Notes: Marchand trying not to cross the line

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Notes: Marchand trying not to cross the line

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

VANCOUVER -- Brad Marchand got so wrapped up in trash-talking during the Bruins' battle with Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference Finals that coach Claude Julien had a sitdown with the 23-year-old rookie in the middle of the series.

Bostons feistiest antagonist had gotten too carried away while attempting to get under the skin of Tampas players, and it was taking away from the rest of his game.

Marchand scored in only one of the seven games against the Bolts and finished with a minus-3 while failing to make a strong impression on most nights.

Julien felt like Marchand spent too much time provoking the opposition, and not enough focusing on his offensive game. Marchand scored 20 goals in his rookie season because he can be a difference-maker offensively at points, and that was getting lost among the face washes and bumps after the whistle.

I think I was focusing on extracurricular activities a little too much in the last series, and it really got me off my game a little bit, said Marchand. I just tried to play the last couple of games and it worked out better for me . . . If the rough stuff comes then Ill worry about it then, but Im not going to focus much on that in this round.

Marchand admits he got into a little bit of a trash-talking exchange with the Sedin twins' linemate, Alexandre Burrows, during the Bruins' February win over the Canucks at the Rogers Arena. But it sounds like he plans to be on his best behavior with Jjust four wins separating the Bruins from hockeys holy grail.

Hes a little rat and Im a little rat," Marchand said of Burrows, "so obviously it will be a little part of the series."

Zdeno Chara said that he and Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo surely must have gone to lunch a few times at the beginning of their careers, when they were both playing for the New York Islanders before being jettisoned by then-Isles GM Mad Mike Milbury. But he said he has no lasting memories of a relationship with Luongo.

It was really early. He was in first year and my second year, said Chara. Thats the way it is. We both got traded and moved on, and tried to get better in our new places. Im sure hes obviously happy where hes at, establishing himself as one of the top goalies in the league. Im sure he must have worked really hard.

One of the interesting little subplots in Bostons run to the Stanley Cup has been Rich Peverley and Mark Recchi alternating turns skating on the right wing with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. The co-op allowsRecchi an additional shift or two of rest to gather his energy during what will be draining Stanley Cup games.

Its a Julien-inspired move thats worked for both players, and it also gave Marchand and Bergeron enough time together to come up with an appropriate nickname for his new linemate.

Peverley switches in there and hes a very good player on the wing. Hes very, very fast and he gets the puck quick and makes a lot of great plays, said Marchand. Hes fitting in well with whoever hes out there with. It just shows that we have another player that can come in and do some damage.

"It doesnt really matter who we have out there. Whether its Rex or Pevs . . . or Perv, thats what we call him.

Ryan Kesler seemed to take issue with the notion that the Bruins have the strength and size advantage over the Canucks in the Stanley Cup Final matchup.

"I don't think we have anybody 6-foot-7, but we're a hockey team that likes to hit," said Kesler. "We like to take the body whenever we have the opportunity. We like to be physical.

Marblehead native and former Boston College standout Cory Schneider was dead-on accurate while describing the mindset of the Boston sports fan something hes been for all 25 years of his life.

"Its a great sports town. They love the Bruins, Celts, Red Sox and Patriots all the same. Theyre very passionate . . . and borderline obnoxious. But thats how we like it, said Schneider, in his second season backing up Luongo in Vancouver. You want to make it uncomfortable for other teams when theyre coming into your city.

It was announced Tuesday that the Atlanta Thrashers will be moved to Winnipeg. December 31, 1995 marked the last time the Bruins played the Winnipeg Jets. Boston came away with a 5-3 win that included goals from Ted Donato and Cam Neely, as well as a multiple assist game from Dave Reid. Bs goaltender Craig Billington got the victory for Boston with 23 saves.

