Bruins: Brad Marchand diary

Marchand diary: Sweeping into Cup finals

June, 8, 2013
6/08/13
4:09
PM ET
Bruins winger Brad Marchand has been keeping a diary for ESPNBoston.com. In this playoff edition, he talks about how he predicted one of his goals, what he wants to say to the Penguins now, what to expect in the Stanley Cup finals and how the fans can help swing the momentum of a game. (As told to Louise K. Cornetta)

We're headed back to the Stanley Cup finals. This feeling will never get old. It's incredible. To have this opportunity at another shot at the Cup, there's no better feeling. We really want to embrace that and hopefully make the most of it.

How did we sweep the Penguins? It was tough. They have guys in Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and so many others who play hard, but our defense played incredible. Every single one of them did an incredible job battling down low and had good sticks. When the puck did get through, Tuukka [Rask] stepped up. The forwards did a good job of coming back hard. We wanted to make sure we had layers. We're happy with how everything went.

There were a few keys. We were prepared for this series. Tuukka has been incredible. He made all the right saves at the right time. He gave us momentum and kept us in it. We definitely wouldn't have won if he wasn't on our team.

Another key was we were fortunate to never trail in this series. Playing ahead is definitely a lot easier than playing from behind. It doesn't always work that way, but it's nice to play with the lead. We want to continue to do that.

[+] EnlargeBrad Marchand
Michael Ivins/USA TODAY SportsBrad Marchand is wrapped up by Tyler Seguin as the Bruins celebrate after defeating the Penguins.
As for my own play, I'd say I played well this series. We were all focused on doing our jobs. I just wanted to make sure I did my job when I was on the ice. I was able to assist on some important goals. The overtime one in Game 3 and the winner in Game 4 stand out. I actually called that I was going to score my second goal in Game 2. I had a feeling. I was talking to Thorty [Shawn Thornton] on the bench right after [Marc-Andre] Fleury came into the game. We were talking about where to shoot on him. I was like, "High glove. I'll show you." Thorty had a couple on him in there like that a couple of years ago. We wanted to shoot there, and I got lucky with the goal.

You might think now that the series is over I'd have a lot to say about guys like Matt Cooke and Brenden Morrow. So what do I have to say to them? Nothing. It's a hockey game. Everything that happens on the ice stays out there on the ice. We're not carrying any grudges. It's a job. At the end of the day, we want to respect our opponents. They played hard with great players who were out there trying to win like we were. I have nothing negative to say about anybody. Not to say I don't like talking when I'm out on the ice. You know how it goes. You're out there, and in the heat of the moment, things happen.

I know people will want to know how we feel about beating Pittsburgh with [Jarome] Iginla going there instead of here. Honestly, we're not worried about any single guy on that team. We're happy with the team we have. This is our team. We want to play with the guys we have. We're in the finals. Maybe if things had been different and things had changed up, we wouldn't be here.

Besides, we are happy to have Jaromir Jagr on this team. Have you discovered what a grinder he is? Especially with the assist on that game-winning goal in double overtime, he really dug out that puck to get it to me so I could pass it to Bergy [Patrice Bergeron]. He can do it all. He's one of the best players to ever play this game for a reason. He shows different parts of his game every night. We're glad he's on this team.

A moment that will always stand out from this series is the play when Soupy [Gregory Campbell] broke his leg but stayed on the ice for his shift during a penalty kill. He's a warrior. You can't say enough about him. The way he battled through that shot and kept playing was an incredible thing to see. Everyone can learn a lot from him in the way he plays and how much he cares about the team.

He will be missed, but I think everyone is going to step up and do his job. It's tough when guys go down. It's tough losing Soupy, who is an important player on our team. It just means that everyone has to step up a little more. Daugie [Kaspars Daugavins] did a great job coming in and played a great Game 4. Our depth makes us tough to play against.

Another moment that stands out from that double-overtime Game 3 is how incredible it is that Z [Zdeno Chara] and Seids [Dennis Seidenberg] played so many minutes. I will remember how tired I was after that game, and that's how much those guys play regularly. It's almost hard to believe.

Our team likes to play a physical game. A play maybe you didn't realize that made a difference and shows this was in Game 4 when Z made an incredible save with only a few seconds left on Malkin. I saw on the replay that there was a wide-open net and Z brought his hand around as he was on the ice to help stop it. That helped save the series right there and allowed us to move on to the Stanley Cup finals. Something like that is why he's such a great leader. We're lucky to have Z.

This team plays physical, especially at this point of the year. Guys want to lay their bodies on the line. We're willing to do that every night, like you saw with Soupy. It's just another example of how guys want to win and are willing to sacrifice their bodies for the team.

Next up is the Stanley Cup finals -- well, after a few days of rest. It will be nice to be able to regroup. It's good to kind of get our minds away from the rink for a few days. I hope we can do that. The two teams that are left in the Western Conference are tough opponents. We have to make sure we're prepared because they will be coming out very hard. They've both won the Stanley Cup recently, so they know how to win. It's going to be a battle.

Chicago and Los Angeles both have a lot of offensive weapons. They're both good teams. Obviously, Chicago is very offensive. It played great all year and had the most wins in the regular season. L.A. is kind of like how we were in 2011 in that we won at home, which is what it was doing up until Thursday night. The Kings are a great team too. It's always tough to go into another team's rink in the playoffs. The crowds are always incredible. Either way, it's not going to be easy. I know if we play the Kings we get home-ice advantage, but it really doesn't matter who we play. We're going to be prepared for either team and hope for the best.

I was mentioning how fans can make it tough on an opposing team, but they can really help the home team more than they may realize. In that double-overtime game, it is difficult because your body is so tired and you're starting to cramp up. That little momentum the crowd can give is the extra bit we need to keep pushing on. Fans can give us different momentum swings at different times, and that's enough to carry us to a victory. We're lucky to have the crowd that we do and the fan support around the city. We need you guys to keep going.

Marchand diary: On Rangers, Pens, beards

May, 26, 2013
5/26/13
6:10
PM ET
Bruins winger Brad Marchand has kept a diary for ESPNBoston.com this season. In this second playoff edition, Marchand describes how the Bruins beat the Rangers, what he appreciated Tuukka Rask doing for him, what makes the Penguins dangerous and who has the worst playoff beard on the team. (As told to Louise K. Cornetta)

How did we beat the Rangers? I think we did a really good job of using our speed to our advantage and getting pucks in deep and working down low. We were able to battle down there and take pucks to the net. Obviously with Henrik Lundqvist, we did a really good job of taking his eyes away and getting some goals on him.

Another reason is our power play came up huge this series. We had a lot of goals on the power play, which we were excited about and helped build our confidence with that. Especially in the playoffs, you need your power play to be big. We had some very timely goals with it this series.

Our fourth line, known as the Merlot line, played incredible. They seemed to get better every single game. You saw in Game 5 [Shawn Thornton] with a fight and [Gregory Campbell] with a couple of goals. It seemed with every shift they’re creating something, giving themselves an opportunity to score some goals, and creating some energy for our team.

The other teammates I need to spotlight are the rookie defensemen [Matt Bartkowski, Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug] who did an incredible job stepping in and playing the way they have. Krug continues to impress with four goals in his first five playoff games. He’s been huge for us.

[+] EnlargeKrug-Marchand
Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesBrad Marchand credits the Bruins' rookie defensemen, particularly Torey Krug, with doing "an incredible job."
Tuukka [Rask] experienced some highs and lows. The goal where people describe as the one he fell on his butt for is something that happens in the game of hockey. It’s tough when you see that happen to him. We tried to sweep it under the rug. We wanted to bounce back and make sure we had a good Game 5. So we didn’t really pay too much attention to that. It’s a mistake and things like that happen. He certainly did a great job of bouncing back in Game 5, especially on the Ryan Callahan breakaway that he stopped.

Some of the reporters told me how Rangers head coach John Tortorella called me “probably the best player in the series.” I took that as a big compliment. He’s a pretty hard-nosed coach. For him to give a compliment like that, it’s something to be proud of. They played a phenomenal series and we had a lot of guys step up. This was definitely a team effort.

For some reason, I seem to be a popular guy to chat with on the ice. The Rangers certainly had lots to talk with me about. You know how it goes, we were talking about plans in the offseason and things we did in the lockout. Really, just catching up with the guys out there.

I had spoken last diary about wanting to continue the momentum of Game 7 with my own play. Game 7 was [Patrice Bergeron] with the game-winning overtime goal that I was on the ice for. I was able to follow that up with a Game 1 overtime goal off a great Bergy pass. What’s it like to score an overtime goal in the playoffs? It’s pretty much a blur. Everything happens so quickly. You kind of sit back and think about it later on. Obviously, I was very excited and it was a huge adrenaline rush.

I did keep the puck. I didn’t even think about it at the time, but Tuukka brought it over to me later on. I appreciated that. He came up big for me there doing that. I’ll frame it and put it in my trophy case to enjoy. You hope a goal like that helps set the tone for a series. When you get a big victory like that, everyone seems to feed off of it and build some confidence and momentum. I think that is what we did.

We play the Penguins next in the Eastern Conference finals. We haven’t sat down to look at film on them and go over a full scouting report yet, but obviously they are a great team with a lot of great players. We will need to take a long look at them. It’s even hard to single out a few of the marquee players because they have so many of them. Their whole team plays so well together. If you look at the games they’ve played so far, everyone steps up and contributes. They don’t have any holes on their team. All four lines play very hard. We really have to keep an eye on everyone out there.

But if you had to point to one player, then obviously you know they have Sidney Crosby. He sees the ice very well. He seems to make plays. Crosby seems to be one step ahead of everybody else. He just always knows where to put the puck. He makes it dangerous out there.

They also have Matt Cooke on their team. He’s not exactly the most popular guy in Boston after what happened a few years back. [Editor’s note: In 2010, Cooke’s blindside hit on the Bruins' Marc Savard resulted in a severe concussion.] What happened was a few years ago and we’ve moved on from there. He’s playing very well right now. So he’s just another guy we have to watch.

All three times we played the Penguins this season were one-goal losses. I’d say that makes this a pretty evenly matched series. It’s a different time of year now though. I don’t think either team is really going to take a look at what happened in the regular season and think that is how the series is going to go. They have a new team over there and we have a few new guys. We’re both very excited to play in this next series. It will be a hard-fought battle.

I’m sure a lot of people will want to bring up the Penguins' Jarome Iginla and the trade to Boston from Calgary that didn’t happen. We aren’t even going to worry about it. He’s just another player on that team. He’s a player who has had a great career and is a great player in this league. We’ve got to be prepared for the whole team out there and not just one guy.

Plus, we have been happy to have Matt Bartkowski play with us. He was in that trade for Iginla that almost took place. He is one of the young defensemen who have stepped up for us during all these injuries. It’s funny how things happen. He goes from thinking he is traded to Calgary to staying in Boston and now he’s been a big key for us coming down the stretch. He’s done a great job of stepping in and playing hard. We’re lucky to have him.

We’re very excited to be playing in the Eastern Conference finals. We’re also very excited to have the fan support that we do every time we step in the rink. You are our seventh player out there. You give us a ton of momentum at the right time. Hopefully you continue to be behind us in this next series no matter how it goes. We certainly hope we can pull this one off.

Lastly, you know how playoff beards are a hockey tradition. If I’m going to rank our team, I’d say Z [Zdeno Chara], Bergy and Johnny [Boychuk] have the best ones. They all have great beards that grow in nicely. As for the worst one? I think I might be the one with the worst. It’s pretty bad. It’s kind of patchy.

Marchand Diary: Keeping momentum

May, 16, 2013
5/16/13
11:13
AM ET
Brad Marchand has been keeping a diary for ESPNBoston.com this season. In this playoff edition, he reflects on the Bruins' historic Game 7 comeback, what the consequences would have been if they had lost, and what he and the team need to do to beat the Rangers. -- As told to Louise K. Cornetta


I probably had about 100 text messages after Game 7. I haven’t even been able to get through them all. It was fun to see so many people were involved in watching that game. It’s pretty cool that our team was the first to come back from a three-goal deficit in the third period and go on to win a Game 7. At the same time, I don’t think anyone on our team was really too worried about accomplishing any record. We were more worried about getting the win, that’s just how it came.

