|The Bruins have another foe to contend with in Vancouver: The Green Men||06.04.11 at 6:50 pm ET|
After a series-opening game of fights, bites and a last-second goal, it’s clear the Bruins will have their hands full in the Stanley Cup finals. As if dealing with one of the NHL’s most talented rosters wasn’t enough, players like Brad Marchand are finding that Vancouver’s advantage even extends into the stands.
We’re speaking, of course, about the Green Men.
If you haven’t heard about these goons already, here’s the short version: a pair of Canucks fans dress up in full neon green spandex body suits for every home game, transforming themselves into faceless green blobs in the crowd. Their purpose? Revving up the arena, dancing like madmen, and most of all, heckling opponents in the penalty box from their front row seats. Here’s just a small sample of their work.
The NHL has banned “Force” and “Sully” from banging on the penalty box glass and performing their signature handstands, but the masked marauders still managed to get under Marchand’s skin during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals.
In an interview with The Big Show, Green Man Adam Forsythe accused the 23-year-old forward of foul play while serving a penalty Wednesday night.
“We were sprayed with some water by [Marchand],” Forsythe claimed. “We were giving it to him a little bit, and yeah, he just sprayed water right through the glass.” You can listen to the full interview on The Big Show audio on demand page.
The Bruins winger didn’t exactly deny the accusation.
“I tried to squirt some water in my mouth and might have missed a bit. It might have gotten on them,” Marchand said after practice on Friday.
As one of the league’s most notorious trash-talkers, one would think Marchand has bigger fish to fry than a pair of neon nuisances. So what drove him to such a hostile reaction?
“We were in Nashville and we ran into one of his ex-girlfriends,” Forsythe told The Big Show. “So the water bottle spray was probably deserved.”
Marchand had a chance to respond on Friday’s edition of Mutt & Merloni. You can hear the interview on the Mutt & Merloni audio on demand page.
“I have a lot of ex-girlfriends kicking around,” Marchand said. “Those guys in those green masks, they’re too ugly to show their faces in public, so they’re just trying to cover up their face when they go to the game. They paid, what, a couple grand to watch us play so they can enjoy it.”
In fact, Force and Sully paid $700 a pop for their Game 1 seats, and raised the money by making an appearance at a local Bat Mitzvah.
The Green Men will no doubt be in attendance for Game 2, and thanks to some financial backing, their sideshow is no longer exclusive to Rogers Arena. Travelzoo will reportedly cough up $3,700 to send the two super fans to TD Garden for Games 3 and 4. Marchand isn’t opposed to the idea.
“I’d really like to see it,” he said. “I’ve heard some crazy stories about the Boston fans. I’d videotape it.”
Force expressed some concerns about the visit to Boston, asking The Big Show, “Am I going to survive? Am I coming back with teeth?” To which Glen Ordway responded, “You’ll come back with a few.”
Despite the distractions, Marchand knows the real battle comes between the boards.
“We hate this team, they hate us,” he told Mutt & Merloni. “There’s no love between us right now. I think it’s only going to get worse as the series goes on.”
If the rest of the Stanley Cup finals is anything like Game 1, hold on to your spandex.
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