BOSTON -- Typically after a game or two in a series, Brad Marchand starts to wear on the opposition so much so that they begin to either use the word hate to describe the antagonizing Boston Bruins left wing or at least show their frustration with him through their on-ice reactions.
So, heading into Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), the question posed to Marchand was this:
Do the Chicago Blackhawks hate you yet?
"I don't know," Marchand answered. "You'd have to ask them."
And so we did, first to Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.
Do you hate Brad Marchand yet?
"I'm not going to comment on that," Toews said. "I'll just let it be."
But then he didn't. After taking a breath, Toews continued answering the question.
"He's doing his job," Toews said. "We know the style of hockey he wants to play and we're not going to buy into the antics and the things he wants to try to pull on us out there. That's the best way to control a player like that, I guess."
So far, Toews is on point, the Blackhawks have not seemed agitated by Marchand. But could that be more of what Marchand isn't doing than what the Blackhawks are trying to avoid?
"I haven't really tried to do a whole lot, I'm just trying to play the game," Marchand said. "Everyone is so caught up in trying to antagonize guys and stuff like that, it doesn't just happen like that. It comes with the game and you have to react to different situations."
Perhaps that situation could arise Monday night. Perhaps Game 3 at TD Garden is when and where Marchand will really start to get under the Blackhawks skin.
That's what happened in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final and the Vancouver Canucks were far worse off because of it, falling into a trap that led to back-to-back losses in the Bruins' home building by a combined 12-1 score.
"We try not to worry about that stuff and if it does happen, just skate away, get away from him," Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane said. "I think you've seen it in the first two games, we've done a good job of not really mixing it up."