-year-old clearly can score after posting 20 goals and 61 points in his first pro season in the AHL in Providence last season. He plays with heart, energy and a dogged determination when he’s hunting pucks on the fore-check.

But former P-Bruins head coach and current B’s assistant coach Bruce Cassidy says that Czarnik also brings something a little extra that New England Patriots fans will certainly appreciate.

“As far as being a player goes, he would be, to me, that [Bill] Belichick-type player that you could use in a lot of different situations,” said Cassidy, in clear reference to intelligent utility guys Troy Brown, Danny Woodhead, Julian Edelman and others that all filled different roles in their time with New England.

“He’s got a very, very high IQ, he’s a quick learner and very coachable,” Cassidy said. “So, he’s a guy you can move around, and he can play with different players. He can play on the penalty kill, he’s good on the power play and especially on the point.

“So there are a lot of different things. I think from night-to-night if you wanted to, you could move him around in your lineup and he could be effective for you. I know he’s a center, but it would be interesting to see if he could play the wing and be effective. That’s something we haven’t really seen. Is that something we maybe attempt down the road? I don’t know. I don’t want to speak out of turn, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he could handle it. He even played for us 6-on-5 as a defenseman with the goalie out. He’s just a smart player, and he understands the game very, very well.”

So, Czarnik is off to a good start in training camp with the Bruins, but we also saw the same thing from him last year as a rookie to pro hockey. 

Now, it’s about seeing whether a smaller player can finish strong as the competition heightens deeper into the preseason, and perhaps he can bring that versatility and feistiness to the NHL level in Boston. 

 

 

Thursday, Sept. 29: Oilers right where they belong

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Thursday, Sept. 29: Oilers right where they belong

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while looking forward to watching the Luke Cage Netflix series.

*The Cult of Hockey has no issues with yours truly ranking the Edmonton Oilers 29th out of 30 teams in my first preseason NHL power rankings.

*An interesting piece about Brian McGrattan and his battle with alcohol in his career as an NHL tough guy. I can honestly say having covered him a bit when he was in the Bruins organization that he was one of the scariest dudes I’ve ever talked to in an NHL dressing room. A nice guy, but very intense and always looked like he definitely enjoyed his work on the ice.

*Dennis Seidenberg hopped on with the Hockey Central crew today to talk about his new contract with the New York Islanders.

*PHT writer and Friend of Haggs (FOH) Mike Halford has Guy Boucher with some serious Dion Phaneuf love going on in Ottawa.

*Jack Eichel is oozing confidence and swagger in his second NHL season with Buffalo looking to make a big step up this season.

*Scott Burnside said that the World Cup of Hockey could be coming to an end tonight and I think most predict that it will with a little bit of an anticlimactic thud due to the sheer awesomeness of Team Canada.

*For something completely different: “Aleppo Moment” sounds like a great name for a rock band. Not so much for a Presidential candidate.