“We’re on to Round 3” Brad Marchand simply said after the Boston Bruins defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Marchand echoed Bill Belichick’s 2014 refrain “We’re on to Cincinnati,” and as the Patriots did in 2014, Marchand delivered.
The Boston Bruins winger, in the midst of controversy, delivered with a two-assist game but more importantly led like the leader that maybe the rest of the NHL doesn’t see, but his teammates and those around the team do.
With his team trailing the Hurricanes 2-1 early in the third period of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final, Marchand saved his teammate and rookie defenseman Connor Clifford from taking what could’ve been a costly retaliatory penalty on Canes forward Jordan Staal. Staal had just run Bruins winger Chris Wagner into the boards with a borderline hit and the young and hungry Cliffton wanted to exact some justice for his teammate. The man usually having to be held back from shenanigans, came rushing over to hold Cliffton back from nullifying a power play for the Bruins. The Bruins ended up tying the game at two on a Marcus Johansson goal at 2:26 and then took the lead on another power play at 2:54 with Patrice Bergeron scoring the eventual game-winner.
After the hit from behind, Connor Clifton goes at Jordan Staal. Brad Marchand grabbed Clifton to prevent him from also getting a penalty.
Veteran move pic.twitter.com/w94NmJhAEr
— Evan Marinofsky (@emarinofsky) May 10, 2019
“He’s turning over a new leaf, eh?” ‘Marchy’,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said with a laugh. “Listen, he’s been in these big games. He’s a Stanley Cup Champion, so he understands maybe a little more than meets the eye sometimes, head coach Bruce Cassidy said. There are a time and a place where you really have to be disciplined. I mean, you have to be disciplined at all times, but there are certainly other times where you really have to put yourself in check, so it was great for him to do that. It helped us, right? We had the early penalties, so he was starting to get frustrated. We saw that with [Sean] Kuraly’s penalty, and then we kind of settled in and realized that tough is winning pucks battles, toughness is going to the front of the net, toughness is blocking shots. It’s not how you react in a scrum, so we figured out eventually, and they took some. Good for Brad. We’ve put an “A” on his shirt at times this year for a reason, and I’m glad to see that he made that decision tonight with a younger guy.”