BostonBruins.com – When the Bruins take the ice against the New York Rangers, they’re expecting a fast, physical, high-skill battle against the top team in the Eastern Conference.
The Black & Gold will have some added energy in Brad Marchand, who returned to the lineup Thursday against the New Jersey Devils after serving a five-game suspension, and he expects the best from the Blueshirts.
“Yeah, they’re playing well and they’re playing good hockey,” Marchand said. “So we have to make sure we’re prepared and ready to match their work ethic.
Marchand, who logged 16:40 of ice time in the 4-1 win, is excited to be back with the team but is still working out some kinks.
“It was tough sitting out and watching your team play, but it was good to get back and be part of the team again,” Marchand said. “I felt my hands were a little rusty and my timing was a little bit off. There were a couple plays I messed up on that I wish I could have back, but that happens.”
Head Coach Claude Julien was satisfied with Marchand’s return and was excited to have one of his most lively players back on the ice.
“It was good for a guy who hadn’t played over a week, a week and a half,” Julien said. “I thought he played with some good energy. As [Marchand] said after the game, it’s pretty amazing when you haven’t played for a while – you think you’re skating a lot, keeping yourself in shape but there’s nothing like playing in a game.”
With or without the fiesty Marchand in the lineup, the Rangers always play the Bruins tough and No. 63 understands the challenge at hand.
But Marchand, who has only played in five career games against the Rangers, said it’s a challenge he’s willing to meet head on.
“Yeah they seem to play some pretty good hockey against us, Marchand said. “Usually every team we play gets pretty psyched and has their best game.
"They play a pretty similar game to us, they have good depth and with the goalie they have that makes them tough to play against, so we just have to be ready to have a good game.”