I couldn’t sleep after the game. I tried, but the adrenaline rush was still going. I didn’t sleep very well at all. So I’ve really just been trying to catch up on my rest the last couple of days. But when I have seen people, Game 7 is what they want to talk about.

When we were down 4-1 midway through the period, there were mixed emotions on our bench. Everybody was obviously a little upset about what was happening. But you could tell that guys were still confident that we could do this, especially if we could get a goal pretty quickly, which we did. Everything ended up working out for us in the final two minutes. There wasn’t one person on our bench who stood out as the vocal leader. I’d say more everyone was chipping in. We knew we were fighting for our lives. All that emotion on the bench really helps in a situation like that. It seemed like everybody on the bench was being very vocal in really trying to get guys going. The whole team was a good unit working together.

[+] EnlargeTyler Seguin
Abelimages/Getty ImagesTyler Seguin kicked it up a notch during overtime of Game 7. "Segs had said how Thorty [Shawn Thornton] kind of got in his face and that really made a difference," according to Marchand.
We went into overtime very confident. In the locker room we were excited that we had gotten ourselves back into this situation of one goal decides who moves on. We felt that we could take advantage of how regulation ended with two quick goals to tie the game. Guys were excited to get back out there and start the overtime. Segs [Tyler Seguin] had said how Thorty [Shawn Thornton] kind of got in his face and that really made a difference. I think he did a really good job of stepping up in overtime. You saw the way he battled on the goal. He was in front and kind of kicked that puck loose there to Bergy [Patrice Bergeron]. It was really good Segs was able to step up like that.

I was on the ice when Bergy scored the game-winning goal. How can I describe the feeling I experienced when the puck went in? You have a huge rush of adrenaline and an overwhelming sense of excitement kind of comes over you. I saw the puck went into the net and everyone just went crazy. It’s a lot of fun to be a part of. I can’t say enough about Bergy, who had the game-tying and winning goals. He’s the kind of guy you need on your team in the playoffs. He comes up big in the big games. We saw that again on Monday night. He does all the little things well and is such a great leader on and off the ice. Again this year, we wouldn’t be where we are without him on our team.

Bergy, of course, got to wear the Army jacket after Game 7 postgame. Who we think is the player of the game gets to wear it. [Andrew] Ference got the jacket made up from some friends of his that are with the Army Rangers. That’s what they wear with the Boston Bruins logo on the sleeve. We decided to wear that this year for the playoffs. It goes to the warrior of the game.

I wasn’t very happy with how I played in this series. I know I can play better. I felt in the last game I made some big strides. I felt I played a lot better. I’m going to try and carry that momentum over into the next series. I want to make sure I’m making plays and holding onto the puck and looking for opportunities. I didn’t really do that a whole lot in the last series. That’s my job, so I have to make sure I do that.

While I wasn’t that happy with my own play until Game 7, the same can’t be said for our defensemen. They deserve a lot of credit. Especially in Game 7 after Seids [Dennis Seidenberg] went down and got hurt in the first minute, they made a huge difference. Matt Bartkowski came in and Dougie Hamilton stepped in. It was impressive because, I mean, those guys haven’t played a whole lot. Bartkowski played 25 minutes and all the defensemen logged a lot of time. They all played as well as they did especially in overtime, which was incredible to see.

I also think Tuukka [Rask] showed he can certainly play under the pressure of the playoffs. I think he played great in goal. Every night he gives us the opportunity to win. We know, and he knows as well, that if we are going to do well in this next series that he’s going have to come up big. He’s done a great job so far.

When I look back on the Toronto series, especially Game 7, what I am most proud of how is how we stuck with it. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. They had a very good team. We had some injuries and guys not playing as well as we could but we were able to change momentum around to us. We were happy about that.

[+] EnlargeBrad Marchand
John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe/Getty ImagesBrad Marchand (left), mixing it up with Daniel Paille at practice on Wednesday, said this group of Bruins players is "like a family," and keeping the group together is extra motivation to do well in the playoffs.
The way to carry over this Game 7 momentum into the Rangers series is by staying positive. We have to start this first game the way we finished the last one. We need to make sure everyone is coming out very hard. Take the negatives and learn from them by making sure we don’t let up or have a slow start. We don’t want to let their team get the jump on us.

Looch [Milan Lucic] mentioned after the game how there was a feeling of knowing that if we lost this group of guys would most likely experience changes heading into next season. I don’t think we ever want this team to change. We are a very, very close-knit group. Everyone gets along so well with each other. We’re a like a family in the room. We knew if we were out in the first round again two years in a row that things would have to change up. So guys battled harder to make sure that didn’t happen. We’ve got to take it stride by stride and make sure we’re prepared for this next series and hopefully accomplish the same thing.

Coming up we have another New York-Boston rivalry. We’ve faced them in the past and this rivalry dates back many years. Both teams are very similar. It’s going to be battle. We’re looking forward to it. They’re a physical team with a big goalie in Henrik Lundqvist. He didn’t allow a goal in their last two games, which is even more impressive when they were playing a team like Washington. A team with a lot of skill and fire power. We will have to make sure we do whatever we can to get in front of him. This Rangers team plays very hard. We are going to need to bring our best game every night.

They have a lot of players you should be looking out for. Obviously Rick Nash and Brad Richards are key players, but then they also have guys like Ryan Callahan who can step in who you need to look out for as well. Nash is a big guy who is also very fast. Richards is a very smart player. They are a dangerous combination.

How do we beat the Rangers? Well, a few areas I know are important are first of all on defense. We have some injuries. So we need to make sure everybody comes back hard and tries to play strong defensively to help each other out. We also definitely need all four lines going. Playoff time, you need every line to play their best. We didn’t do that last series. So we have to make sure everyone steps up and does their job. Net-front traffic is also key. With their goalie, everything he sees he’s going to stop. We have to make sure we take the puck all the way in and are able to get in front of the net. Hopefully we get some by him.

Finally, I have a message for our fans who want us to win the Stanley Cup this year: One, I think a lot fans might have learned last game that I don’t think you should be leaving your seats in the last 10 minutes of a game when we’re down by any score. Two, obviously it’s very very difficult to win a Stanley Cup. We’re trying our best and want the exact same thing that you do. We’ve all hoped and dreamed about holding the Stanley Cup. We’re doing our best and want to be able to do that again. We want to bring the Stanley Cup home to you.

Marchand diary: Proud to be in Boston

April, 21, 2013
4/21/13
11:57
PM ET
Bruins winger Brad Marchand has kept a diary for ESPNBoston.com this season. Here he reflects on the tragedy in Boston that occurred last week, discusses what the Bruins need to do to get far in the playoffs, what he’s learned from Jaromir Jagr and reveals what competition he has with Tyler Seguin. (As told to Louise K. Cornetta)

When the marathon bombings occurred on Monday, I was actually sleeping. We were supposed to have a game that night, so I was taking a pregame nap. I wasn’t sure if I was going to play or not as I was coming back from my concussion. I was napping and my girlfriend came in and woke me up to tell me what happened. I got up and watched the news and saw everything that was going on. I didn’t know anyone personally that was hurt, but I have very close friends that know people that were. It’s very upsetting.

The whole situation was devastating, especially when children are involved with the death of 8-year-old Martin Richard. A young kid who was a Bruins fan touches everyone’s heart. It was very upsetting. Every time you see his picture or hear his name it brings tears.

I wanted to do what I could to help. I am raffling off a suite for our first playoff home game with the proceeds going to help the Richard family. It’s $5 per ticket and you can enter by going to www.bruinsraffles.org. The idea came to me when I was lying in bed. I had the box for one game. I spoke to my PR guys in the morning and asked if it could happen. They said they would definitely be able to figure something out. They came back to me and said a raffle seemed the best idea. I agreed. I just wanted to help out any way I could.

Wednesday was the first sporting event in Boston. The atmosphere in this building was a whole different feeling. We were very emotional before the ceremony with the video and the anthem. Seeing how everybody came together singing and all the emotions that they had, it was spectacular. Even throughout the whole game, everyone was chanting "Boston Strong" and "U-S-A." When you would hear that, it gives you goosebumps.

I didn’t know that was what was going to happen with the national anthem that Rene [Rancourt] would start singing and then let the crowd take over. It was tough not to look around and watch, but I had my eyes closed to fight back tears. We had a job to do and I was trying to stay focused, but I was fighting back tears thinking about the video and listening to everyone sing the anthem. It was very, very tough to focus because it was so emotional.

At the end of Wednesday’s game, both teams went out on the ice and raised our sticks. The idea came from Buffalo’s captain Thomas Vanek. You don’t usually see that happen at the end of a game. It showed a lot of class by Buffalo staying after the game there and giving a salute. Sometimes you will see it from the home team, but the fact that the away team joined in was a huge thing. Also the Penguins and Panthers wearing police caps during warmups before their games against us, like we did on Saturday, just shows the amount of respect that there is around the league.

[+] EnlargeBrad Marchand
Brian Babineau/NHLI/Getty ImagesBrad Marchand expresses his appreciation to one of the first responders, who were honored after Sunday's game.
On Friday, we were supposed to play that night. I was trying to get ready for the game in case they caught him. We kind of figured that if they didn’t catch him that we wouldn’t be playing. We were told in the morning not to come to the rink for practice and to stay in the house. I kind of walked around the house a little bit just to get my legs going. Pretty much all day I sat on the couch watching the news as I tried to follow what was happening.

After Sunday’s game we gave first responders the shirts off our backs. I met with first responders on Wednesday after our game as well. The whole time I was with them they kept thanking me for being a part of everything that was happening, like meeting them and coming to the game. We were sitting there saying, "No thank you for everything you have done. You guys are the heroes." The way they all explained it is that they have seen so much and went through so much that the Bruins game was a way to get their minds focused on something else, get their minds off it and have something to look forward to. To be part of that and just to make them smile for a little bit, it’s a very special thing that we take a lot of pride in.

In that spirit of getting people’s minds off of things for a few minutes, I’ll talk some hockey now. I guess I should start with returning from the mild concussion I got against the Devils. What happened was the puck was going around the boards, it kind of hopped over my stick, I saw [Anton] Volchenkov coming. I tried to turn my head and when I did I think he kind of extended his elbow a bit and got me on the side of the head.

What does a concussion feel like? It’s different. You almost feel really foggy. You can’t really see right. You just don’t feel like yourself. Mine wasn’t a really bad one, so I didn’t forget what happened. I was able to remember everything, which is good. I just had headaches and was a little foggy. I haven’t had any problems since I came back. Actually, the time off gave my legs a little rest.

We have had a very condensed schedule without a whole lot of breaks. You never like to sit out and watch your team play, but in trying to take the positives out of it, I was able to get rest and recover. I feel better now that I’m back. We play a lot of games here in our last week with four games in six nights coming up. It’s a lot and it’s tiring, but we are well-trained athletes and should be able to battle through it.

Playoffs are coming up and we did clinch a playoff spot. Would we like to finish higher than Montreal? We want to finish as high in the standings as we can. Having home-ice advantage is big in the playoffs. Obviously, the playoffs are the best time of year. It’s very exciting hockey. The fans love it here. I think we will have some hard-fought battles from start to finish and we have to make sure we’re ready for that. We have to play our game, to do what allows us to win. We play four lines. We play very hard, very physical and with a lot of energy. If we can do that, hopefully we will be able to have a good run.

Some quick hits on other hockey items that have been going on:

* The Penguins game on Saturday didn’t go the way we wanted it to. We all know Jarome Iginla ended up in Pittsburgh and not Boston. He is a great player, but he’s just one piece of the puzzle over there. You saw the fans booing him a little bit. But that’s how it goes in hockey and it’s something that creates rivalries. Hopefully we’ll see him again during the playoffs.

* We added Carl Soderberg to the team. He came over from Sweden. He’s a big guy. He’s talented and can score goals. Hopefully he can bring some energy, score a couple of goals and fit in with the guys.

* The rooster shirt we put away for the last little while with everything that has been going on. It was a shirt Andrew Ference got with a rooster on it that the player of the game got to wear postgame. I’m sure it will make an appearance again soon.

