Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand essentially laughed off the idea that the Bruins could exact any kind of revenge on the St. Louis Blues Saturday night at TD Garden in the first meeting between the two teams since the Blues skated around the TD Garden ice with the Stanley Cup after beating the Bruins in Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final back on June 12.
With basically the same rosters as last season and the only real change being the black seats around them in the revamped TD Garden, the Bruins and Blues will meet in what the media and fans are dubbing as a rematch but Marchand and his teammates are preaching as just another valuable two points in the standings.
“It’s just another game. It doesn’t change anything that’s happened in the past, we’re not going to get any retribution by winning the game tomorrow,” Bruins winger Brad Marchand said. “At the end of the day, it’s two points. I’m sure the fans are excited. I think it will mean more to them than us, but again it’s two points, so that’s what we’ve got to worry about.”
Marchand was then reminded of the first time the Bruins played the Vancouver Canucks on January 7, 2012, after the Bruins had beat them on their home ice in Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final on June 15, 2011. Not even four minutes into that rematch, the Bruins and Canucks were entangled in a line brawl after former Bruins tough guy Shawn Thornton essentially got jumped by four Canucks players in front of the Vancouver bench.
The always coy Marchand claimed to not recall that game in which he went low on then Canucks defenseman Sami Salo later in the game and was subsequently suspended for five games.
“Yeah, I don’t even remember it now to be honest,” Marchand said. ‘But, again, it’s a team that we lost to last year so the memories are always there, but again, you’re not going to change anything that’s happened,” Marchand reiterated. “So, at the end of the day it’s two points and that’s how we’re going to focus and prepare. Obviously we want to win, we want to win every game, but again, [Saturday] is not changing last season. So that’s over and done with and we’ll worry about two points.”
So will playing the Blues much earlier in the season than that rematch with the Canucks quell the questions about last season and allow the Bruins to finally move on?
“I don’t think we’re going to ever have to stop answering questions about this, but it is what it is and that’s part of the game, it comes with the territory,” Marchand said. “With media and social media nowadays, it’s gonna happen and we deal with it. It doesn’t change our mindset with we’re on to this year and we’re on to preparing each and every game for the playoffs and hopefully the Cup this year. What happened in the past doesn’t change that, it’s not going to change how we prepare. We know what we want to do here and where we want to be. We’ll focus each day on getting better and this is just another roadblock. It’s a step in an 82-game season and that’s all we’re focused on.”
After the bulk of the media scrum around Marchand went on to the next available players, a few remaining reporters reminded him exactly what happened in that first meeting with the Canucks after the Bruins crushed their Cup dreams on home ice. The reluctant Marchand finally acknowledged the old-time hockey that ensued but still warned that seven years later, the chances of a donnybrook with the Blues is highly unlikely.
“In this league? Are you kidding me? We’ll be playing with flags soon,” Marchand joked.