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Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Bruins’ Brad Marchand: ‘You have to be willing to do anything … in order to win’

Brad Marchand might be the ultimate pest, but he's not the original.

Not even in his own family.

The Boston Bruins left wing writes in a first-person story published last week in The Players' Tribune that he got his inspiration from his younger brother, Jeff.

When Marchand and his friends were shoveling snow for hours on the lake near his childhood home outside Halifax, Nova Scotia, Jeff would be inside messaging girls on the computer while claiming to be doing homework. When the lake finally was cleared, Jeff  would show up with stick in hand, ready to play.

"What a little runt," Brad Marchand writes. "He was incredible. I respected his craft, honestly."

Marchand might have picked up his wiliness from his brother, but his ability to irritate is innate.

He writes that his mother likes to say that he came out of the womb "mischievous." He liked the feeling of messing with other kids, getting under their skin and making them react.

An experience in pee-wee hockey involving his younger brother took things a step further.

Marchand's team was playing its rival when a forward for the other team took a run at Jeff. Marchand's father, one of the coaches, tapped Brad and three of his  teammates on the shoulder.

"Next shift, I want every one of you to take a run at that kid every time he touches the puck," he said.

The player became so frustrated that he took a slashing penalty and was in the penalty box when Marchand's team scored the winning goal.

Something clicked after the game, as Marchand recalled a speech his pee-wee coach once gave in the locker room about the odds of making it to the NHL.

"OK … if I have a 0.01-percent chance," Marchand remembered thinking, "this might be one way of getting people to notice me."

Though his style of play makes him hated in most opposing cities, Marchand says he is simply willing to do whatever it takes to win.

"If I played the game any other way, you absolutely would not know my name," he writes. "You wouldn't care enough to hate me, because I wouldn't be in the NHL. The way I played the game got me noticed by junior teams, and it got me drafted by the Boston Bruins at 5-9.

It also endears him to Bruins fans.

"All the heat I feel from fans in Vancouver and Toronto and Montreal means nothing compared to the love I feel from Boston," Marchand writes. "I'll never forget after we beat Vancouver in Game 7 to win the Cup, we flew back to Boston with the Cup, and as we stepped off the plane all the fans were lined up waiting for us, going crazy. One of the police officers came up to us and said, "The city is yours. Enjoy it."

Did they ever.

Upon hearing that the Blackhawks once partied for 16 days after winning the Stanley Cup, Marchand and his teammates were determined to outdo them. They made it through seven or eight days before receiving a phone call.

"All right, boys, time to go back home," the caller said. "It's over. Leave the city."

"We didn't make it to 16 days," Marchand writes, "but I'm proud of that evacuation order. We earned it."

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