* We traded for Jaromir Jagr at the deadline. He’s awesome. He’s a great guy on and off the ice. I was excited because he’s one of the best players to ever play the game. To have the opportunity to play with him, it’s an honor.

I have got to say the first time I played with Jagr was nerve-wracking. I didn’t know what to do. Every time I saw him, I wanted to give him the puck and let him do his thing. He’s a very nice guy. He talks a lot and makes it very comfortable. It’s been fun.

I know I’ve only played with him for a short time, but I’ve already learned a lot from him. He’s always speaking to the guys trying to help them out. He talks a lot about what he sees on the ice. Obviously you respect that as he’s been in the league for so long and is such a great player. He talks about how to support guys, different little plays and how to read off of him. It’s definitely interesting any time you get to talk to him.

I haven’t yet, but I plan on asking him for some autographs. I’m sure he gets hounded all the time, but I will hit him up a couple of times. I’m not sure, but I imagine one or two guys already have asked him. I don’t want to be the first, but I won’t mind being the last.

You probably have seen the photo of a young Milan Lucic with Jagr. I definitely saw it. We were all laughing about it. It just shows how long Jagr has been in the league. He’s one of those guys that we looked up to when we were younger. It’s funny how we get to play with him now. It’s pretty cool for all of us.

I haven’t taken a look back on my own season that I’ve had yet. I consider this another stepping stone. You want to get better every year. Hopefully we can have a long run in the playoffs and I won’t have to look back on the season for a while. Coming into the season, I wasn’t sure what to expect coming off the lockout. I didn’t skate a ton during the lockout or play overseas. I didn’t know what to expect, but I’m happy with how things have gone. [Editor’s note: Marchand has a team-high 18 goals.]. Tyler [Seguin] and I always have a friendly competition over who will score the most goals. It’s not as tight this year as the last couple of years, but we’re still trying to help each other out.

With everything that has happened in Boston, we appreciate and are so thankful for all the support we get. To be part of this city is a huge honor. We take a ton of pride in it. I don’t think any guy on this team would prefer to be any other place than here. The fact that you can see the character in the city and how great people are when something like this happens with how everyone comes together, it just makes being here so much more special. We’re all very thankful to be here.

Marchand diary: Dishing on teammates

March, 11, 2013
3/11/13
9:10
AM ET
Bruins winger Brad Marchand has been keeping a diary for ESPNBoston.com. Here he talks about their fast start, goals he hates, their rivalry with Montreal, and breaks down the personalities on this team. (As told to Louise K Cornetta)

In January I said that it was important to get off to a fast start in a shortened season. I think right now we’re all on the same page and buying into the system. We know what we have to do to win. Everyone comes to play every night. There are areas we need to work on. I think there are times when we need to clean up defensively, We get away from our game at times and give up a little more defensively than normally we are used to. If we continue to work on that, we’ll be a tough team to play against.

So far the season has been going well. As for me, I’ve been able to score [Editor’s note: Team leading 12 goals]. I’d say my first goal of the season is the one that stands out to me. It was a backdoor tap in from Segs [Tyler Seguin]. I wasn’t sure how the season was going to go after being off for so long. To get that first one under your belt is always nice. I was happy to get that one. I should say too that the game winners [Editor’s note: 4 game winning goals this season] have been fun. A lot of it is just how the game goes and luck but anytime you get a game-winning goal it’s enjoyable. You know what goals I hate? Overtime shootout ones. They are terrible and I hate them. All the pressure is on you especially if you’re the third guy going and your tied or down by one. They’re a tough situation to be in.

[+] EnlargeBrad Marchand
Steve Babineau/NHL/Getty ImagesBrad Marchand is second on the Bruins this season with 20 points (12 goals and eight assists).
I’ve been asked why I’ve been scoring a lot this season. It’s just how it goes. At times, pucks will go in and at times they won’t. I think right now a lot of my goals, I’ve gotten good bounces. I also play with some very skilled players. I just feed off of them. My style has changed some and I’ve spent less time in the penalty box this season. I think the biggest reason is because I am playing more minutes. I’m too tired to start agitating and getting into guys heads. Instead of doing that, I’m trying to suck wind. It’s really more because of that than anything else.

Last year, I was superstitious. This year, not so much. I decided to get away from that and worry about playing instead of all the stuff I’d do before the game. I have a routine that I like to do but it’s not make or break type of thing.

I mentioned how I play with some skilled players. My line with Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] and Segs is great on and off the ice. We really get along off the ice, which I think gives us a good opportunity to connect more on the ice. We’re comfortable talking to each other about different things like maybe we could be better in different areas. Also, we’ve played together for a little while now. When you do that, you get used to where guys are and it makes it a lot easier to make plays.

We’re fortunate because we have an awesome group of guys on this team. It’s just like a family, everyone is so close. You see it on the ice, all the guys stick up for each other. We’re very excited to have the team that we do. I thought it would be a good time to breakdown the personalities in this dressing room.

-- Funniest guy on this team besides me? Andrew Ference. He cracks me up a lot. Jokes, sarcastic, chirps guys, he is all of the above.
-- Most talkative? Me and Segs. Segs doesn’t like to stop talking and I’m the same way.
-- Best dressed? Soupy [Gregory Campbell] has pretty good style. He’s not flashy. He’s just put together. He’s up on things. He always likes to be up-to-date and he’s a little bit of a shopping fiend.
-- Fashion challenged? Dougie [Hamilton] needs a lot of help. I think he’s still stuck in Juniors because he doesn’t want to spend a penny. He even complains about how much magazines cost.
-- Who can’t walk by a mirror without taking a look? Segs. He loves himself more than anyone I’ve ever met.
-- Always in the weight room? [Dennis] Seidenberg is always in there He doesn’t stop. He works out before games, before practices, after games, and after practices. He’s a monster.
-- Grumpiest? Thorty [Shawn Thornton] is a grumpy dude but I have to say it’s [Chris] Kelly. Kelly is by far the grumpiest guy on the team. It’s just him and how he is. But he’s also a funny guy who is just a little grumpy at times.
-- Answer guy? Bergy. A lot of guys go to Bergy for things.
-- Most likely to pick up a dinner check? Looch [Milan Lucic] and Horty [Nathan Horton] always pick up the checks.

There are a lot of different personalities on this team. Claude [Julien] keeps us focused by making sure we don’t get ahead of ourselves, but a lot of guys in the room are the same way. Guys are very accountable in here. We know when to have fun, but also we know when it’s time for business. It’s actually pretty easy to stay focused.

This team is not that much different from the 2010 one that won the Stanley Cup. We have Tuukka [Rask] starting in goal now, which is probably the biggest difference. He and I came up together playing in Providence. Tuuks is so great because he doesn’t give the opponent a whole lot to shoot at. He’s very good at covering his angles. He’s very quick. If he’s ever out of position, he’s so quick that he gets right back in it. We’re very lucky to have him. Now there is something about him you probably don’t know and that is he loves chicken wings more than any person I’ve ever met in my life. If he could eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner he would.

I can’t end this without mentioning our rivalry with Montreal which was definitely on display recently. Our rivalry is a lot of fun to be in because it dates back so long. We have a lot of fun anytime we play each other. You can see how the fans get into and how much they enjoy it, which makes it more enjoyable for us. When we play each other it’s not just Boston and Montreal fans that watch, but fans across the whole League. They know it’s going to be an intense game and an exciting one which it always proves to be.

Last item I wanted to bring up is all this snow. I don’t even think we get this much snow back home in Nova Scotia! It’s fun during December and January. I don’t know about you, but now I’m sick of it. I’m looking forward to spring getting here.

Marchand Diary: Glad to be back

January, 17, 2013
1/17/13
10:53
AM ET
Bruins winger Brad Marchand had some unfinished business with his diary. He returns for this shortened season. Here he discusses how he found out the lockout was over, what the Bruins need to do to prepare for a shortened season, Tim Thomas no longer being on the team, and what he hopes the fan reaction will be Saturday night. (As told to Louise K. Cornetta)

I think with the lockout what I missed the most was being around my teammates. It’s so much fun being around everyone. You really get a sense of how close our team is and how much of a family this is. When we were away, I thought about that a lot and really missed the guys.

I spent the lockout going back and forth between Boston and home in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I’m a pretty avid hunter. I was doing a lot of hunting, mostly deer. But then I went over and did some moose hunting in Newfoundland, which I really enjoyed. My brother plays hockey for St. Mary’s University back home. I haven’t been able to see him play in six or seven years. So I spent a lot of time watching him play and being with my family.

I found out the lockout was over through an e-mail from Fer [Andrew Ference]. I was away in New Hampshire on a ski trip. I wasn’t skiing, more hanging out at the lodge relaxing. I got this email from Ference just saying, “It’s done.” Ference was down in New York at the negotiations and did a good job of keeping us updated throughout the week. It was awesome news to get.

For not having played a game in eight months, I actually feel pretty good. A lot of people really stressed on us to stay physically active by skating and training. But I think a huge part of being prepared for the season is being rested. I used this time to really rest up. I still went to the ice and trained but I had a couple of injuries I was able to take care of and now am feeling pretty good.

Not a lot to report from training camp so far. Probably the only odd thing so far was I did hear the other day about the bogus story saying Tyler [Seguin] kept a messy apartment when he played overseas in Switzerland. [Adam] McQuaid told me about it. No one here really cared about that or kidded around about it. I’ve been to Tyler’s place. I know that he’s not that bad. I can confirm he is a lot neater person than what they’re portraying.

We pretty much have the same team intact from last year. Our expectation is to go as far as we can. Obviously the goal for every team every year is to win the Stanley Cup, but there is a lot that goes into that. We want to make sure we give ourselves the best opportunity possible and prepare ourselves for every game.

Tuukka Rask will be our goalie as Tim Thomas decided not to play. He’s an older guy. He’s had a great career and that’s fine, that’s his decision. Tuukka is awesome. I’ve been playing with him since Providence. He’s incredible. He is definitely ready to come in and be a huge contributor for us.

We start the season against the Rangers. We have a week to prepare. We don’t really have a choice but to prepare fast. They’re a very strong team. They had a good run last year. We just have to make sure we’re prepared on the ice, get lots of rest, good nutrition, and hopefully we’ll be ready. It’s huge for us to go out and get a fast start. Everyone wants to come out of the gate hard. If you fall behind with like a 1-6 start, you can quickly find yourself out of a playoff position. Right now, it’s a sprint. We have to make sure we’re prepared every day and put our best game on the ice every night.

I’m hoping the fan reaction on Saturday is good like it was on Tuesday for our scrimmage against the Providence Bruins. We have the best fans in the world. They’ve always been so supportive. We want to see them come out and cheer just as loud as ever. I know some fans aren’t happy we had a lockout. I think the best thing that we, the players, can do is make sure we put on a good show for them when they come to the rink. We also need to make public appearances and show we appreciate their support and coming back to the game. It’s looking for ways to show our appreciation in any way we can.

I enjoy supporting the other Boston sports teams. I was at the Celtics game on Monday and while I wasn’t at the game, I definitely watched the Patriots beat the Texans. Everyone expects big things from them. We will certainly be rooting them on the rest of the way.

Marchand diary: Let the playoff ride begin

April, 9, 2012
4/09/12
6:14
PM ET
Bruins winger Brad Marchand has kept a diary for ESPNBoston.com this season. In his final regular-season installment, Brad talks about facing the Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs, what turned things around for the Bruins this season, whose playoff beard will be the worst and what he learned in his second season. (As told to Louise K. Cornetta)

In March, things turned around for us. We had a meeting to talk about how we have to get back to playing the way we did before. I think our attitude changed after that. We knew we had to be better if we wanted to make the playoffs. Things just started clicking a little bit better after that meeting. Team meetings are sometimes called by the coach when he wants us to go over video, but this time the players called one. Some things had to be said. I can confirm I was not one of the ones talking, I just listened.

So what’s been happening since my last diary? Over the past month, we took a long road trip to the West Coast, and while my prank war with Soupy (Gregory Campbell) didn’t continue, [Andrew] Ference got in on the action, snapping photos on the plane ride out there of a sleeping Soupy and Looch [Milan Lucic]. There’s a lot of great pictures flying around right now. The one of Looch is definitely one of the better ones. When Looch sleeps, it seems like he makes the best faces. He actually has to have his own room on the road because he snores so loud. You can only imagine what we have to deal with on the plane.

