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Brad Marchand: ‘Toronto Stronger’ sign ‘very disrespectful’ 05.07.13 at 6:19 pm ET
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Brad Marchand

TORONTO — On Tuesday, Maple Leafs players stayed away from questions about the “Toronto Stronger” sign that was held up — complete with blue and white ribbon — by a fan prior to and during the Bruins’ Game 3 victory in Toronto. The players said they hadn’t seen the sign, though James van Riemsdyk (a New Jersey native who played college hockey at UNH) said that it isn’t “the best idea” to make a joke about such an issue as sensitive as the Boston Marathon bombings.

Brad Marchand has made a career of saying things that get under players’ skin, but he felt that the sign crossed the line, as it didn’t hurt the Bruins, but a city that has been through a lot.

“I think sometimes fans overreact with things and sometimes go places maybe they don’t need to go. Obviously it’s a very tragic thing that happened. I don’t think anyone should ever take it lightly or make a joke out of it,” Marchand said. “Obviously, people can be very disrespectful, but Boston went though a lot and you saw the respect that every team that we played against after that gave to our city. It’s not about going about going after our guys, our team and putting the team down. It’s more about the city and the people. Everyone reacted the right way about it and gave their respect. If fans want to go the other way then that’s up to them, but it’s not really necessary.”

Claude Julien also found the sign insensitive but pointed out that fans can be that way during the playoffs, noting that a fan in a Leafs jersey was knocked out at TD Garden after Toronto’s Game 2 win.

“Playoffs bring a lot of passion to the fans and rightfully so, and those things are things that happen,” Julien said. “There was an incident in Boston that unfortunately happened to a Leaf fan, and last night’s sign, to me, had nothing to do with hockey. ‘Boston Strong’ is about something that struck our city, not our team and maybe it’s a little sensitive for the Boston people. Those kind of things happen in the playoffs and the best and sometimes the worst comes out of the passion of our game. That’s all I can say about that situation. It’s maybe a little sensitive for the city of Boston more than it is for our hockey club.”

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Brad Marchand, Claude Julien,
Phil Kessel told Brad Marchand he’d fight him ‘any time’ at 3:22 pm ET
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Brad Marchand

TORONTO – Brad Marchand dropped one glove when he was tied up with Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel in the third period of Boston’s 5-2 Game 3 win, and he said Tuesday that he it was to gauge whether Kessel would stick to his word.

“We kind of came together there and I wasn’t really sure what was going on,” Marchand explained. “He was shoving and he told me before he’d go with me any time, so I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen, but I just wanted to be prepared.”

Kessel has one career fight in the NHL, which came against Columbus’ Kris Russell during the 2009-10 season. Marchand has four in his career, with his lone fight this season coming against Washington’s Mike Ribeiro.

Asked Tuesday about the scuffle, which landed both players in the box in an exchange the B’s would gladly take, Kessel said he doesn’t feel Marchand is getting him off his game or drawing him into anything that would put the Leafs in a tight spot.

“I don’t think it’s a big deal,” Kessel said, adding: “It’s just battling hard out there, and it gets heated.”

Added Kessel: “I mean, he’s a good hockey player and he battles hard out there.”

The good news for Kessel is that he’s finally finding some offensive success against the Bruins. After scoring just three goals in his first 22 career games against his former club, Kessel has two goals in three games this series. If he’s happy about that, he sure isn’t showing it.

“It doesn’t really matter when you’re not winning games,” Kessel said. “Obviously last night we didn’t win, and we’re going to have to come out harder Wednesday.”

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Brad Marchand, Phil Kessel,
Dougie Hamilton wins Bruins’ Seventh Player Award 04.25.13 at 7:45 pm ET
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Dougie Hamilton (27) celebrates a goal against the Capitals earlier this season.

In what could be the first of many individual honors, Dougie Hamilton received his first Thursday night.

The Bruins announced that the 19-year-old defenseman is the winner of the NESN Seventh Player Award. Voted on by Bruins fans, the Seventh Player Award is an annual award presented to the Bruin who went above and beyond the call of duty and exceeded the expectations of Bruins fans during the season.

