Brad Marchand may be remorseful for his taunting antics the last time the Bruins met the Canucks… but he still doesn’t like Vancouver very much.
“I think there’s definitely some hatred for that team,” Marchand said, per CSNNE.com. “And they have it for us. Anytime you’re playing a team on the ice you’ve got to have that feeling. You’ve got to hate the other team. That’s what makes you want to push so hard to win that game.”
The Canucks and Bruins will play tonight for the first time since Vancouver’s 6-2 win at Rogers Arena in December, a game marked by Marchand miming Boston’s Stanley Cup win over the Canucks — pretending to kiss his ring, and hoist the trophy:
The antics were not well received by Boston’s brass. Both head coach Claude Julien and GM Peter Chiarelli said they disapproved of the move(s), which resulted in a lengthy chat with Marchand about his behavior moving forward.
Apparently, the message was received.
The 25-year-old has been on a tear since the Canucks game, scoring 12 goals and 17 points along with a plus-14 rating in 21 games. His run of quality play and increased offensive output seems to have rubbed off on his teammates as well — Boston currently ranks fifth in the NHL in goals per game (3.0) and has scored 25 times in its last six contests.
“It’s been dealt with and [Marchand] has moved on,” Julien explained. “There’s no doubt he’s been a better player since.”
Vancouver, meanwhile, is going in the opposite direction. The Canucks have lost four straight and scored just seven goals over that stretch. They were shut out in Detroit on Monday and could only muster three third-period shots despite going into the final frame down 1-0.
That said, Marchand is expecting a tough battle tonight.
“I’m sure it’ll be a hard-fought game,” he said. “They’re a good team, they play hard and they’ve got a few more guys that are playing a little more physical now.”