The Boston Bruins were clearly frustrated by Tampa Bay's ability to shackle their offense Saturday in the 5-2 loss in game 1 of the eastern Conference Finals at TD Garden.
Nobody, however, wore his anger more openly than the always combustible Brad Marchand.
In the second period, Marchand exploded in rage for everyone to see. In the midst of a frustrating evening that would see him finish with no shots and a minus-2 rating, Marchand shattered his stick, taking to healthy whacks to make the stick finally crack.
"It wasn't good enough the first time I did it, so I had to do it again," he said of his stick-swinging exploits. "I had a lot of frustration built up. I wanted to be a factor out there and it wasn't happen and it just got to me."
That, however, can't happen at this stage of the playoffs. You can't give another team the satisfaction of seeing frustration take hold. It is a sight that will merely embolden the opponent to do more of the same, knowing that it has tangible results.
According to coach Claude Julien, the outburst has already been addressed.
"That's something we don't like to see and we don't want to see; but he is a first-year player, he is a rookie and he is certainly learning," Julien said. He is going to be the first one to tell you that he is learning as he goes along here. And you can't allow yourself to get frustrated; you have to battle through things. We just showed a little bit of frustration and I'm sure you are not going to see that again.
Julien was not the only one delivering that message. Many of Boston's vets were doing the same, talking to some of the younger Bruins during and after the game.
"It's pretty early to be frustrated," Boston defenseman Andrew Ference said Sunday. "It's just wasted energy. It's addressed right away by whoever is sitting beside them, definitely in the lockerroom afterwards. It's not about showing emotion. You can have emotion, have fire and be mad about things; but in the playoffs – especially this far in – you have to know how to direct your energy and use it wisely. If you are yelling at Refs or slapping things around, you're not using your resources wisely."
Marchand, for one says he got the message loud and clear.
"I was a little frustrated there, and I reacted in a way that I shouldn't have," Marchand said Sunday "It was selfish and it brought a lot of negative energy to the team at the wrong point. (Claude) recognized that. He's upset about that because he knows I'm better than that. He knows that I can control my emotions better than that. I can't be getting off my game. I need to be getting teams off their games."