Shawn Thornton was looking for a low-key night Monday after flying from Boston to Vancouver . . . but if that's what he wanted, he shouldn't have gone to dinner with Zdeno Chara, the 6-foot-9 lightning-rod symbol of the Bruins.

I made the mistake of going to dinner with Mr. Chara, so there was no hiding. We had a few people come up to the table to wish us good luck or not so much, said Thornton.

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

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while digging the Spider-Man trailer that dropped last night. 

*John Scott has finally called it a day and announced his retirement, and apparently there’s a book of his memoirs also coming out too. I’m predicting it’s not headed for the New York Times best seller list. 

*Winter Olympics participation and the CBA negotiations for the NHL are starting to merge into giant issue.  

*Connor McDavid calls the Flyers' Brandon Manning classless for telling him on the ice that he purposefully tried to hurt him last season. Some players might also take issue with McDavid making public what another player said to him on the ice. That’s kind of a no-no for most hockey players and breaks an unwritten rule that McDavid might think he’s above given his star status. This whole thing isn’t a good look for anybody. 

*Kevin Stevens pleads guilty to federal drug charges in what’s become a pretty sad situation for the former NHL star. 

*New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is beginning to raise questions with his play, and his massive price tag. 

*Youngsters Zach Weresnki and Dylan Larkin took similar paths to the NHL, and are both considered part of the talented young generation full of hockey stars. 

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has Carey Price taking a nutty on Kyle Palmieri after the player crashed into his crease last night. Price is being celebrated for sticking up for himself, but if another goalie did that to a Habs player at the Bell Centre, there would already be a warrant out for his arrest. Play it both ways, Montreal!  

*For something completely different: here’s the aforementioned new Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer that looks pretty darn good. 

 

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

BOSTON – While the loss to the Avalanche on Thursday night was a monumental dud, it put another dazzling display on the hockey resume of David Pastrnak. 

The 20-year-old star right winger scored two more goals in the 4-2 loss at TD Garden and nearly brought the Bruins back into the game by himself before another defensive breakdown at the end of the second period doomed them. 

Instead, Pastrnak had to settle with being the proud owner of 18 goals scored in 23 games that places him in a tie with NHL superstar Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead in goals. 

The goals also showed his wide range of lethal offensive skills. On the first score, he just broke away from the Avalanche defense and managed to bury a second-effort breakaway chance after a nice Tim Schaller stretch pass off the boards. The second goal was a straight one-timer bomb from the high slot off a slick setup pass from Brad Marchand in the corner, and it had the Bruins right back into the mix after a dreadful first period. 

It wasn’t enough when the B’s defense faltered again toward the end of the second period, but it was enough for everybody to be singing Pastrnak’s praises once again following the loss. 

“He’s a game changer. The momentum is going the other way, and he has the ability to break away on any given shift and score a big goal for us. He did that tonight,” said Torey Krug. “We can’t just keep relying on the same guys to score goals. We’ve got to come up with secondary offense, and I know every other guy wants to do that. 

“Now it’s about showing that on the ice and making sure we’re doing the work and getting better and proving to ourselves. But Pasta [David Pastrnak] has been great for us so far, and we’re obviously lucky to have him.”

The 18 goals barely two months into the season are not too shabby for a kid, in his third NHL season, who just now coming into his own. He’s nearly halfway to 40 before Christmas. For Pastrnak, however, it’s about the team result and he wasn’t overly satisfied with his two goals in a losing effort. 

“I’ve said before the season that our goal is to make the playoffs and to have that experience and have the chance to win the Stanley Cup. I’m still focusing on that,” said Pastrnak, who has yet to experience the Stanley Cup playoffs in his two-plus seasons with the Black and Gold. “We have zero points from tonight’s game and we have to move on. I think our game gets better in the second and third periods, you know, and we have to regroup and get ready for Saturday’s game.”

The Bruins will undoubtedly regroup and once again count on another Pastrnak offensive explosion to help lead the way in what’s become a truly spectacular season for the youngster.