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Brad Marchand on M&M: Seguin benching ‘a misunderstanding’

Bruins forward Brad Marchand [1] made his weekly appearance on the Mut & Merloni show Thursday to discuss the Bruins 2-1 loss to the Jets Tuesday and Tyler Seguin [2]‘s benching that night because of missing meetings. Marchand repeated Seguin’s explanation for his absence, saying that Seguin was confused because of the time change from Boston to Winnipeg.

“What kind of happened was, when we went to Winnipeg, the time changed back an hour and he didn’t know that, so he changed it back two hours by accident,” Marchand said. “It was a misunderstanding and stuff like that happens, especially when everyone is so tired and stuff.”

Seguin’s absence in Tuesday’s game was made more prominent by the fact that the Bruins struggled to score on Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec and Seguin currently leads the team in points with 25 (13 goals, 12 assists). Marchand said the team did not blame Seguin for the loss to the Jets, which ended the Bruins 15-game point streak that dated back to Oct. 29. He also said that Seguin had not, to his knowledge, been late to anything else this season, but tardiness had been a problem at times for Seguin last year. Still, Marchand said he will not use this benching as an opportunity to counsel Seguin on how to behave as an NHL [3] player.

“I might make fun of him for it, but he understands,” Marchand said. “He knows that he’s our leading scorer right now and he’s a big part of the team and we need him on the ice. It’s a learning process. Everything that we go through is a learning process. He’s young and he has a lot to learn. He’s only 19 years old. The guys in this league have had a lot more time to groom themselves and to learn. Most of the guys on the team are 25, 26, 27, so he’s still got a lot of time to try to learn the ropes, but I think people kind of forget that sometimes.”

Following are more highlights of the conversation. To listen to the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. [4]

On if Seguin is taking the benching harder since the Bruins lost to Winnipeg: “Yeah. He’s going to come out and want to prove something. But at the same time, I don’t think anyone is blaming it on Segs that we lost. He’s one player on a deep team and we still played a very good game. We ran into a hot goalie. I don’t think we were in an ideal situation by any means. We played the night before that, traveled three hours and got in late and didn’t get to practice that day, so the cards were stacked against us. It would have been nice to have Segs on the ice, but it’s not his fault. He’s definitely going to come out with a burn on his butt and hopefully have a good game.”

On hockey’s return to Winnipeg: “They went from Atlanta which, it’s not a bad town but hockey-wise it’s brutal, to Winnipeg, where it’s a brutal town but hockey-wise it’s really good. But I think hockey-wise, it’s a lot better for the team to be up there. They were very ecstatic, the crowd was.”

On realignment: “I’m not going to lie to you. I haven’t looked for one second at that. I haven’t paid attention to it at all. I have no idea what’s going on. I can’t tell you anyone who’s in our division. ‘€¦ The only thing I’ve heard that the guys don’t like is that a very weak team can get into the playoffs and a strong team who deserves to be in the playoffs won’t necessarily make it. So I know guys don’t like that part of it, but for the most part, it should be alright and hopefully it works out but I know guys don’t like the fact that a very weak team can get into the playoffs.”

On the 15-game point streak: “The only time I’ve ever been on a team who’s gone on a stretch like that is way back in midgets. It’s been a very long time so it was obviously a ton of fun. You don’t ever expect to go on a run like that in the NHL [5].”

On whether hockey should ban fighting: “I don’t think so. It needs to be in the game. Part of the reason is to protect other guys. When you have a guy on your team who’s an enforcer, you do feel protected. Guys are a little wary about taking cheap shots at guys. If you take it out of the game, there’s going to be cheap shots. You need it in the game for fans and to bring emotion to the team. I don’t think you’ll ever see the game without it. I think we need it and I hope they don’t take it out. It is part of the game and it’s exciting. The guys want it. Sometimes you need to take that anger out. You need to fight. You need to settle something. It is part of the game.”