Brad Marchand will finish his time in solitary confinement and get back to eating three NHL squares after the Bruins, ranked second only to Tampa Bay in the East, take on the Red Wings on Tuesday in Detroit.
Marchand, the club’s top point-getter (21-29—50), will travel to Detroit and rejoin the lineup Wednesday night when the Black and Gold face the Rangers in Manhattan.
The prolific left winger will join his No. 1 linemates, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, against the Blueshirts.
Suspended five games for a running elbow to Marcus Johansson’s head prior to the All-Star break, Marchand has watched his teammates roll up an impressive 3-1-0 record in his absence.
Coach Bruce Cassidy reiterated early Monday afternoon, following the club’s workout in Brighton, that he wants the NHL All-Star to be mindful of his abundant offensive skill. Cassidy wants him both to protect and nurture that image and avoid the ongoing narrative that too often underscores his chippy, sometimes cheap play, such as the hit that concussed Johansson.
“It’s tough, I’ve tried here for a while to get away from that role,” Marchand said. “I just can’t seem to escape it. I think obviously, you look back at the past few years, I’ve turned into a decent player and it’s tough to be branded with that name consistently — obviously, it’s from my own doing, but it’s tough to escape it a bit.”
To play “devil’s advocate,” noted Marchand, much of his reputation was built early in his career, when he needed to scrap and aggravate opponents to make himself known as a fourth-liner. Now on perhaps the game’s best scoring line, he knows he would be wise to modify his approach.
“I’d never say I wouldn’t go back and play the same way again, coming into the league,” he said. “It’s what I had to do to earn a job and get where I am today. But, yeah, it’s definitely tougher, and it’s something you want, when you are done . . . that you are remembered as a decent player.”
Rangers’ Nash available
According to Bob McKenzie, Canada’s one-man warehouse for NHL rumors, the Rangers asked for and received a list of a dozen teams veteran winger Rick Nash will accept in a trade prior to the league’s Feb. 26 trade deadline.
Nash presumably would accept a deal to the Bruins, but it’s highly unlikely general manager Don Sweeney would feel compelled to add the 33-year-old to a lineup that has produced the league’s best results over the last three months — with only four regulation losses in their last 33 games.
Tuesday after the Super Bowl a year ago, Feb. 7, was the day the Bruins canned Claude Julien and replaced him behind the bench with Cassidy, whose club this season stands 31-11-8. In his 77 games as bench boss — only five fewer than a full regular season, Cassidy is 49-19-9 (.695).
Czarnik gets the call
Austin Czarnik was called up again from AHL Providence and is expected to be in uniform in Detroit. He’ll likely move aside again when Marchand is back . . . Tuukka Rask will start in the Boston net in Detroit and yield to Anton Khudobin for the Ranger game.