Bruins balancing playing their game with dealing with irritating Canucks

Marchand/By S. Bradley

BOSTON — As the left wing on the Bruins’ shutdown forward line, Brad Marchand has gone head-to-head with Alex Burrows as much as any Boston player through the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final.

Somehow, the high-strung Bruins rookie has managed to stay out of the penalty box — other than an ill-advised holding-the-stick penalty in Game 1 — in light of Burrows’ menacing ways.

“I’m not trying to focus on him more than anyone else,” said Marchand today after the Bruins’ TD Garden skate in preparation for Game 3. “Every time you’re on the ice you want to do the job against every line you’re lined up against. You want to play physical and hard but I’m not trying to pay attention any more to one player than another.”

As they try to climb out of their 0-2 series hole, the Bruins would be wise to follow Marchand’s model of discipline (there’s a line you never thought you’d hear). So far, they’ve been able to toe the line as far as non-hockey penalties, even when bitten or when a player has tried  to stuff his fingers in their faces.

“They have their style of playing and we have ours. I think we realize that if it was regular season, they wouldn’t do this,” said forward Daniel Paille. “So we know that we have a bigger reason to play for.”

“I think we handle it really well,” he continued. “We’re not playing the way we can for our own reasons. But it’s four games to win, so I think tonight should be a nice match for us.”

While trying to maintain their calm, the Bruins could get a boost from being the initiators in some of the funny business. That’s something, however, the Bruins have to be careful about according to forward Shawn Thornton.

“It can go both ways this time of year,” said the veteran. “Maybe you have to be careful, you have to walk a fine line. You want to be able to play hard but don’t want to be the guy to put your team down though. There’s a line to be walked. We haven’t won yet, so we have to be better in a lot of areas.”

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