The soundbites and storylines through the first six games of this year’s Bruins-Maple Leafs series certainly complemented the on-ice product. Bruce Cassidy sounding off on Toronto’s slew foots, Nazem Kadri’s suspension, and Jake DeBrusk being public enemy No. 1 north of the border are the few headlines that dominated the first-round matchup.
Brad Marchand isn’t one to shy away from the headlines, either. His comments regarding the on-ice conditions at TD Garden were quite interesting following his two-goal outing in Boston’s Game 6 win over the Maple Leafs on Sunday.
“The ice has been terrible there,” Marchand told reporters in Toronto postgame. “So we might as well play with a tennis ball and we’ll just skate around and see who bounces one in the net.”
There’s really not much Marchand or any of the Bruins can do about the ice conditions. The unusual April humidity and construction outside of TD Garden, along with frequent changeovers between Celtics and Bruins games inside, make the ice surface ripe for divots and soft spots.
The TD Garden bull gang can only do so much to make the conditions as good as possible. But that didn’t stop Matt Grzelcyk — along with fellow teammate David Pastrnak — from having fun with it. Grezlcyk’s father, John Grzelcyk, is a longtime member of the changeover crew.
“Me and Pasta [Pastrnak] actually gave him grief after [Game 6],” the young Grzelcyk said about ribbing his father. “He didn’t like it. We were kind of joking, but yeah, obviously he doesn’t have much to do with that. But it was fun to poke some fun at him for sure.”
“There’s a lot going on in the building,” Grzelcyk added with a chuckle. “But if the ice acts up again, then we’ll have another word with him.”
Choppy surfaces aren’t anything new during the postseason. At least the Bruins know that the Maple Leafs will have the same issue heading into another decisive Game 7 on Tuesday night.
The Bruins and Maple Leafs couldn’t take advantage of home ice over the last few games. Toronto’s Game 3 victory at Scotiabank Arena a week ago Monday marked the last home win of this first round matchup.
But the ice may not be as bad this time around. No event took place inside the Causeway St. barn between the Bruins’ Game 5 loss on Friday and Tuesday’s Game 7. That meant no need for a changeover from the elder Grzelcyk and the rest of the bull gang.
The weather outside isn’t as humid either. That alone marks a slight improvement from Game 5.
“Both teams have to go out there and play on the same ice,” Grzelcyk said. “We’ll do our best and we’ll keep an eye out for the ice condition for sure.”
The younger Grzelcyk will be busy with helping the Bruins in another Game 7 against their Original Six rivals. A win would keep his father and the rest of the bull gang occupied for another round.