BOSTON – The Bruins' second-round playoff series win over the Columbus Blue Jackets is a couple of days old now, and the Bruins have begun readying for the Eastern Conference Final set to start Thursday night versus the Carolina Hurricanes.
But a large portion of the media is still dwelling on Brad Marchand’s postgame behavior from Monday night’s Game 6 win over Columbus when he gave curt answers to Sportsnet rinkside reporter Kyle Bukauskas, and then used 39 words to answer 19 postgame questions inside the Bruins dressing room immediately afterward. It seems pretty clear it was a reaction to Bukauskas referencing Marchand’s stick-stomping incident with Cam Atkinson ahead of Game 2 during a pregame bench interview, and perhaps understandably so when it was also learned the NHL basically told No. 63 to cut the crap at the beginning of the Columbus series.
Here’s the video of an earlier (in the series) exchange between Kyle Bukauskas and Marchand that some believe is the reason for this type of response. pic.twitter.com/xVx5yAXbZs— hockeyfights (@hockeyfights) May 7, 2019
There’s no doubt that Bukauskas was simply trying to keep things light and entertaining in a harmless pregame interview, but in hindsight it feels like the wrong question at the wrong time based on the circumstances.
The reaction from the Canadian media was almost ridiculously self-serious and over-the-top with some like Darren Dreger and Kelly Hrudey calling for Marchand to be fined when he technically fulfilled his media obligations. But general manager Don Sweeney said the Bruins will be speaking with Marchand about the incident, and added that it’s also up to the media to try and avoid things getting to a boiling point.
“Crispy, is that the word that I’ve heard? It’s something we’ll address. We always do. We talk to all of our players when we have situations that arise and become a little more public than we would like them,” said Sweeney. “We’ll address it accordingly. Brad has obligations to you and the media in a respectful manor and to be a professional, and we’ll address it. To be honest with you, so does the media, you know in the same light. I would ask for the same on both sides.”
Hopefully Marchand is back to his talkative, friendly self with the media to start the Eastern Conference Final against Carolina, and that his “crispy” mood is finished with the B’s just four wins away from their first Stanley Cup Final appearance in six years. But let’s also remember that Marchand turns on the personality when it’s really important visiting children’s hospitals or hosting special guests like at TD Garden while making them feel at home in the Bruins dressing room following games.
The holier-than-thou members of the hockey media would do well to remember this when taking umbrage with a player like Marchand having the audacity to not like borderline questions being asked of him on the big Hockey Night in Canada stage, and then reacting because of it.
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