HALIFAX, Nova Scotia --
The Bruins are the "home" team in tonight's first of a home and home series with the Montreal Canadiens and while the Black & Gold won't be in Nova Scotia for very long, Brad Marchand
should feel quite comfortable in front of close friends and family from nearby Hammonds Plains.
|Marchand brought the Cup to Halifax in August. |
"I told everyone to get their own tickets," joked Marchand before the B's left for Canada. "I'll probably have a good crew -- my family, some friends. I'll be fun."
The B's have an excellent following in the Canadian Maritimes, and judging by the response when Marchand brought the Stanley Cup to Halifax in August, tonight the Bruins might just see a few more spoked-B's in the crowd.
Marchand, for one, is excited to be back.
"It was awesome," said the sophomore, who has a very secure spot on the roster - a departure from the last time he played an exhibition here in Nova Scotia. "It's a different situation now.
"I was very young and stil trying to crack the lineup and everything. And I really didn't have a [good] showing that night, so hopefully tonight can be a little better."
Boston Bruins Head Coach has seen Marchand's contribution's grow as quickly as his reputation as an agitator. However, the B's bench boss says there's more to "Marshy" than being a shift disturber.
"He’s also been one of those guys that have scored some big goals and made some big plays that allowed us to win," said Julien. "You can even think about his shorthanded goal he scored here against Vancouver that was a big goal for us at the time.
"So there's those kind of things [too]," added Julien. "He has an impact on games in different ways at different times.
"It’s not an easy job to be able to maintain that, but that’s what he’s got to do."
And like the rest of his Stanley Cup Champion teammates, Marchand has had to quickly refocus on the task at hand.
"If we don’t have our players focused properly, it could be a tough year for us," said Marchand. "So we need those guys to understand that and I think he’s understood it.
"His purpose on the ice has been of working hard and I liked his game against the [New York] Islanders. With that [of Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Rich Peverley] they seem to be clicking pretty well.
"So tonight’s another challenge for him. He’s in his hometown and he gets an opportunity here to show us that he’s going to stay focused on what he does best and he’s not going to try to get out of his element."
Marchand admitted that it is nice to be playing near home.
"It's like 15-minutes away, but I spend probably more time in Halifax than I do at home, so it's a lot of fun there - I love it."