It’s never good seeing one of your teammates go down with an injury, and that’s what I felt when Tuukka [Rask] went down last month. He’s a big part of our team and had been playing well. So it’s always scary seeing a guy get hurt. They brought in [Marty] Turco and now [Anton] Khudobin is up, and Tuukka is getting healthy. So we have four really good goalies right now.

I mentioned our team meeting helped turn things around, but another factor is our penalty kill has been good. Going into the playoffs, you want your special teams to be really good. That’s why we won last year, our special teams were great at the right times. Our PK is a big asset to our team. We want to continue to get better every game.

We also continue to be a third-period team, like when we scored four goals in the third against the Islanders at the end of March. We get very confident when we are tied or down by a goal. We seem to find that extra little energy that we need to get a couple goals. Hopefully we continue to do that.

For me, I haven’t been feeling that bad out there. Obviously, we have a pretty successful team that can put some pucks in the net. I’ve been fortunate to play with some very skilled players. They give me some easy goals.

Segs [Tyler Seguin] ended up with more goals on the team for the season than I had [Editor’s note: Marchand finished with 28 and Seguin with 29, the most goals on the Bruins this season.]. I could have tied him for the most goals in overtime in this last game against the Sabres. I missed that one in overtime on purpose. He was crying about how he wanted it, so I let him have it and missed that one on purpose. I guess that gives him bragging rights. Segs is a great player. And playoff goals won’t count to add to the tally, just regular-season goals counted -- unfortunately for me.

Segs also ended up being the overall points leader on the team. Yeah, you're welcome Segs! Well, we were on the same line. He’s an unbelievable player. He has so much talent and skill. It’s great to watch him improve every day and improve as a player and a person. You can tell he’s going to be a great player for years to come.

[+] EnlargeBoston Bruins
AP Photo/Paul J. BereswillTyler Seguin, who was the overall points leader on the Bruins, won the 2012 Seventh Player Award; Marchand got it last year..
Last year I won the Seventh Player Award; this year, he did. For me, it was a big accomplishment. It shows that people like how you play and understand you’re improving as a player. It’s a huge award around Boston. It’s a good one to win. When Segs won this year, we said to him, “Second overall picks don’t have the biggest expectations anymore.” We gave it to him a little bit.

Since we’re talking about teammates, there are a few more I wanted to mention. [Zdneo] Chara played in his 1,000th game in March when we played the Kings and that is impressive. It shows that you have had a very long career and you’ve been pretty healthy throughout that time. A guy like Z, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has 2,000 games. He’s a great player. Very few people get to do that, so it’s definitely a big accomplishment. Another defenseman I want to talk about is Johnny [Boychuk], who is a Masterton Trophy finalist and a very big part of this team. He’s been playing really well this year. Hopefully he gets better every day from his knee injury and will be ready for the playoffs.

I have to also talk about my linemate Bergy [Patrice Bergeron]. He should win the Selke Award. Look at him, he has over 60 points, leads the league in plus/minus. He’s a player that in every single game gives our team the opportunity to win. We wouldn’t be in the position we are now without him. We wouldn’t have won last year if it wasn’t for him. He’s one of the players that you would hate to play against because he’s such a pain in the butt because he’s always right on you. He’s always in the best position and contributes both offensively and defensively. He’s a guy you need on your team to win a championship. If you are going to build a franchise, he’s the kind of guy you want on your team.

If I were to ever win an award, I’d love to win the Selke Award myself one day. It shows you care about all three zones on the rink. You care about playing a defensive game, and, like I said those are the guys you need on your team to win championships. I want to be that kind of player.

I should say, though, that winning the Elizabeth Dufresne Trophy and John P. Bucyk Award this year was certainly a big honor as well. I’m proud to get those awards.

Playing in my second year, I learned that it doesn’t matter who you’re playing. On any given night, any team can beat anyone on any given night. Especially after winning last year, it seems every team has something to prove when you play them. You have to be a consistent player and put it all on the line every night if you want to win.

I also learned I have the best roommate on the road in the league in Dennis Seidenberg. He sleeps with the TV on and the blinds open.

Anyway, I almost reached the goals I set for myself this year. I was aiming for 30 goals. I came close. My defensive game is something I wanted to improve on. I was a bit slow with that, but I feel like that’s been getting better as of late.

The last game of the regular season was a good game against Buffalo [4-3 overtime shootout win]. We wanted to go out on a good note and play good hockey. We wanted to make sure we came prepared and focused on doing the right things. Now I can’t wait for this playoff ride to start up again. It’s the best time of year and it’s what we play for all season long. For it to finally be here, we’re all very excited about it. This year’s playoffs will be a little different for us because we’ll be without [Nathan] Horton [concussion]. He was a big part of the playoffs last year, scoring a lot of important goals for us. He’s a big loss to our team, but it’s something we have to deal with. Every team goes through times when they have injuries. How you deal with it, and regroup to play through it, says a lot about your team. We know he’s a big loss, but at the same time we can’t do anything about it.

Winning the division title is big. The biggest thing about that is that it gives us home-ice advantage for at least the first round and maybe the second. It’s a pretty good accomplishment. It means we had a pretty good season. It’s something we can be proud of, but there’s more we want to win this year.

In order for us to repeat as Stanley Cup champions we need to use our experience to our advantage. When we play our best game every single night, we give ourselves an opportunity to win each night. We just have to come prepared to sacrifice everything every night. If we can do that, maybe we’ll get lucky. Also, Tim Thomas is definitely a big key. We wouldn’t have won last year without him. We’re going to need him to play the same way again this year.

We’re facing Washington in the first round. I think they’re a tough team with a lot of skill. We’re going to have to bring our A game every night. Players to look out for on their team are obviously Alex Ovechkin, and also Alexander Semin. Ovechkin has been one of the top players in the league for the last number of years. Semin is a very, very good player. They also have a couple good defensemen who can score some goals. They have been playing very, very well of late and have given us a bit of trouble this year, which is why we have to bring our best game every night.

Playoff beards our coming. We all recently shaved our heads for charity. I like my hair buzzed off. It’s a good haircut for summer. As for beards, though, the best ones will definitely be Z, Bergy and Timmy. They all can grow pretty good ones. The worst is going to be Segs or Tuukka. They will have very patchy ones that won’t be the prettiest.

Obviously we want to win again. Hopefully we can make that happen. It’s funny, when you’re in a town like Boston, you’re expected to win every year and the pressure is there every year. There’s a ton of pressure right now to repeat from the city. As I said, hopefully we can make that happen for them. We’ll see. Repeating is obviously a very tough thing to do. We definitely have our hands full.

We have incredible fans. The support they showed us this year and last year is unbelievable. Everywhere you go now you can see Bruins shirts, jerseys and hats. It’s amazing. Every night, they’re like a seventh player out there. They give us a chance to win with their energy and everything. We definitely wouldn’t have won without them last year. Hopefully they can help us again this year.

Marchand diary: New lines, Disney World and more

March, 4, 2012
3/04/12
8:51
AM ET
Bruins winger Brad Marchand has been keeping a diary for ESPNBoston.com all season. In this installment, he discusses what the identity of this team is, who is the master prankster on the road, breaking up the Bru-Tang Line, and how his life has changed with all the attention since winning the Stanley Cup. (As told to Louise K. Cornetta) (Editor’s note – this diary was done prior to the Bruins 3-2 loss to the Islanders on Saturday)

We’ve just came off a very long road trip. I think we’ve been playing pretty good hockey lately. We changed our line up a little bit, but for the most part, I think we are playing good hockey. We are getting back to the way we were playing in November. We’re definitely a third period team [Editor’s note: Going into Saturday’s game the Bruins are 25-0-0 when leading after two periods.]. I think the second period seems to be our weakness right now. We don’t seem to be able to put a very good second period together. We seem to be able to follow that up with a great third. Everyone is just so excited and determined to have a great third period and finish the game strong. We like to make sure we come out and get the two points in the third period.

On road trips, there is always a prankster. I give the title of best prankster to Soupy [Gregory Campell]. I came back from supper the other day and all my bed sheets were gone. We got into a little war there on the road. I was able to get a key to his room. I broke into his room and got my sheets back and took his jacket. We kind of ended it there. I’m sure some more stuff is going to come about before the season is over.

Coach [Claude Julien] said he wanted us to gain an identity on this road trip. So what is it? We limit teams’ opportunities. Everyone comes back very hard in their own end. We’re very stingy. We haven’t played like that as of late, but when we do we’re very very tough to play against. We play a high tempo game that is physical. Playing simple hockey is key. We’re not trying to beat guys one on one. We’re chipping pucks in and trying to battle down low and support each other. If we can get back to playing this way, we’ll be successful.

My line has changed a little bit with Segs [Tyler Seguin] moving to play with [David] Krejci and Looch [Milan Lucic] and Rolly [Brian Rolston] playing with Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] and me. Anything is possible, especially when we’re not playing up to par and our team had kind of slipped a little bit. You need to do something to spark your team. Moving Segs seemed to ignite the guys and we had a big win with it on Thursday with Krejci getting that hat trick. I think the change will stay as long as we’re winning and playing well. There’s no reason to change things up again then. Bergy and I played really well with Rolly. We thought he really clicked with our line too. It seems to be working well.

It’s been a while since my last diary so let me touch on a few things that has gone on over the past month or so. The White House visit was a pretty cool experience. I had a lot of fun there. The whole time I was there I was trying to find secret passage ways. I was pulling out books from the book shelf. Any crack in the wall I was trying to push bricks. I wasn’t able to take anything as a memento as they were keeping a pretty close watch. To have President Obama single me out was very surprising. Someone of his stature giving you a shout out was really special. I have a nice picture shaking his hand that I’m going to blow up and put on my wall. He called me the Little Ball of Hate, which is cool that he said something about me but it’s not sticking as a nickname. It’s a bit of a mouthful for a nickname. Usually nicknames are short and quick. I’ve seen it on posters and stuff around but the boys don’t call me anything like that.

[+] EnlargeBrad Marchand
Alex Wong/Getty ImagesPresident Obama shakes hands with Brad Marchand, whom he playfully described as "the little ball of hate" in his speech to the team.
As far as Tim Thomas not going, Timmy is a big boy and can make his own decisions. Everyone has their own beliefs. He was standing up for his. He made a choice and stuck with it. I wasn’t really surprised what a big deal him not going became. It’s a big thing for anyone to go to the White House, especially a sports team. But anytime the press can kind of get their hands on something and make a big story out of it that’s what’s going to happen.

I had a lot of fun at Disney World over the All-Star break. I really enjoy animals and things of that nature. At Animal Kingdom there was a safari ride where you can go around in a bus and see lions and rhinos and big alligators and hippos. I thought that was the coolest ride. I do like rollercoasters, but I don’t like waiting in lines. We tried to hit as many rides as we could. But we were there for a short period of time and there are so many parks that it was tough to get to all of them. I’ll tell you this tip though if you plan on going to Disney: Wear comfortable shoes. The first day I wore sandals and had cuts in between all my toes. The next day I was sure to wear running shoes.

You may have seen me on twitter for a quick minute. I got on it, well, one to have Segs stop telling me to be on it and also to get involved and see what it was all about and promote some t-shirts stuff. It was taking up some time. I knew I wasn’t going to keep up with it. It didn’t really interest me a whole lot. I didn’t see a big point to keeping it. So I just got rid of it.

I seem to be someone you either really like or really really don’t. A lot of people who don’t like me are from Vancouver who are just upset that we beat them. A lot of people on twitter were just fans trying to support their team whether Montreal fans or Vancouver fans or whatnot. But there are also a lot of fans who do like me and it’s not because they know me as a person. It’s because of the style of hockey I play and our team being successful. People are just hating on that. Luckily, we have a lot of very very loyal fans that love our team and really back us up. It’s awesome to be a part of an organization like that.