Ironically, Hamilton was a healthy scratch Thursday night against the Lightning as the team gives him a rest before the start of the playoffs next week.

In his first season with the Bruins, Hamilton has notched five goals and 11 assists in 42 games with a plus-6 rating. The rookie ranks second among Bruins defensemen in points (16) and goals (5).

Hamilton is tied for third in the NHL among rookie blueliners in points (16), third in assists (11) and tied for third in goals (5).

Hamilton started the season with the Niagra IceDogs (Ontario Hockey League), skating in 32 games, notching eight goals and 33 assists for 41 points. Last year, he was named the Canadian Major Junior Defenseman of the Year.

The 6-foot-5, 199-pound native of Toronto was drafted by the Bruins in the first round (9th overall) of the 2011 NHL draft.

In addition to the Seventh Player Award trophy, Hamilton will receive $5,000 to donate to the charity of his choice.

Recent recipients include Tyler Seguin (2012), Brad Marchand (2011), Tuukka Rask (2010), David Krejci (2009) and Milan Lucic (2008).

The Seventh Player Award sweepstakes winner was Scott Martioski of Orange, Mass. Martioski wins a three-year lease on a 2014 Kia Sorento courtesy of Central Auto Team of Norwood and Raynham.

Read More: Boston Bruins, Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Dougie Hamilton
Bruins humbled by experience with first responders 04.18.13 at 3:05 pm ET
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The Bruins welcomed first responders at Wednesday's game. (AP)

WILMINGTON — When the Bruins hosted 80 first-responders at Wednesday’s game, they thought they were simply providing a nice gesture as a way of thanking the brave bunch for all they had done for the city during Monday’s horrific events. They didn’t think they were making anybody’s day, but they were.

In meeting with the first-responders following their 3-2 shootout loss to the Sabres Wednesday, the Bruins were overwhelmed by their experience with the heroes and how proud they were to meet the B’s.

“They were very, very happy and excited that they came to the game and they really showed a lot of respect,” Brad Marchand said Thursday. “It was funny — not funny, but a different feeling because they were thanking us when really we wanted to thank them for everything that they did for our city and for us and for everyone who was involved. It was honor meeting them and being able to meet those guys and hear their stories of how courageous they were in a moment like that.”

Marchand said it was more of an honor for the Bruins to spend time with the heroes than the other way around, but to be able to give them something to be smile about was touching for the players.

“They really expressed last night how big it was for them to come to the game and how excited they were from the moment they heard they were coming,” Marchand said. “Some of the guys were telling us how they found out and just how excited they were all day long or the day before, and it was all they could think about. They said that’s what they needed to kind of get their mind off things. They saw a lot of stuff. To be able to give that to them for them to enjoy and look forward to watching us play and just a few hours to watch us play and enjoy something, it’s huge for us. We take a lot of pride in that. Obviously, those guys are heroes and we look up to them. They did some courageous and amazing things. We owe them a lot.”

After the game, Andrew Ference and some other players took the first-responders out for beers as a way of further thanking them for everything they had done. Though Dennis Seidenberg didn’t join them (his children had to get up early), he wasn’t surprised to see how much the night meant to both sides.

“It’s a great sports town, Boston is,” Dennis Seidenberg said. “People are very emotional about their sports. When you have a chance to give them the opportunity to come to a game and get their mind off what happened, it’s easy for us to do and something nice also.”

Read More: Andrew Ference, Brad Marchand, Dennis Seidenberg,
Brad Marchand: ‘I was definitely fighting back tears’ at 11:19 am ET
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Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand could not have picked a more emotional night to make their returns from concussions.

Bergeron hadn’t played since April 2, a span of six games. Marchand missed the last two games since being elbowed by Anton Volchenkov of the Devils.

Neither player figured in the scoring but both had a positive signs of bouncing back on a night the city of Boston looked to bounce back.

“They both played well and they both played hard,” their coach Claude Julien said after Boston’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Sabres. “You know, it’s unfortunate they didn’t get rewarded with anything tonight, but they had some great opportunities. And you’ve got to give their goaltender credit; he played extremely well for them tonight and allowed them to stay in that 2-1 game for a long time. I think had there been another goaltender it could have been a totally different story.”

