Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Marchand OK with being hated

Categories: Boston Bruins, VAN vs. BOS, Vancouver Canucks

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Brad Marchand of Boston upends Daniel Sedin behind the Vancouver net late in Game 4 as Cory Schneider looks on. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press) Brad Marchand of Boston upends Daniel Sedin behind the Vancouver net late in Game 4 as Cory Schneider looks on. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

If there was a Game 4 goal that highlighted everything the Boston Bruins have been executing correctly, it was Brad Marchand's second-period strike to make it 3-0. It took place during 4-on-4 following matching minors to Rich Peverley (cross-checking) and Vancouver defenceman (and former Bruin) Andrew Alberts for slashing.

The play started when Dennis Seidenberg pinched down the right-side wall on the forecheck against Henrik Sedin. Seidenberg got in Sedin's face just enough that the Vancouver captain hurried his clearing chip off the boards. The puck caromed to the middle, where Zdeno Chara, who was retreating into the neutral zone, turned to hold the offensive blue-line.

Then, in the same motion, Chara backhanded a dump into the left corner for Marchand to chase down. Chara had to rush his dump because Kevin Bieksa was on his tail.

"As soon as I saw the puck wasn't going as strong as it probably should have, I was close enough to be able to keep it in the zone and put it back in the corner where I saw [Marchand] was going," Chara said. "It was more trying to keep the puck in the zone than making any play. When you're so close to the blue line and you have one of their players on your back, you don't want to lose it. Just trying to keep the puck in the zone."

Keith Ballard got to Chara's dump first. But Marchand closed the gap and dumped Ballard behind the net. Henrik Sedin gained control of the puck, but Patrice Bergeron came in on the forecheck to force another turnover. After Ballard and Sedin failed to clear the puck, it bobbled out front to Marchand. Before Roberto Luongo could set himself, Marchand lifted a backhand shot high glove to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead. Alain Vigneault called his timeout after the goal.

"We continued to pressure," Daniel Paille said. "We focused on getting the puck deep and winning the battles. It was nice to see us play consistent throughout the whole game."

Marchand agitating Canucks

It isn't just opponents calling Marchand bad names. Marchand himself acknowledges playing like a rodent.

"It's helped my game to try and be a bit of a rat out there," Marchand said. "It's tough riding that line between a penalty I shouldn't have taken, and that was obviously right. You want to stay on the line and try to play that way."

Marchand scored the game's third goal. But he was also involved in a third-period ruckus that led to a Vancouver power play.

While chasing the puck in the offensive zone, Marchand got his arm around Christian Ehrhoff and dragged him to the ice. Penalty No. 1 (holding). Then when Daniel Sedin came hurtling at him, Marchand ducked and vaulted the left wing into the air. Penalty No. 2 (tripping). All that brought Ballard calling with gloves off. Marchand, who had lost one of his gloves during his brush with Ehrhoff, dropped his other mitt and engaged Ballard. Penalty No. 3 (roughing).

As Marchand was directed off the ice, the agitator brushed his hands in the universal my-work-here-is-done manner while skating past the benches.

"I get pulled back a lot," said the hot-headed Marchand. "But it's how I have to play to be effective."

Late in the regular season, Marchand was chided by Claude Julien. Marchand mimicked swinging a golf club in front of the Toronto bench.

Depth players pitch in

Gregory Campbell is Boston's fourth-line center and penalty-killing ace. For the first three games, Julien has tabbed Campbell for occasional energy shifts during even-strength situations and for shorthanded duties.

In Game 4, Campbell emerged as the up-front workhorse. Campbell pllayed 18:05, most of any Boston forward. Campbell played 6:17 on the penalty kill.

"Gregory has been a great penalty-killer because he's willing to block shots," Julien said. "You get a second and third effort from him all the time."

Because of Campbell's workload in Game 4, Julien was able to spell his high-end forwards. Milan Lucic played only 14:54. Michael Ryder skated 12:36. It could be a crucial factor heading into Game 5 tomorrow, given the cross-country flight and the quick turnaround between matches.