Last year, all around town you could go anywhere and no one would recognize me. I could do my thing. This year it just seems everywhere you go people recognize you. They’ll congratulate you on winning last year. At Celtics games when I go, it seems like Celtics fans are Bruins fans and vice versa. Segs and I went to a Celtics game this year and I don’t think we even were able to watch five minutes of the game because people were coming up for pictures and whatnot. It’s still a lot of fun though. We enjoy being around the city and being around the fans. But it is a big change from last year, especially after we won.

I’d say the thing that has changed the most for me this year is that it’s tougher to go unnoticed with some things you do. You can be out and people are always watching you or taking your picture. Things can get blown out of proportion very easily. You can get caught in positions that can have bad repercussions, even if you’re not doing anything wrong. It can still be spun the wrong way. I just have to be very careful what I’m doing now. I’m always trying to use my head.

It’s crazy with how much people care about your every move. One day I was at Subway just ordering a sub. I saw these two girls behind me and they kind of took a picture of my back. They were the only two people in the whole place. I remember going home and someone sent me an email of the picture the same day of me being at Subway. It’s crazy. You don’t really realize how many people like to get pictures out there and want to say that they’ve seen you around town. It’s just a little different not knowing who is taking your picture.

I was asked a lot when I was coming back from my suspension if I was going to change my style of play. I think that was a question in every interview around that time. It’s a tough situation because it’s a very fine line playing this game because things happen so quickly. It’s a very emotional game. You really don’t want to change the way you play because that is what got you here and made you successful. If you start changing then your game could change up.

It definitely has made me more aware of things I’m allowed to do and not allowed to do and different ways to protect yourself. You definitely think when you’re going in for a hit, now with all the suspensions around the League, that you have to be very careful and you might have to move or stop if you’re going to hit a guy in a bad position. There are a lot of suspensions but [Brendan] Shanahan has done a great of job of instilling in guys’ minds that you have to be more cautious and have more respect for your opponent.

Part of my style is to be in front of the net at times. I’ve learned not to talk to the opposing goalie. When you start talking to goalies that’s usually when it backfires. I’ve done that a couple of times in the past and it’s come back to bite me in the butt. I try to stay clear from trash talking the goalies. It’s very hard to stand your ground in front of the net. Especially in this league, a lot of defenseman are big and strong. Their main job when they’re in front of the net is to push guys away from the goalie so he can see. I find for me, it’s very tough. I have to do a lot of spinning off guys and battling guys that are a lot bigger and a lot stronger than I am. You even see for a guy like Looch sometimes it’s hard to stand there when you’re battling big, strong defenseman. It’s a tough job, but that’s how you score goals.

We picked up some new guys at the trade deadline. As I mentioned, Rolly has been playing on my line. He’s a veteran guy. He’s big and strong. I know from playing against him that he has a very heavy shot. He’s a really good player. From playing with him and practicing with him a little bit, I like playing with him. He’s got very good speed and is a very smart player. He’s an awesome guy in the room too. He’s great to talk to. I know he’s played here before. A lot of people love him. He’s a great addition to our team.

We also have Mike Mottau now, who has a Boston accent! I’ve met him previously from doing a charity event with him. He’s a nice guy who is very down to earth. A Boston boy, and this town always loves their own. It’s nice to have him here as well. There’s another Z on this team as we have Greg Zanon with us. We’re were laughing about that in the room calling him Little Z. He’s a great player. He’s strong defensively and a nice guy off the ice. Management did a nice job bringing in three very good players.

The goal for the last six weeks of the regular season is to get prepared for playoffs. To get back to playing the way we can going into the end of the season. We don’t need to win every game, but we have to make sure every night we’re consistent. We have to play good, solid hockey. If we can do that, come playoff time, we’re ready to go, prepared and playing our best hockey.

Marchand diary: On Canucks, critics

January, 9, 2012
1/09/12
11:31
PM ET
Bruins forward Brad Marchand is keeping a diary for ESPN Boston this season. In the latest entry, he discusses Saturday's Canucks game and his hit on Sami Salo, what he has to say in response to Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault saying Marchand likes to hurt people and to those who say he takes cheap shots. And he finally has come up with a name for his line. (As told to Louise K. Cornetta)

I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to play in the Vancouver game because I had the flu. Going back on it, maybe I should have sat that game out. Having the flu was pretty painful. I had it for two to three days. I didn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat or drink anything. It was pretty uncomfortable. I had to miss the 9-0 win against Calgary. I heard from a couple of the guys after that one. Tyler [Seguin], of course, was one of them. He obviously had to let me know they didn’t need me out there. Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] texted me and he was the nicer of my two linemates because he told me to get better. Then Thorty [Shawn Thornton] texted me and told me how wonderful his backhand toe drags were and the puck seemed to be tied to his stick. So he wanted to brag a little about that.

The game against Vancouver, though, was one of those games you wanted to be a part of. The rivalry there has kind of brewed up since being in the finals with them last year. I definitely wanted to be a part of that game. The atmosphere on Saturday was very playoff-like. Fans were very excited. They were up on their feet the whole time. Everyone was really into the game. Both teams were highly energized and flying. It was a good game that we battled in.

My reaction when I found out Roberto Luongo wasn’t going to start in goal for them was that I knew [Cory] Schneider was from around the area. I thought it was great for them to give him the opportunity to play in front of family and friends. It didn’t really matter to us. We were going to be prepared either way.

I know people were thinking a storyline in the game was going to be me against Daniel Sedin, but that didn’t end up being the story. Let’s start with I was fortunate to score the first goal to get us on the board. I think a big reason I’ve had a scoring touch this year is the fact that I am playing with Bergy and Tyler. They have a lot to do with it. They’re two great players who are always getting me the puck at the right time. They make great passes to me that I’m able to put into the open net.

OK, the play with Sami Salo. It technically wasn’t a clip. Clipping is when you hit someone at the knees and I did not hit him at the knees. Anyone that has seen the video will see that I hit him in the upper thigh under the buttocks. They can call it a clipping, but they obviously don’t know the rules of hockey. I felt like I was trying to protect myself and get low and he went over me. It was very unfortunate that he was injured on the play. I know he has a concussion. There has been a lot of concussions going on this year. It’s a very fast game. A lot of guys are big and strong and physical. It’s very tough on the guys. It seems of late, a lot of guys are getting injured. Hopefully concussions can kind of start to drop off and we don’t see as many of them.

[+] EnlargeBrad Marchand
Bob DeChiara/US PresswireBrad Marchand maintains his hit on Sami Salo was not clipping. The NHL disagreed, handing Marchand a five-game suspension.
I’ve spoken before about keeping my emotions in check because the refs are keeping their eye on me. This game wasn’t any tougher to do that. I thought I played a pretty disciplined game for the most part. I tried to stay away from any of the extra curricular stuff and for the most part I did. Before I got ejected, I wasn’t really involved in much. I just wanted to play the game and try to help the team on the score sheet. For the most part, I felt I did a decent job of that.

I know in the five-minute power play that Vancouver got for my penalty they scored two goals. They obviously have a very dangerous power play. All four goals in that game were scored on the power play. It shows they have a lot of skill. But it was very tough for me to watch. To take a penalty like that and cost your team the game, it was a tough thing. You have to live and learn and just move on.

Their coach [Alain Vigneault] came out and said I play to hurt players. He obviously wanted to take a shot at me and stir the pot for the hearing [Monday]. It just shows the class he has or lack thereof. I really am not going to respond or bite into what he’s trying to feed me there. I hear Twitter was filled with comments about me today. For anyone that wants to call me someone who takes cheap shots, they can say what they want. It doesn’t affect me. I don’t care what people who don’t know me and I don’t know them and they have no meaning to me, I don’t care what they say. I don’t really care what my reputation is. I just want to play. I’m doing this as my job. I love this team. I’m just trying to be a player and I don’t care what my reputation is really. I’m not out there to hurt guys. When I’m out there, I play a hard-nosed game and play hard. If guys are soft and don’t like it, then that’s fine. I’m not out there to please anybody. I’m out there to do my job.

Looch [Milan Lucic] also got a misconduct when a half-dozen guys jumped on Thorty, which later got rescinded. We got a couple of bad calls there but that’s part of the game. We have a lot of tough guys on the ice there. They were pretty tough when it was six-on-one, but once they were all pulled off only one guy answered the bell. Just shows what kind of guys they are. Looch and I were talking back in the dressing room after we were out of the game that we hoped the boys would be able come back and pull it off and play a good rest of the game.

I’d say our game with Vancouver was a pretty good game. What didn’t it have? Even had a penalty shot. It was a good battle all the way through. It was high intensity the whole game. It certainly was a good regular-season game for anyone to have gone to. I mean, that’s all it was. They got the two points. But at the end of day, we’re still in a great position. We didn’t lose that much from it. It was a great game for the fans.

I’m not talking tonight about the suspension. It’s always best to get a good night’s sleep after you are handed bad news. If I’m able to speak about it, then I’ll check back in [Tuesday] with some thoughts.

Can we talk about some other things now? How about how this team has been playing this season? We do have a very good team right now. We’ve been winning, but every team can get better. We can always improve in different areas of the game. Sometimes we don’t work as hard as we should or we don’t play strong enough defensively at times. Sometimes we play sloppy hockey. We just need to clean it up, get back to basics and not take it all for granted.

What I like best about this team is how close all the guys are. We have a great, great group of guys. We’re very close and hang out a lot. It’s a great team to be a part of.

It was pretty cool to get named First Star of the Week at the end of December. I never expected that. It mostly just shows how good a month we had as a team. I’m just happy to be a part of it. I’m not out there to try and win anything like that.

That was the week I got my first career hat trick in our game against the Panthers. After I got the second goal, I was hoping I would get a third. Seguin decided to try and put it in my head that it was going to happen. He just told me that if he got it, he was coming to me. I was hoping and luckily it happened. It was pretty cool to see all the hats on the ice. I never expected to get a hat trick in the NHL. It was great feeling for sure. We took three of the hats off the ice. Our team does a tradition where whenever someone gets a hat trick they sign it with the score and date and you pick a hat or the best item on the ice and hang it up in our training room. It was pretty cool to be a part of that. I also got all three pucks for the goals. It was nice to be able to have all three of those.

Let me set the record straight on something. In "NHL 36" that was about Bergy, he said I was buying dinner at Flemming’s because I was First Star of the Week. We were actually trying to get the "NHL 36" guys to buy it for us, but I know I did not end up having to buy it for us. On the road, we usually play the credit card game, which a lot of teams do. Basically, you all throw your credit cards in a hat and then usually the waitress will pick them out one by one and the last guy has to pay for dinner.

If they did an "NHL 36" on me, it wouldn’t be that different than Bergy’s. It would involve a lot of sleeping and not much talking. But mine would be a little more outgoing and Segs [Seguin] would have to be involved a bit. He’d be following the camera around with me. There would be a lot of joking around and having a lot of fun. Being on camera like in HBO’s "24/7" with the cameras around all the time would be a little painful at times. It’s nice to have them around every now and then to catch a glimpse of what a team is like, but having them around all the time can get a little much. Though being in the Winter Classic would be cool.

Some random thoughts: Why I think the players rejected the new realignment is because of the travel with some of the teams. But I can’t get into it because I really don’t know enough about it. Another random thought is about Twitter. The reason I’m not on there like Tyler is because everyone knows Twitter is being monitored. There’s no point of having Twitter if it’s being monitored and you can’t say what you actually want to say. So it’s pointless to even have it. Yes, I know there are a ton of fake Marchand accounts out there. I’ve even gotten fan mail from people who said that they tried to tweet me. I don’t have Twitter. There are a lot of fake ones out there. I definitely don’t have it.

Tim Thomas was named to start the All-Star Game. That’s great for Timmy. He’s had a great year and is a great goalie. He’s just showing again why he’s won the Vezina twice in the last three years. I’m very happy for him. For me, it would obviously be a great honor to be on the All-Star team because it’s for the best players in the league, but it’s not really what I play for. I’m not out there to be an All-Star. And it’s great for Claudey [Claude Julien] to be the coach. He’s a great guy who likes to joke around and have some fun. I’m sure he’ll try to do that and get to know some guys and see what some guys are like. It should be a great time for him.

