BUFFALO, NY --
On the ice, Brad Marchand
is often called an agitator and hockey fans in Boston (and pretty much everywhere else in the NHL) understand that the B's left wing is at his best when he is getting noticed by the Black & Gold's opposition and their fans.
This morning, however, some off-ice comments Marchand made on a morning sports radio show in Boston about the city of Buffalo had the local media asking what the forward had against Western New York.
"It’s just a little cold in Buffalo and I’m allergic to the cold, so it came up," said Marchand after this afternoon's practice in Buffalo's First Niagara Center. "The people here have always been very friendly and very nice.
"By no means [was it] a shot at them –- they’re great people –- I’m just joking around."
Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien wasn't exactly smiling when he was asked about his winger’s words, but assured the New York-based reporters that he didn't agree with his forward's comments.
"I know I don’t think that way of Buffalo, it’s a nice city and I enjoy coming here to play," said Julien, whose look said that the whole thing was much ado about nothing.
"I'll just speak for myself and say certainly not my thought."
For his part, Marchand made sure that reporters understood he had no ill intent.
"I never meant to offend anybody," said Marchand. "It’s always cold, and usually rainy, when we come here and I was just kind of playing around."
Asked if he thought his comments might add to the already re-ignited rivalry between the Bruins and the Sabres, Marchand said, "It shouldn’t it has nothing to do with hockey."
And speaking of hockey, the forward admitted that he remembers the B's 6-0 loss the last time Boston visited their Northeast Division rivals and was motivated to make a better showing.
"Yeah, they played a good game," said Marchand of the Sabres. "They have a really good team, especially when they’re all playing together and working hard.
"They seem to get up when they’re playing us, these last few games have been very good battles and they owned us last time so we have to be prepared for a good game tomorrow."