Marcus Johansson on Brad Marchand incident: ‘That’s water under the bridge’

Matt Kalman
February 26, 2019 - 1:21 pm

Bruins forward Brad Marchand has had his run-ins with the NHL front office over the years but at 30 years old the speedy wing has emerged as a leader within Boston’s room and even wears an alternate captain’s ‘A’ from time to time.

That’s why it’s no surprise that he made the gesture of calling newly acquired forward Marcus Johansson to bury the hatchet after the Bruins acquired the Swede from the New Jersey Devils for two draft picks on Monday.

“I think that’s water under the bridge. I think it’s hockey, it’s a tough game, and he called me yesterday, we spoke for a bit. And he apologized, which I think was great,” Johansson said after taking the morning skate in preparation for his Boston debut against San Jose on Tuesday. “I just, like I said, that stuff happens a lot and it’s just fun to be here, it’s fun to be his teammate and I think he’s one of the best players in the league. So it’s fun to be on this side of it now.”

Last January, Marchand threw a hit at Johansson’s head that cost him the rest of the regular season.

Then in March, when Johansson finally spoke about the incident, he had some harsh words for Marchand.

So if the Bruins don’t fulfill their potential as a team and/or Johansson doesn’t turn out to be the right fit for their lineup, it won’t be because of any discord between Johansson and Marchand. And Marchand may not have been available to speak on the topic with the media Tuesday, but he did the necessary speaking in his phone call with his new teammate.

Johansson goes right

Coach Bruce Cassidy will start the left-shooting Johansson on right wing with David Krejci at center and Jake DeBrusk on left wing against the Sharks. With David Pastrnak out at least two more weeks while recovering from thumb surgery, the Bruins are in need of help on their second line. If the Johansson-Krejci combo clicks, Cassidy said he could keep it and bring Pastrnak back as Patrice Bergeron and Marchand’s right wing.

But Cassidy may also consider pairing Johansson with Charlie Coyle down the road. And, of course, the master tinkerer Cassidy also noted that we probably haven’t seen the last of the Peter Cehlarik, Coyle, David Backes line, which played well for one game. Cehlarik was demoted to Providence of the American Hockey League on Monday along with Karson Kuhlman.

Halak in net

Tuukka Rask is 12-0-3 in his past 16 games with a .930 save percentage, but he allowed five goals on 38 shots the last time the Bruins faced San Jose (Boston won 6-5 in overtime Feb. 18). So Jaroslav Halak gets the start Tuesday at TD Garden.

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