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Marchand speaks about benching

<font size="2" face="Arial">Halifax Mooseheads forward Brad Marchand finished his Quebec Major Junior Hockey League career as a healthy scratch, watching from the stands in Robert Guertin Arena in Gatineau, Que., as the host Olympiques swept his team from the QMJHL semifinals in four straight games on Thursday night.</font>


Halifax Mooseheads forward Brad Marchand finished his
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League career as a healthy scratch, watching from the
stands in Robert Guertin Arena in Gatineau, Que., as the host Olympiques swept
his team from the QMJHL semifinals in four straight games on Thursday
night.

A day later, he took some time to talk to Metro
Halifax about what transpired.


Mooseheads head coach Cam Russell made the decision
to scratch Marchand in an effort to shake up a lineup that put forth an
embarrassing performance in a 6-1 loss in Game 3.


But Marchand, from Hammonds Plains, was leading the
team in scoring with 19 points in 14 games, and was acquired for a prospect and
five draft picks in December because of his reputation for big-game
performances. He is a two-time world-junior gold-medallist and he led the QMJHL
playoffs in scoring in 2007.


Matthew Wuest: What reason were you given for
being scratched?


Brad Marchand: I think it was just a coaches
decision. They thought it would be best for the team if I didn't play. I wasn't
helping the team out, I wasn't playing the way I should have been and I was
bringing the team down. Maybe they wanted to get a spark, get the younger guys
going, get the older guys realizing they've got to step up. Unfortunately it
didn't work, but that's part of the game.


MW: How did you react to the
decision?


BM: I was disappointed. I was really disappointed not
to play in that game. I'm not a guy that quits and I was never going to quit. I
believed we could come back in that series. I believed we had an opportunity to
win that game and those are the games I play best in, those dying games. Last
year, we (the Val-d'Or Foreurs) were down 3-1 to Cape Breton and we won and I
thought we could do the same thing this year. But that didn't happen.


MW: On paper, you were leading the team in
scoring and had some impressive playoff showings. Was there any warning that
this could happen, in previous games or after Game 3?


BM: No, I didn't see it coming at all. I don't think
it matters when you're leading the team in points. It's all about how the team's
playing. Not one player's going to win a series for you and you win a game, it's
a team effort. It's disappointing that I didn't get to play that game. I don't
think it matters who has the most points. We have lots of guys who can put the
puck in the net and we were just looking for some guys to step up and do
that.


MW: Did the organization treat you
fairly?


BM: Yeah, definitely. The coaches and management and
owner treated me very fairly the whole time I've been here. They gave up a lot
to get me here and Cam's treated me great, ever since I've been here. He's given
me special treatment in certain areas, he's done a lot for me, he's protected me
and I have a lot of respect for him. Bobby (Smith, majority owner) gave up a lot
to get me and (general manager) Marcel (Patenaude) pushed to have me. I have a
lot of respect for all of those guys and I understand what happened. It's just
part of the game, it's part of how things operate. We're not looking for me to
gain personal success out of this, it's about the team winning and the team
having success. Whatever they feel the best game plan is, that's what our team's
going to do, and we always hope for the best.


MW: Did you feel your play in Game 3 was
deserving of being a healthy scratch in Game 4?


BM: I'm not sure, you know? It's tough for me to
judge my own game. I always like to get feedback from other people. I didn't
think I played terrible in Game 3. I didn't have my best game but I guess the
coaching staff thought that, obviously, in the playoffs, I haven't played my
best hockey on the road. I only had one point in six games on the road. All my
points came at home. But I think they saw an opportunity to try and get another
guy in the lineup who could possibly produce on the road and help our team a lot
more than I am on the road.


MW: How are you going to look back on your
time with the Mooseheads?


BM: I loved every second of it. I have a lot of
respect for them bringing me in and allowing me the opportunity to play in
Halifax. At the same time, I had a great team here. All the boys here were great
to me. We had a lot of fun, we have a lot of great memories, the coaching staff
made it very easy for me to enjoy my time here, and I loved every second of
it.


MW: How is the team doing after having a
night to reflect on how the season ended?


BM: Everyone's very disappointed. We know we had a
great team, we had a great opportunity and things didn't click. Everyone's
pretty disappointed. But life goes on. We don't to have any regrets, so we're
just trying to enjoy the next couple of days or weeks, trying to make sure we
have a couple of more memories together.


matthew.wuest@metronews.ca


 
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