Pevs [Rich Peverley] -- no, I’m not going to tell you what’s wrong, but I’ll explain why in hockey we don’t like to reveal injuries. You don’t want to give other teams an advantage. If a guy is playing injured or is just coming back from one and the other team knows what it is, they might target that injury or that part of their body, which is something you don’t want out there. It’s a game of inches at this level. You want to try to get every advantage you have and that’s just another thing you want to have an advantage with.

New Year’s we decided to stay in Dallas so we weren’t up in the air or something. It wouldn’t have been a whole lot of fun if we were up there and had to kiss each other. It was nice to spend New Year’s together on the ground. My New Year’s resolution is pretty boring. I’m trying to cut out bad food and get back to a good diet. I know it’s boring, but that’s mine. My guilty pleasure, and I have plenty, but I’m going to say my favorite dessert, which is apple crisp and ice cream. That one will get me every time.

I mentioned earlier that playing with Bergy and Tyler is blast. We just have a lot of fun together. We joke around a lot. We like to play with each other, have fun, we love the game. When we’re out there, we’re able to talk to each other and when we get on the bench we tell each other what we’d do differently. We use this as a learning experience for all of us. When you play with a guy like Bergy who has been playing since he was 18 and he is still trying to learn every day, it’s very easy to learn from and follow in his footsteps. It’s great playing with those two guys. Yes, we’re aware we are 1, 2 and 3 as points leaders on the team. I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a friendly competition amongst us. Segs and I are battling and chirp with each other a bit. Bergy isn’t too interested in that stuff, but it’s all in good fun. We like to have fun out there, especially when the team is winning the way we are. It’s easier to jump around and have some fun.

I thank everyone for the suggestions for a name for my line, but I wanted to throw this out there and get everyone’s reaction: Bru-Tang Clan. It’s almost like a copy of the Wu-Tang Clan. It’s just Bru because we’re like brothers. So what do you think?

Marchand diary: A Bruins gift list

December, 20, 2011
12/20/11
1:53
PM ET
Bruins forward Brad Marchand is keeping a diary for ESPNBoston.com this season. Here he has a special holiday version with his wish list for his teammates. -- As told to Louise K. Cornetta

Holiday shopping is tough. I never know what to get anyone. I don’t really need much this Christmas other than clothes, which are always a good gift. Maybe a new winter jacket would be nice. It’s really about all I need. Luckily most of my family and friends have already gotten anything they wanted that has to do with the Stanley Cup. I’m off the hook having to buy a ton of Stanley Cup gear for them. I’m going to head home and be with my family and relatives. Always nice to be home for the holidays. As I figure out what to get everyone for Christmas in my family, I thought it would also be fun to put together a holiday wish list for the Bruins.

Here goes...

-- For Horty [Nathan Horton] I wish for a new video game for him. He’s terrible at the one he’s playing right now. I think Santa should get him a nice Barney and Friends game.

-- [Adam] McQuaid should get the biggest present under the tree for being good. He’s always well behaved and very good. He deserves a nice gift.

-- A lump of coal goes to Tyler [Seguin] for sure. There’s no question about that. He’s always misbehaving.

-- The Red Sox got a new manager [Bobby Valentine]. My wish for them is to win a title and do as great as they possibly can.

-- NBA fans got their wish with basketball coming back Christmas Day. It’s great to have the Celtics back. Their return created a lot of buzz around the city. A lot of fans were missing their games. My wish for them is to have a big year and win another championship.

-- [Jordan] Caron I wish more game for him when he’s here and playing soccer with us in the hallway before games. He needs to work on his game when it comes to soccer.

-- A wish for myself is to be less messy. I definitely have the messiest look on this team.

-- Johnny [Boychuk], I wish for more rhythm. He’s always dancing, but he’s not the best dancer. Johnny could use a teacher.

-- To smile is my wish for Soupy [Gregory Campbell]. Soupy never smiles. He’s always cranky.

-- [Chris] Kelly should get more love. He’s on fire and playing great all over the ice. He deserves more love from the media.

-- Timmy [Thomas] could use a new hat. He wears the same one every day.

-- My wish for the fans is nice new Bruins shirts for everyone to say thank you for all the sellouts you’ve given us at home. They also deserve a big hug and pat on the back. We appreciate it.

-- My wish for the media is to stop asking me all the time, “Why is Tyler Seguin so good?”

-- Finally, for Z [Zdeno Chara], the man who has everything, I mean, what do you need when you make $7 million a year? He needs to give some money over to me, that’s what he needs!

Happy holidays!

Marchand diary: What a month!

December, 4, 2011
12/04/11
10:47
AM ET
Bruins winger Brad Marchand is keeping a diary for ESPNBoston.com this season. In this edition he discusses how the Bruins follow up their winning month of November, how he still needs help naming his line and why he doesn’t like a certain nickname> He also eveals something about teammate Tyler Seguin you probably did not know. -- As told to Louise K. Cornetta


I don’t think there is a way we can top November [Bruins went 12-0-1 in November]. It was a pretty good month for us. It was as close to perfect as you can get. We’re happy with how we came through. We didn’t play our best hockey in a lot of games but we got the job done when we had to. Good to see Timmy [Thomas] be named Player of the Month [NHL’s First Star] for November. He continues to prove himself. He continues to show why he won the Vezina last year and twice in three years. We wouldn’t have won last year if wasn’t for him. He’s following up that season again.

Now our goal is to keep going. We want to take it game by game and continue to build and play better hockey so we can keep winning some games here. We were really able to turn things around and make up a lot of ground. We knew we had to, but we also knew we had a really good team in the room. We just had to put it all together. Once we did that, we became the team that we can be. The past month was really fun. Guys were really enjoying themselves. Winning is the most fun thing that you can do. We were really enjoying every part of it and every moment. It does make coming to the rink a lot easier.

[+] EnlargeBrad Marchand
AP Photo/Charles KrupaNovember was a solid month for Marchand, who recorded 7 goals and 7 assists in 13 games.
Our winning streak came to an end when we lost in that shootout to the Red Wings. They have a lot of guys in their room who have a lot of experience. They play very strong two way hockey. They’ve won before and they know how to win. They compete every single night. They always make it hard to win and hard to play. They’re a very good team. As I said, we lost in a shootout to them. I really have no idea how we select the shootout lineups. Well, obviously, you go with guys who have a lot of skill and can score on breakaways. We do a lot of drills in practice for the shootout. As for me and whether I’d like to be in the shootout lineup, if I score, yes, and if I miss, no, would be my answer.

One of the highlights for the past month was playing the Sabres, which has become a bit of rivalry. Rivalries are always fun. They’re games you can get excited for. I know the fans always enjoy them and they’re always fun to be in. I know some stuff did escalate there. My opinion on Looch’s [Milan Lucic] hit on Ryan Miller is Looch was just trying to brace himself. It’s unfortunate that Miller got hurt. It’s good he’s back now. Anyway, the games were fun to be in and be part of for sure. Another highlight was the games against the Maple Leafs. I don’t know why we’ve been able to score so much against them. We seem to get a few lucky bounces and lucky goals at the right time. I thought they played better than we did this past Wednesday in Toronto though. They took it to us and seemed to have a lot more opportunities than we did. We just seemed to capitalize on the opportunities we did have.

The benching in the Devils game last month [Nov. 15] kind of woke me up. I knew I took a bad penalty there and they scored on it [in the second period]. That stuff happens. It’s not the first time I’ve been benched and it’s not going to be the last. All you have to do is come out and respond and show that you’ve learned something from it. You move on from there. Coach [Claude Julien] is definitely a player’s coach. He actually has a bit of every style of coaching. I mean, if he has something to say, he’ll let you know. At the same time, he likes to joke around with the guys a bit and have fun. He’s good at knowing when it’s time to joke around and when it’s time for business. When we were losing a bit there to start to the season, he wasn’t too hard on us. He knew we were going to turn it around. He had a lot of confidence in us. He’s very good at reading guys and reading situations and knowing how to react. I bet you’re surprised to hear that he has quite a sense of humor. I also heard back in the day, he was pretty tough out there on the ice. Yup, that’s what I heard.

I know there has been talk about my line and how we’ve been clicking. We have a lot of speed. Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] and Segs [Tyler Seguin] have a lot of skill and are very easy to play with. We’re just able to find each other and know where each other is going to be and make some plays. I’m trying to think what I can tell you about my linemates that you might not already know. For Bergy, he is one of only a few players in the League that has an Olympic Gold Medal, a Stanley Cup, and a World Junior Championship. For Tyler, he’s a mama’s boy. How do I know? I’ve witnessed it first-hand. Thanks for all the suggestions to name our line. I liked “The Youngsters” but still think we can find something to top that. Please keep the suggestions coming in with the comments for my diary.

I’ve talked about my nicknames in this diary and elsewhere before but there is one nickname I want to stop and really don’t like: Marshmont. The way it originated was disrespectful. I just don’t like it. You have someone trying to make a nickname for you and it’s something you don’t like. It’s disrespecting my last name. How it came about was a guy went on local radio last season saying I shouldn’t even be on the team and stuff like that. I don’t like it and people should respect that. I don’t [like] that people who have never met me before or don’t know me think that they can decide my nickname. Nicknames that I do like are Marchey, March [both pronounced with a “sh”]. Squirrel I don’t mind, that’s kind of taken off a bit. One that I don’t mind from hearing around is Nose Face and stuff like that. That one has kind of taken off and I don’t mind that one.

Alright, onto a different topic. I was really happy to see Pevs [Rich Peverley] get that three year deal. Pevs is awesome. He’s a great guy on and off the ice. He’s very skilled, a very fast player. He’s very good at reading the ice. He seems to be very calm and confident with the puck. He’s having a great year so far. Pevs is a big part of this team.

Coming up next, we have a bunch of games in a short amount of time, including the Penguins. Good to see Sidney Crosby back on the ice. He’s the poster boy of the League. He brings a lot of people in to watch games. He brings hockey a lot of attention. We need him on the ice. It’s great to see him back. He’s a very exciting player. You don’t ever want to see a guy like that or anyone in general to be sidelined because of an injury or a concussion. It’s great to have him back.

After the New Year, we have our Stanley Cup Finals rematch against Vancouver. There is a lot of hype around this game. I was told recently that this game was the first one sold out when tickets for this season went on sale. There will be a lot of hype and a lot of people watching that game. Game 7 was obviously a big moment for us and tough one for them. They’re going to want to get some redemption and we’re going to want to show why we won. It’s going to be a big game.

I’m going to do a special diary later this month with my own personal Holiday Wish List for this team so keep an eye out for that and enjoy your holidays!

Diary: Busting slump; fighting agitator urge

November, 13, 2011
11/13/11
5:50
PM ET
Bruins forward Brad Marchand is keeping a diary for ESPNBoston.com this season. In his latest entry, he discusses how the refs have influenced the change in his style of play, what the first six weeks of the season has been like, how you might have seen him out trick or treating and what really happened to his beloved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle hat. -- As told to Louise K. Cornetta

Getting over the Cup hangover


The start of the season has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. We were very excited to come back to town. The town was still pretty hyped up about us winning the Stanley Cup. The Cup was around, we had our ring ceremony and it was a very exciting time. Then we got on the ice and things were a little disappointing. We didn't have the start we wanted to and it was a little frustrating. Now the mood has all changed. Everyone is excited to be here. We're trying to do whatever we can do to fix the slow start and we’ve now won five straight.

Coming into the season, we heard a lot about having a Cup hangover. Everyone hypes it up so badly that it doesn't matter how you're feeling. They almost put the pressure on you and make you feel like there is going to be one by drilling it into your head. We tried our best to keep it away from the dressing room but we did have a slow start. A lot of people wrote us off after the slow start and were calling for people to get traded and whatnot. It was a bit of a hectic time. We knew we had to change things around. We still had a lot of time to do that. We did dig ourselves a hole but if we regrouped and got on a roll, we could get back into a playoff position. We have been able to turn things around lately. We still have some work to do but we've taken a couple steps forward.

