Marchand sick of diving, pot-stirring Habs

Marchand sick of diving, pot-stirring Habs
March 8, 2011, 7:19 pm
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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