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Was Brad Marchand A Maple Leafs Fan Growing Up?



Boston Bruins

As the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs get set to renew their rivalry for the 17th time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the player that has been the biggest lightning rod in that rivalry for the last decade dropped an interesting nugget on Thursday.

“No, they were my favorite team growing up,” Marchand replied when asked after practice if he ever got tired of hearing about the Maple Leafs growing up in Halifax, Nova Scotia. “So I didn’t get tired of it; it was fun to watch them. Even today, they have a lot of their alumni walking around the building, guys that I admired growing up. So seeing them in the arena is special as well. I’m still a huge fan of the game and to see those guys makes it so much fun.”

Prior to that, Brad Marchand also gave his two cents on the Bruins-Leafs rivalry. Is it fair to say that the Maple Leafs have become the Bruins’ most bitter rival?

The Bruins and Montreal Canadiens have met for an NHL record 34 times in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and have had some of the most historic series to date. However, since that epic Game 7 third-period comeback that former Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron and the Boston Bruins pulled off in 2013, the Bruins have played the Canadiens just once (2014) and the Toronto Maple Leafs twice. After winning the Presidents Trophy for the 2013-14 season, the Boston Bruins lost in the second round to the Canadiens, but that was the last time the longtime rivals met in the postseason. Meanwhile the Bruins and Leafs had two more seven-game series that the Bruins won in 2018 and 2019.

“I mean, the Leafs are probably the most popular franchise in the NHL,” Marchand said of the Bruins’ Original 6 and Atlantic Division rival. “Probably the largest fanbase, and you see the excitement they have all throughout Canada when they’re in the playoffs, and it makes it a lot of fun to play them, and I think with the history we have of playing them recently, they’re probably our biggest rival right now and over the last decade.



They’ve probably surpassed Montreal and any other team with where the rivalry’s going just because I think we’re so competitive with each other, and now we’re headed for another playoff series. So it definitely brings the emotion and the intensity up in the games and the excitement for the fans, and it’s fun to play. They’re always extremely competitive, and you never know which way the series is going to go, but that’s what you want and that’s what you love about hockey is the competition in that respect. They’re real competitors over there, especially with the way they’re built right now.”

That’s why Marchand can’t wait to get the Bruins-Leafs playoff rivalry going again at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday night at TD Garden.

“So, it’s going to be a lot of fun, and that’s what the playoffs is all about; it’s about the best teams going head-to-head, and that’s why it’s the hardest trophy to win,” Marchand added. “You have to go through four extremely hard teams to win it. They’re gonna be a hell of a challenge.”


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