TAMPA Brad Marchand is officially out of the NHL big house after serving his five-game suspension, and hell be back in the Bs lineup Thursday night against the New Jersey Devils.
While Marchand hopes to be back along the left wing with Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin, hes hoping to give the Bs a jolt of energy and a shot of attitude after their recent struggles. The team is a long way from Claude Julien playfully chirping with Marchand after the Calgary Flames blowout, saying shows how much we need you to the Bs agitator in their home dressing room.
Now they really do need Marchand after dropping two of their first three games on their four-game road trip.
Its always tough to watch the team play. Its frustrating. But its nice the five games are over with and Ill just jump back in to help out any way I can, said Marchand. I wouldnt say were in a lull or a rough spot. A lot of guys are playing a lot of minutes and the schedule can be a little tough at times. But were ready to go tomorrow.
I just want to create energy like I try to do and continue to play my game. Hopefully I get the chemistry back with Bergeron and Seguin if Im playing with them tomorrow.
It was pretty clear Marchands skating speed and offensive production were missed to a greater degree as the suspension sentence ran its course. Marchand's absence was compounded by the fact that the Bs were without Rich Peverley during the last two road games in Florida.
While Marchand is a top line player and does have 16 goals on the season -- and both "Nose Face Killah" and Peverley are factors on special teams their teammates wanted to pump the brakes on the notion their return immediately would immediately push Boston out of their recent malaise.
You look at what they do," Julien said. "Peverley is a penalty kill and power play guy, and Marchand can be both as well. Theyre guys that can play a lot of minutes and you miss those guys. But at the same time everybody has those situations around the league. If anything youd like your team to play through those things.
Normally we would make it through, but were not playing the way we should. If everybody was and we were competing the way we should then missing PeverleyMarchand it wouldnt be an issue. There are a lot of times where its got to come from within. I cant lace up the skates. I cant compete. But I can make the players accountable and thats something that maybe I can do with a few guys returning to the lineup.
Sounds like the Bs coaching staff could be doling out a healthy scratch or too with a full complement of players at their disposal in New Jersey. That, along with the returns of Marchand and Peverley, could be just the boost the Bruins need.