Brad Marchand was asked, if the public could peek inside the Bruins’ locker room, would they be surprised by how beat up players are at this point in the season?
“Well, they can’t look inside our room,” Marchand said, with a laugh.
The answer, though, might be yes.
It is no secret players endure strains, nicks, and bruises throughout the playoffs. When stakes are high, nobody wants to watch from the bench — or worse, watch from the press box as a scratch.
“I think the whole playoffs there’s been a lot of guys playing with injuries,” forward Nathan Horton said.
Once the Stanley Cup Final concludes, both teams will divulge the extent of ailments that have been concealed for weeks.
For now, though, the players’ mind-set is: Play as hard as you can, if you can.
“You don’t want to hurt your teammates,” Horton said. “I think you have to be the judge yourself if you can help or you can’t help . . . you have to be true to yourself and do what you can.”
Horton suffered an injury during overtime of Game 1. The forward returned for Game 2, but has struggled offensively since then.
The 28-year-old has one point (an assist) in the past four games after tallying 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in the first 17 playoff games this season.
“I’m fine,” Horton said. “I just haven’t had the opportunities. There’s not a lot of room, but we’ve got to make our own room and that’s how it’s got to be, I guess.”
Down the same road
When the Bruins won the Cup in 2011, they trailed the Canucks, 3-2, entering Game 6. The Bruins won the next two games by a combined 9-2 score.
“We have some experience here,” said Marchand, who tallied three goals in the final two games of 2011. “We need to realize to win [Monday’s] game we have to leave everything on the ice. That’s what we did last time so hopefully we can do it again.”
When the Final has been tied at two games apiece, the team that won Game 5 has won the Cup 15 out of 22 times (68.2 percent).
But four of the past six teams to lose Game 5 have rebounded to win the championship, including the Bruins in 2011.
“I think the big picture is just win two games,” Horton said. “We concentrate on one at a time.”
Since ClaudeJulien became the Bruins’ coach in 2007, his teams have faced elimination 14 times. The Bruins are 10-4 in those games.
“Yeah, I like our chances,” rookie forward Carl Soderberg said. “They’re not bad.”
Boychuk in the clear
Johnny Boychuk will not face suspension for his hit on Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews Saturday night.
The play occurred midway through the second period. Toews cut into the middle of the ice and mustered a shot on Tuukka Rask a few feet from Boston’s net.
Right after the release, Toews was met by Boychuk, the 6-foot-2-inch, 225-pound defenseman.
The check was at shoulder level and may have connected with Toews’s head.
The Chicago captain got up and labored toward the bench. Toews, who has a history of head injuries, did not play in the third period.
Toews did not speak to the media after Game 5 and was not made available on Sunday.
Boychuk said the hit was clean. On Sunday, Julien stood by his defenseman.
“I agree with [the NHL],” Julien said. “I’m not going to hide from that. I have been a guy that supported those kind of things that we need to get out of the game. But it was a clean hit.”
Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference served a one-game suspension in the first round for a hit on Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski.