Unfortunately, Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand
will have to wait five games to do so.
Marchand, who was suspended for his hit on the Canucks' Sami Salo during the B's 4-3 loss to Vancouver on Saturday, spoke with reporters in front of his locker after the B's left wing skated with the team on Wednesday morning.
"I’m obviously a little disappointed, and I wasn’t expecting as many games as I got," said Marchand. "But, that’s the decision, and now I just move on."
The B's will play Winnipeg tonight, but presumably, after a workout, Marchand will watch from level nine at the TD Garden as his Bruins take to the ice looking to bounce back from Saturday's setback.
Marchand spoke about the Bruins play and the club's reputation around the league.
"We play a hard game – we have a lot of physical guys, a lot of tough guys on our team and it’s tough for other teams to play against, and some teams might not like it," he said when asked if the Bruins reputation around the NHL was unfair. "But that’s our style of hockey and we’re not going to change because people wont like it."
Asked to recount why he had previously asked NHL Vice President of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan about the type hit he threw at Salo, Marchand said, "well I’m a small guy. I play low to the ice and that’s a way I’ve protected myself in the past – I just felt that it was better to be safe than sorry.
"I brought it up to him, and when I walked away from the conversation he told me to protect myself – that that’s okay in that situation.
"When that situation [arose], I felt I was protecting myself and was allowed to do it and that’s why I did it," he said.
However, Marchand said he will not do it again.
"It’s clear that I’m not allowed to do that and guys in the league aren’t allowed to do that," said Marchand. "They [tried] to make that clear, and I’m going to have to do something else."
But the Bruins forward said he hopes that future rulings are consistent.
"I expect if there’s any more hits like this, they’ll be penalized the same way," said Marchand. "Otherwise...it will be a double standard.
"Until we see more hits like this, then we can’t say that. So hopefully when hits like this arise from now on, they’ll be penalized the same way."
Marchand said that during his hearing he had asked about previous such hits -- like the one that Vancouver's Mason Raymond threw at Marchand himself during last Stanley Cup final -- and was told, "Every situation is different and you can’t really go face a new hit on something that happened last year."
In the present, however, Marchand doesn't see altering his style.
"I’m still going to play hard – that’s my game. I have to play hard and at the end of the day I still have to strive to protect myself and so does everybody in the league. It’s not going to change the way I play," he said.
And the Bruins said that they will help Marchand to continue to refine his game so that he continues to play hard, but within the rules.
"I think Brad heard enough – seen enough. He said he’s going to try and adjust his game," said Julien to questions about Marchand's reputation. "Give him credit, he’s a young kid that keeps trying to improve his game and get better in that area.
"It’s not like he’s denying anything, he tries to get better and we helped him along that way and I think that’s what I appreciate about Brad. He’s not hiding behind the fact and saying ‘I don’t do anything wrong.’ He knows the referees will watch him closely and he knows he has to get better in that area. Not only does he get under teams skin, but also the referees and he knows that stuff.
"At the same time, we know that his playing on the edge makes him a good player. We've got to work with him, not against him, and got to help him make sure his game is fine-tuned to the point where those things happen less and less."
That apparently doesn't mean that Marchand will change his style when it comes to interviews.
Asked about Vancouver Head Coach Alain Vigneault's comments about players taking things into their own hands with regard to Marchand, Brad said, "Yeah they are threatening, it sounds like it’s a threat but -- whatever."
Queried if the comments coming from the Canucks after Vancouver jumped Shawn Thornton
in front of the visitors bench on Saturday bothered him, Marchand said, "Yeah for sure, they had six, seven guys at one point and six guys jumped Thorty [Thornton].
"No one seemed to want to do anything after they got pulled off, so that shows their character."
And Marchand remained in character when asked about comments coming out of Vancouver about Boston's "stupid" play.
"Yeah we play stupid," said Marchand. "I guess smart enough to win a Cup."