Marchand, like everyone in the building, wasn’t thinking about himself but rather being part of something bigger during the national anthem.

Never were the emotions higher than during the national anthem for Marchand.

“It was extremely emotional. I was definitely fighting back tears,” he said. “To see again how everyone was reacting to that video, it obviously touched not only people who were here tonight but everyone at home, too, watching. It’s something that we’ll never forget. For everyone to show their respect and obviously give their thoughts and prayers for everyone, it’s great that everyone is kind of coming together at this time and helping each other out.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Bruins, Boston Marathon tragedy, Brad Marchand, Claude Julien
Brad Marchand, Bruins extend charitable efforts to Boston Marathon bombing victims 04.17.13 at 4:10 pm ET
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Brad Marchand

Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, TD Garden, the NHL and NHL Players’ Association announced have pledged to donate a combined $250,000 to the One Fund Boston, which raises money for the families of those affected by the Boston Marathon bombing.

Jacobs will donate $100,000, while the Garden, NHL and NHLPA will donate $50,000 each. In addition to those donations, Bruins players and staff have donated a combined 80 tickets to first responders who came through in Monday’s events.

“The efforts that have taken place from ownership, management, players and all our associates to put together the proper recognition at tonight’s game for those who responded, helped and comforted all those who have been affected by the tragic events this past Monday have been remarkable,” Bruins President Cam Neely said in a statement. “Every member of our organization has assisted in many different ways to make sure we make Boston proud, make our fans proud and show what it means to call Boston home. I am very proud of our entire organization for the compassion and support they have all showed, although not surprised. We are all ‘Boston Strong.’”

Additionally, Brad Marchand will raffle off his suite at the Garden for the Bruins’ first home playoff game, with all the proceeds going to the family of Martin Richard, the eight-year-old Dorchester native who was killed in the bombings.

“Our whole team saw the photos of Martin at our game from last Thursday and learned that he and his family are big fans of ours,” said Marchand. “This is just one small gesture which I hope can help the Richard family during this incredibly sad time for them. What they are going through is unimaginable and we will try to assist them in any way we can.”

Both the Bruins and Sabres will wear “Boston Strong” decals on their helmets Wednesday, with the Garden showing a “Boston Strong” video prior to the game. Fans in attendance are encouraged to sing along with Rene Rancourt during the National Anthem.

To donate to One Fund Boston, click here.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Brad Marchand, Cam Neely, Jeremy Jacobs,
Carl Soderberg skates with Bruins, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand to play Wednesday at 12:00 pm ET
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Carl Soderberg skated with the B's for the first time Wednesday. (WEEI.com photo)

The Bruins got an influx of healthy bodies Wednesday morning as Carl Soderberg skated with the team for the first time, while both Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand (concussions) have been cleared and will be in the lineup for what figures to be an emotional contest against the Sabres.

Soderberg, who arrived Tuesday from Sweden, participated in morning skate on Wednesday but will not be in the lineup against the Sabres. The Bruins feel that it will be beneficial to both Soderberg and the team for him to get some practices in and watch the team from the press box before jumping into game action.

Wade Redden will make his Bruins debut on Wednesday, with it unknown which Bruins defenseman will sit. Andrew Ference was supposed to be a healthy scratch on Monday before the game was postponed, but Adam McQuaid and Matt Bartkowski stayed on the ice a little longer than teammates, suggesting they might be the scratches.

There was a heavy amount of rotating in line rushes for the B’s in Wednesday’s practice, but here’s what the forward lines looked like:

Gregory Campbell – David Krejci – Jaromir Jagr
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille – Chris Kelly – Nathan Horton
Milan Lucic – Rich Peverley – Shawn Thornton

The goaltenders left the ice at pretty much the same time, but it was Anton Khudobin who was the first off. Given the time between games, it would be a bit surprising to see Tuukka Rask sit Wednesday, so stay tuned on that front.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Brad Marchand, Carl Soderberg, Patrice Bergeron,
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