Everyone seems a little more focused now. At the start of the year, there were a lot of distractions. The Cup was still in town and we had a lot of different functions and things we were doing with the Cup. It seems like now, we are more worried about our game and focused on how we have to play and doing what we have to do to win. Coach Claude Julien has said having a strong shift after either scoring a goal or giving one up is important. If you score a goal and have a great shift to follow, you really build a lot of momentum and get the crowd into it. A number of times this year, we've scored goals on back-to-back shifts. It just seems like we are putting a big emphasis on having a big shift after a goal. If a team scores against you and then has a big shift, it really takes the wind out of your sails. It's a bit of a crusher. So it's big for either team.

Another factor in how we've been playing better is the top line has been on fire right now. All three of them are such a big part of this team. We build a lot of energy and emotion off their line. They're so dominant when they're on the ice and playing their game. With Horty (Nathan Horton) and Looch (Milan Lucic), they're such big strong guys that they are very hard to defend against. David Krejci is so still that the three of them out there are huge for our team and we need them.

Tyler Seguin has been playing on my line and has made a difference. He's a great player and is playing very well this year. He's very fast, very skilled and great with the puck. He's just so good with the puck. He makes things happen. He creates something out of nothing. You just have to be ready at all times for a pass. He has so much speed. He's always in the open. He just seems to be able to beat defenseman to the net and get open for an opportunity. He's able to create a lot out there.

My line with Segs and Bergy (Patrice Bergeron) is clicking really well right now. We hope to keep this going. You know, my line doesn't have a name right now like the Energy Line does. Maybe we should come up with one. If you have a suggestion, send it my way (leave it in the comments section). Getting back to Segs, on Thursday the media and fans hyped up more than we did the whole Taylor (Hall) vs. Tyler thing when we played the Oilers. No one in our dressing room jokes about or pays attention to that. It was just a draft. Obviously, they are both great young players with bright futures. I'm very happy that Segs is here and we got him. He's going to be a part of this team for a long time.

We have had some guys banged up lately: Andrew Ference, Pevy (Rich Peverley), Steven Kampfer and Daniel Paille. We have a lot of depth on our team and it's showing right now. When guys are injured, other guys are stepping up. We just have to deal with it. You have to know this is going to happen throughout the season. Guys are going to have to step up at certain times and that's what is happening right now. Paille got that slapshot to the face and I've had that happen to me. I fractured my orbital bone and my nose. It was actually a guy on my own team who did it! It was in Providence and I took a shot from Zach Hamill. It was in practice too, which made it a little worse. I made him buy me dinner for the next three weeks.

Trying to fight the agitator urge


I want to talk a little about my position. I am a left wing. I haven't played center in a long time. I am very comfortable playing the wing. Center has a lot more responsibility. They're down low in our end. The left and right winger cover their points on the left or right side of the ice. The centerman, he has to play down low and is a bit of a rover. You're around the puck a lot more but you have to work a little harder. It really only matters in your end and off the faceoff, but in the offensive end it's kind of a free for all.

I've talked in my diary before about being less of an agitator and more of an all-around player, but I want to get into that a little more. It's been a little tough to do this. Being an agitator was a big part of my game. Sometimes I need to do that to get me into games a little more and get myself more involved. It's just a way to be more effective when things aren't going well. Right now, it seems like the refs are keeping a close eye on me and I can't do that nearly as much. I get a warning at the start of every game. The second they see me even look at a guy, they say, "You watch it” or “You do anything, we're going to throw you in the box for 10." The threat of a 10-minute misconduct is tough. I really don't want to sit in the box for that long. It's tougher to get away from it a bit, but it's nice to just be able to focus on playing hockey and being a better player.

It's not easy though. Being an agitator just comes out of me at times. I don't even mean to do it. It's just how I am. It's reactionary. It's tough to get away from it at times. Because the refs are on me and watching me, I can't really do anything even if there have been times when guys come at me. I just kind of talk back to them and that's it but then the ref still comes at me. That has been a little frustrating even though it's understandable because they are trying to keep the game calm. This year my only major fight has been with the Canadiens’ P.K. Subban. We won a gold medal at World Juniors together. He had a big hit on me toward the end of last year. I think it's played up a little more than what it really is. This is all a part of the game and we're both just trying to help our teams. Other than that, there hasn't been much because the refs are keeping a close eye.

The kind of player I want to be is strong defensively and be accountable. I want the coach to know he can count on me to be put into the game at any time. I want to be physical. Basically, I want the ability to play on any line up and down the lineup. I want to be counted on for energy, to be physical and to score goals is the role I want to play. I just want to be able to do all that. Look, I know in the playoffs that the fans really enjoyed the shots and the dirty stuff and they embraced me because of it. There is definite added pressure because of that. I don't want to let them down but at the same time, I don't want to do things that are going to cost my team on the ice. It's kind of a double-edged sword.

Part of my game is planting myself in front of the net. It's a little tough to do especially when you're a little guy and you're battling guys in front who are 6-foot-3. It's very tough. They're trying to push you out of the way. You just have to try and sneak your way in and out of there. You watch guys like Daniel Briere of the Flyers who is one of the best scorers in the league. Pretty much all of his goals are right around in front of the net. That's where most of the goals are scored in the NHL and that's where you have to be.

Have I heard people say I am going to suffer a sophomore slump? Yes, I heard the talk because any time a guy has a decent first year, people are going to say he's going to suffer a sophomore slump. You just have to worry about what you have to do to not make that happen. It's a little frustrating when things aren't going well. But it's a very long year and there are going to be ups, like getting two goals last Thursday, and downs. That's just the game of hockey, making sure you don't get too high or too low.

Here and there


For those wondering, since we retired the Bruins '80s windbreaker that we gave to the player of a game we won, we have not replaced it. That's more of a playoff thing. We'll find something when the time comes. In the meantime, the boys have been having fun with Movember (a moustache growing campaign to raise money awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer) and trying to grow mustaches. I decided to do the mustache and goatee combo. My prediction for the best ones will be Thorty (Shawn Thornton), who got a jump on things with the handlebars going there. Bergy has a nice dark one and Timmy (Tim Thomas) has a dirty little stache on him too. Between those three, one of them will be the best.

Holidays are coming up and we just had Halloween. You may have seen me dressed up as Prince Charming when I paid a visit to Children's Hospital. I didn't really have a choice in the matter. We were given our costumes. For actual Halloween, I went out trick or treating for a bit. I went with my girlfriend and her brother and a couple of her friends. I went as Woody from Toy Story. I rocked the cowboy outfit. The hat I was wearing made it that no one recognized me. I like my Peanut M&M's and got a few of those. I was pretty jacked.

The best costume I’ve ever had was being Leonardo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Leonardo was always my favorite. It's true that I am a huge fan. To this day I still love them. Just the other day, I watched their movie again. It's something I grew up loving. I thought they were pretty cool and it stuck with me. You might remember last year, I'd wear a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle hat, but that got tossed. Guys decided they didn't like it too much. I came in one day and it was in the garbage can. I had to leave it.

Next up is Thanksgiving. Us Canadians who are down here have the perfect situation. We get to celebrate the Canadian one and then we celebrate the American one. We get two Thanksgivings each year. Stuffing for me takes the cake. I love stuffing and it gets me every time. For dessert, it doesn't matter the time of year because it's always apple crisp with ice cream. I'll be begging for some of that. We'll be home this year. So I'll go down to my girlfriend's place and have dinner down there for the day and relax. I can tell you the cooking will be done by anybody but me. I don't really care who does the cooking, just as long as there is food. Then the next day we have our Black Friday game in the afternoon against Detroit. I think it's cool the NHL is looking to market the game. Any way we can build a fan base and get people to watch the game is big for the sport. It should be exciting.

Marchand diary: On nicknames, pregame routines and much more

October, 9, 2011
10/09/11
11:02
PM ET
Bruins forward Brad Marchand is keeping a diary for ESPNBoston.com all season. What was the best part of raising the banner? How will they move on now? Why won't he be so much of a pest this season? Those are some of the questions, the guy his teammates call "Squirrel," discusses. -- As told to Louise K. Cornetta)

Opening night was awesome. There were a lot of emotions going on. All the guys were feeling excited and I enjoyed seeing how amazing it was for each and every one of us. We were told beforehand what we were going to do but to actually go through it was a lot more exciting than what we pictured. To be there in front of our crowd and to be able to lift the Cup on home ice was a really special time. The big thing that hit me was when [Andrew] Ference gave Rex [Mark Recchi] the jacket [Editor's note: Late last season Andrew Ference bought an 80's Bruins windbreaker on eBay for $35 that the MVP of each winning game would receive] and how emotional that was for Rex, being able to see that was pretty cool.

The ring we all received is unbelievable. It's almost too big to wear. I can't even close my finger when it's on because it's so big. It was incredible and came out a lot better than I thought it would. You think about what it might look like but when you see it…The ring was amazing. I won't wear mine out because it's too big to wear and too flashy for me. I'll break it out just for special occasions.

[+] EnlargeBruins
AP Photo/Steven SenneTyler Seguin and Brad Marchand show off their championship rings.
They even engraved our playoff slogan into the ring: "Full 60+ to History." What that means to us is that we have to play a full 60 minute game. We have to have our best effort every time we're on the ice. If we do that then we can win the Stanley Cup and go down in history. 60+ means sometimes you play a 60 minute game and sometimes you have overtime. It really symbolizes that we have to play our best every minute we are out there.

Look at our Opening Night game against the Flyers. We had one moment where we lapsed at the very end of the first period and allowed two goals. If you have a lapse in a one minute or five minute or ten minute stretch it can cost you the game and that one lapse ultimately did cost us that first game. Those lapses are something we did not want to do in the playoffs last year. I was fortunate to get the first goal of our new year. It's always good to get that first one out of the way. Last year it took me 10 games and it took me 20 the year before. I'm happy not to have to worry about it now. The goal was on the power play. The power play is something that we are hoping to improve. The biggest thing is we need to create a little more offense from it just by shooting pucks at the net and movement around the zone. If we do that then hopefully we'll be a little more successful.

Before we turn the page on this Stanley Cup season, I wanted to let you know what I did with my day with the Cup. My day happened during Hurricane Irene. The night before my day with it, I was with my family, a couple of buddies and my trainer in Halifax. We took a big limo for three and a-half hours to go pick up the Cup at about five in the morning. Because of Hurricane Irene, we were a little worried it wouldn't be able to make it over a bridge to where we are. So we drove over and picked it up at five in the morning, drove back and went immediately to my family's house. We took some pictures and that's where I ate cereal out of the Cup. I went to Children's Hospital for a little bit, had a little parade then there was a little proclamation in the city. There was a big gathering for that. We then took it to the rink where I used to play hockey. We then had a couple hours with it alone at the house to kind of hang out and have supper. We then had a little party to end the night. It was a good time with the Cup but it flew by.

So I mentioned turning the page now that the banner ceremony is over. That has been the big topic of discussion as of late. We don't want to focus too much on what we accomplished last year. It's a new year. If we worry about that too much, it's really going to affect our game. We're going to get caught up in it. Obviously, we can take a lot from it and take the experience and realize what it took to get there, but we do have to let it go and we're ready to go for this year now.

We know it is going to be tough with every opponent wanting to beat the reigning Stanley Cup Champions. Even last year when we played Chicago, who had won the previous year's Cup, we knew playing the champs was a way to gauge our team and see how we match up against Stanley Cup Champions. If you are able to beat them then you feel like you have a shot at winning the Cup. Everyone gets up more for those games and teams are really amped up to play against us. We realize that's just the way it's going to be this year. We have to make sure we're prepared for that and able to take on that task because every game is going to be a battle.

Trying to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions is so tough nowadays because every team is so competitive. Every team on any given night can beat anyone. So many things have to go right to win it. You look at last year's team and so many guys got injured or there was suspensions and stuff. Everything has to kind of line up perfectly. So few teams are actually able to go through that and have the guys who are willing to sacrifice their bodies every single night in order to win. It's very tough.

Usually after a team wins the Stanley Cup they have a lot guys leave. We're very fortunate where most of our team is still intact. We do have a few new guys who are all great players and bring a lot to the table. We're all going through this together and we're able to have another shot at it together. We're all very excited about it. I think having this team still pretty much together is a big thing for us.

