|Boston Bruins center Brad Marchand, left, shoots as Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price makes the save in the first period of a first-round NHL hockey playoff game in Boston, Thursday, April 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) |
For Bruins Brad Marchand
, Nathan Horton
and Gregory Campbell
, last night’s 2-0 Game 1 loss to the Canadiens marked their first NHL playoff game.
It was a night they’ll always remember and, despite the loss, it was filled with moments they’ll never forget.
“It was exciting. Right from the get-go, it was very exciting, very intense. But you don’t think about [it being your first playoff game] going into the game. You’re more worried about doing your job and doing what you have to do,” Marchand said.
The TD Garden was filled with a capacity crowd of 17,565. The fans were loud and rally towels were waving everywhere. It’s an atmosphere reserved for postseason rivalries, and it’s an experience some franchises rarely -- if ever -- get to experience.
While Marchand made his postseason debut in his rookie season, Horton played six seasons for the Florida Panthers without ever getting a taste of playoff ice.
The excitement can be a lot to handle, but Horton said the experience of his first playoff game didn’t affect his performance on the ice. The right-winger finished the night a minus-1 with three shots on goal in 17:53 of ice time.
“I think we played pretty hard and we had our chances. We just need to fix a few things. It’s going to be a long one and we all know that,” Horton said. “They are a good team but it’s just game one.”
In terms of the actual hockey, both players noticed a difference.
“Well it’s really tight. You don’t get too much and you’re battling for that open space and that extra little bit. It’s definitely a different style and you have to work a little bit harder,” Horton said.
Marchand didn’t think the game changed, but saw a saw an increase in tempo and conservative play.
“It was faster, a little more intense. I don’t think the game changed a whole lot. Guys just seemed to keep it a little more simple and tried to stay away from turnovers,” Marchand said.
“I think that was the biggest difference. In that way you can use more speed getting in the zone.”
The 2-0 final score was indicative of that considering when Boston and Montreal square off, the goals typically tend to accumulate.
”Playoffs especially, everyone comes to battle every night. I don’t think there are going to be any eight-goal blowouts in playoffs, with any team. I think they’re all going to be one, two goal games,” Marchand said.
“You have to be prepared for that.”