FOXBOROUGH — Brad Marchand knows his actions cost his team.
But if his teammates had any qualms with his actions, they weren’t saying.
The Bruins were consistent in their message following their pre-Winter Classic practice on Thursday, explaining that — while losing Marchand to suspension was “disappointing” — his latest transgression, a three-game ban for clipping Mark Borowiecki, hasn’t changed their opinions.
“He’s an unbelievable teammate,” Torey Krug said. “His teammates love him. All of us in here know that he wishes he could go out and battle tomorrow.
“It’s a tough loss for us.”
The Marchand-related queries were posed to the Bruins given ramifications of his latest offense:
— Marchand also leads the team in goals, with 15.
— With a third forward out, the club was forced to recall Alexander Khokhlachev from AHL Providence.
— That means Colin Miller (who has 12 points in 28 games this year, and averaged nearly 16 minutes per night) had to be demoted, and won’t get to play in the Classic.
“It’s disappointing,” Landon Ferraro explained. “You want [guys like Marchand] in your lineup. He makes us better, no doubt.”
Clearly, no Bruin would “go there” in terms of discussing Marchand’s disciplinary and maturity issues, or how they affect the team. Standard party lines were issued.
But the Marchand situation was still hard to ignore, especially since it’s the latest in a pattern of behavior.
The suspension for clipping Borowiecki was Marchand’s third in the last three years and fourth of his career. There was also a pair of fines: $2,500 for slew-footing Matt Niskanen in 2011, and $5K for roughing Gabriel Landeskog this year.
There was also the incident in Vancouver in 2013, when he taunted the Canucks by pretending to raise the Stanley Cup and kissing his ring finger. Those antics drew the ire of head coach Claude Julien, who said “sometimes [Marchand’s] emotions get the better of him.”
On Thursday, Julien was asked about how disappointing it was to not have Marchand available for selection tomorrow.
“We need to just play the way we have through all these situations, and that’s all we can do right now,” he said. “As a coach, I don’t bog myself down with these things and I just move forward with what I’ve got.”