By Philip Croucher - Metro Halifax
HAMMONDS PLAINS - It’s a case of mother knows pest.
Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) is congratulated by teammate Brad Marchand after his goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal NHL Stanley Cup hockey playoffs series in Boston, Wednesday, May 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
After a slow start to the playoffs, Hammonds Plains forward Brad Marchand is finding his post-season stride once again – just in time for the Boston Bruins’ second trip to the Stanley Cup finals in three years.
“I think he’s getting to be more of a little bit of an agitator where he wasn’t as much so during the Toronto series,” Lynn Marchand says about her son Brad, dubbed the ‘little ball of hate’ by American President Barack Obama during the team’s visit to the White House for his role in the team’s 2011 Cup win. “I think the further it goes on (in the playoffs) the more that comes out in him because it helps him elevate his game.
But the key is of course not crossing the line too far. He’s been able to do that so far – keep it pretty mild and not getting himself in situations that are costing the team.”
It’s pins and needles time again for Lynn and her husband Kevin as they get ready to watch their son try and earn a second Stanley Cup ring in three years.
Marchand, who has 11 points in his last 10 post-season contests after recording just two assists in the first six games, will have his parents on hand to watch some of the final against the Chicago Blackhawks.
It won’t be in Game 1 on Wednesday, but Lynn said they might fly to Chicago for Game 2 on Friday. She guaranteed however they would be in attendance when the series switches to Boston for Games 3 and 4.
“I think it’s just as stressful,” Lynn said when comparing Brad’s playoff run this year with 2011. “I was really stressed out in the last series – the last couple of games.
“Yes, he’s been very fortunate to have won a Cup already, but to have a second crack at it in a two-year time frame is pretty exciting.”
Unlike the playoff run in 2011 when the Marchand family – from aunts and uncles to cousins and grandparents – got together to watch all his games, things are much more quiet.
Everyone now watches in the comforts of their own home, Lynn says, partly because when they got together during Boston’s first-round playoff series against Toronto, the team kept losing.
“When it’s going well, the phone never stops,” Lynn laughs. “When it’s not going well, you don’t hear from anybody.”