I think being at home so much to start the season is huge. Being at home and trying to get some momentum is really big and being able to use our crowd in our home city, we have such a great fan base that we should be able to get some momentum to start the season off. We hope to build momentum and feed off the energy of our crowd and carry that over into our games. It's great to start the season home a lot. Hopefully we are able to use this to our advantage.

As for me, I wanted to talk a little about my style of play, which is to be able to have an overall game where I bring a little offense and am strong defensively as well as bring a lot of energy. I try to be a bit of pest, I guess, at times. I was more trying to play that role last year when I was trying to get on the team and make a name for myself. Now that I'm here, I want to focus more on being an overall player. I'm most proud of having the ability to score over anything else. It's definitely the most fun part of the game and something everyone enjoys. I'd also say I have an emotional style of play which comes from parents. My dad was a very emotional hockey player. He's very gritty and a hard working guy. I get that a lot from him. My mom is a little lippy. I get that from her.

I am someone who has a lot of nicknames. Squirrel is the one that sticks out right now. Squirrel is what the guys have been calling me. It started a few years ago when I played in Providence. We were in the playoffs in Hersey and during the national anthem it was very quiet, no one was saying anything. Some guy from the crowd shouted, "Marchand, you're a squirrel." Word of that made its way up to here and it has stuck.

What else about me might you want to know about? Well, I definitely have a pregame routine. Mine actually starts the night before. I always go to the Cheesecake Factory the night before a game. I eat the same meal which is penne with meat sauce. I then go to bed about 9:30-9:45. The next morning, I get up and have a bowl of Cheerios. I go to the rink at the same time. After that, I always go to the Cheesecake Factory again and have penne with meat sauce. I go home and play Call of Duty for an hour. I'll go to bed from 2:30 to 3:30. I then get up and watch MTV Jams for a bit and watch music videos. I go to Dunkin Donuts and get myself a coffee at 4:20. I get to the rink about 4:30. Then I put all my gear on right side of my body first! I could go on and on about all this.

My best buddies on the team are Quaid [Adam McQuaid], [Tyler] Seguin, and [Greg] Campbell. They're the single guys who are my closest buddies. The vets I go to the most for advice are Soupy, that's Greg Campbell or [Shawn] Thornton when I have a question. I don't have a roommate at home but on the road it's always McQuaid. He's a really good roommate. On the bus, we sit beside each other all the time and on the plane and then we're roommates. We have a good thing going. He can do his thing and I do mine and it just kind of connects well. If he bugs me, I let him know and if I bug him, he lets me know. Plus, he doesn't snore. Though I'm usually sleeping before he is, so I don't really know.

What's been happening on the ice? Well, I think my new line with the addition of [Rich] Peverley to Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] and me is going well. We seem to have quite a few chances to score and seem to be connecting a little bit more in practice now. We have a lot of great assets on our line. If we can put it all together we can be pretty dangerous. Other things happening on the ice are there is talk about Timmy [Thomas] getting a few more breathers this year in net. Timmy had an incredible year last year. He played a lot, especially going down the stretch. Tuukka [Rask] looks like he's in great shape this year. He looks strong and like he wants to get in there. It should be big for both of them to get some rest, but we'll see how it all plays out. One other note, Jordan Caron made the team. He's a very solid overall player. He works hard. He's easy to play with and is a great addition to our team. He's a great guy off the ice too!

We had an unusual situation with our second alternate captain this season since Rex is no longer here to wear the A. You don’t see to often sharing the A where Andy [Ference] wears it for home games and [Chris] Kelly on road then midway through the season they switch. I think it's a good idea. We have a lot of great leaders in this room and it's a way to share it. Ference is a very good leader off the ice. He can take control of a room. Kel is very passionate about the game. He steps up in a lot of situations. He stepped up huge last year in the playoffs. You can see what kind of leaders both guys are. Wearing the A shows a sense of leadership. You are someone the guys can look to. It's a big responsibilty. You are expected to do certain things like talk to coaches and referees. When you have the A on your jersey, you're expected to portray yourself in a certain way. We have great guys, who are great leaders, wearing it. Guys that we all look to lead the way.

Some leadership building and teamwork took place when we had a team bonding trip in Maine right before the season. We did a bunch of activities where we worked together as a group trying to overcome different obstacles. It was a time to get away and be by ourselves. It's been so hectic around the city. When we are in town, it always seems like there is so much to do, you know, with families and everything. This was a chance for us to be alone and be together. There was one thing we did at the end where we built a raft. A bunch of different groups built rafts and then raced across a little pond. A bunch of guys ended up falling in, which was pretty funny. I did not fall in but it was a good time.

I know the way the Red Sox went out this year was a tough way to go. I believe teamwork wins championships. If you look at our team last year, we didn't really have any super stars. Obviously, Timmy had a great season last year and is an unbelievable goalie. But we don't have a Sidney Crosby or Alexander Ovechkin, we just have a very hard working team. Everyone knows their role and does it very well. Everyone has kind of bought into the system and I think that’s why we won. A lot of teams had better teams than us, we just had better chemistry. Everyone wanted to do the job and did it 110%. I think that is why we won last year.

Marchand diary: On offseason, expectations for 2011-12 and more

September, 24, 2011
9/24/11
5:52
PM ET
Boston Bruins center Brad Marchand will be keeping a diary for ESPNBoston.com this season. In his first entry, Brad talks about his favorite memories since winning the Stanley Cup, what his expectations are for his second full season, and explains what went wrong with his Stanley Cup tattoo. -- As told to Louise K. Cornetta

A year ago, I came in to Bruins camp and had no idea if I was even going to be on the team. I was very nervous about training camp. Every day was a battle. I was battling just to make the team, the 13-man roster [at forward], just to be that extra guy. It's a completely different situation for me right now. It's also nice not to be one of the rookies on this team anymore. As a rookie you have to do stuff like pick up the pucks after practice, be the last one off the plane, last ones on the plane, pay for dinner and stuff like that. Tyler [Seguin] and I had to do a lot of that all last season. He and I are very close. We get along very well. He's a lot of fun to be around. We're a couple of young guys who clicked early on, especially being rookies last year together. We have a lot of fun together. I think he's a great kid.

It's awesome to be back on the ice and playing some preseason games. I love getting back here, the start to the season, the feeling you get when you're back in your first game. You're always very excited. Friday against the Islanders felt just like the playoffs again. I was very happy. I had a goal, which is always nice to get a few points early in the preseason. It helps get your confidence up. It felt good and hopefully they keep coming. I played on a line with Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] and [Rich] Peverley. It's awesome playing with them. I love playing with Bergy. We play very well together and just seem to find each other on the ice. Pev's fit in great. He seems to complement us really well and vice versa. It was a lot of fun and we had great chemistry Friday night.

It was good to see Z [Zdeno Chara] back out there after he hurt his knee. [Editor’s note: Chara was hit in the knee with a puck during practice earlier in the week]. He's huge for us. He's our captain, our leader. When he's on the ice, we all follow him. Same goes in the dressing room, he's our leader. It was a little nerve-wracking when he went off the ice there. But he's fine now and we're happy to have him out there. Another guy who is about ready to be back is Horty [Nathan Horton]. What happened to him with his concussion [during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals] was very disturbing. We were obviously very worried about what happened to him in the playoffs. He's been practicing with us and seems great. I think we're being very cautious right now just to make sure he has that little extra time. But he looks great and he's looking very good on the ice. I'm very happy that everything is going good with him.

We have some new rules with no boarding and no hits to the head. I think having these new rules just makes guys more aware. If making dangerous hits results in big suspensions, then that's just another reason you don't want that to happen. You want to give yourself the best opportunity to play and be in the games. You have to kind of watch what you do a little more now. But I definitely think these are great rules to put into place.

[+] EnlargeBrad Marchand
Dave Sandford/Getty ImagesMarchand celebrates with the Stanley Cup after the Bruins won Game 7 in Vancouver.
I can't do this first diary without mentioning winning the Stanley Cup. The biggest memory I have of winning the Cup is the last minute of Game 7. I was on the bench and everyone was celebrating. We knew we were going to win. We had it in the bag. We were running back and forth, giving each other hugs and hugging the trainers and coaches. The excitement on the guys' faces counting down the last minute was unbelievable. A lot of people who know hockey know these are the hardest playoff series to go through of any sport. It is so grueling on the body and the mind. It's two months of just battling day in and day out. Guys are injured. People don't realize guys are willing to sacrifice their bodies and the pain they're willing to go through just to have that opportunity to win. It's crazy. It really takes a toll on your body, but it's definitely worth it in the end.

People say I had a good playoffs. I don't know how I was able to lift my game. Playoff time, I just love it so much. It's when you want to play. It's when you want to be on the ice, especially playing for the Stanley Cup. It's what we wanted our whole lives. It's what we've always dreamed about. Having that opportunity, you're willing to have to do anything to win. It got to me and I was excited to play every game.

After we won, we obviously went a little excessive the first couple of weeks. That's all it was though, a week or two of fun. Now it's time to get back to business. We accomplished our dream and our lifelong goal. We went a little overboard. We'll know better for next time. One of my favorite memories after we won was Cup day in Boston was pretty amazing. I was in awe when we were on the parade and I saw the amount of people who came out. That was unbelievable. It's kind of weird now how much the media has followed our every move since we won. It's a little frustrating at times. People seem to want to try and knock you down after you have the opportunity to win and become successful. I guess that's how it goes and you have to watch what you do a little more.

The fans of Boston are unbelievable. Everywhere we go, they're so happy and proud of us. They let us know how much our winning the Stanley Cup means to them. A lot of people come up to me and say they can now die happy because we won. It shows how much people have been waiting for this moment. It's pretty special being around here right now. The best fan encounter I've had since winning just happened the other day. I thought this was funny. A pregnant woman came up to me. She had this Bruins shirt she had been wearing for two weeks trying to get all of the guys to sign it. I thought that was pretty cool. She was like eight months pregnant.

Let me clear something up. After we won, a bunch of us got tattoos here in the dressing room of the Garden. Mine originally was misspelled. Instead of saying Stanley Cup Champions it said Stanley Cup Champians. I don't even know how that happened. After I got it, I came in the room and someone was like it says champians ... with an a. So I went back and the tattoo guy fixed it after that. It's fixed now. It never said Starley either, not sure how that rumor got started. It’s Stanley. They obviously knew how to spell Stanley Cup. The only thing that was wrong with it was an a and he turned it into an o for champions.

Now we're in the middle of camp. My expectation coming in was that I want to improve, which is probably the same as all the other guys. I want to improve my game wherever I can, continue to grow and improve on each season. All I want to do is to continue to get better. We have a great team again this year. We have a great opportunity to be able to go far in the playoffs. Obviously, we want to win and hope to win, but we have a lot of work to do. I haven't set any goals for myself this year. I just want to improve on last year and get better. I want to make sure I bring my energy level every game and make sure I'm consistent.

I wasn't really worried about getting a contract done before training camp started. [Editor's note: Marchand signed a two-year, $5 million deal.] Both parties really wanted to be done before camp and not have to worry about it the first day of camp. We were able to get something done before and we're both happy with it. How can I not be happy? They were very generous. You know what was funny? [Dennis] Seidenberg was the first guy to text me congratulations. Except, he texted me five minutes after I signed. So I have no idea how he heard so fast. It was kind of weird. I didn't celebrate the signing really. I just went out to dinner with a couple of the guys. It's not really a time to celebrate right now. I'm not even going to really splurge on anything. Well, I did buy a house this summer. So now maybe I can pay it off.

Opening night is October 6. The banner raising is going to be pretty cool. But I am really excited to see the crowd, it's going to be wild. The way they were in the playoffs last year was just unbelievable. I expect them to be even louder that night. It's going to be a lot of fun to see the crowd that night. The only way to top last year is to try and do it again. Obviously, we were very fortunate last year to win in my first year. I guess, the only way to follow it up is to win another. So, I guess that's the goal again this year.

Everyone always seems to like to know if we root for the other Boston sports teams. I definitely believe in supporting all the Boston teams. Obviously the Patriots are a great team again this year. We're watching closely right now as the Red Sox battle. They're in a tight spot right now but they'll prevail. They will make the playoffs.

SPONSORED HEADLINES