Marchand expects 'really sloppy hockey' when games resume
Brad Marchand doesn't believe the quality of play will be ideal when the NHL's expanded postseason begins in August.
"I think it’s going to be really sloppy hockey, to be honest with you," the Boston Bruins forward told reporters Saturday. "We've been off for four or five months or whatever it's been, and it takes more than a couple weeks to get it all back and be at the top of your game.
"And the ice conditions are not going to be good in the middle of summer."
Marchand continued, "We're all going to be on the same playing field and we've all had the same amount of time to get ready, and we're just going to have to battle it out regardless of the situation. It's still going to be intense, it's going to be hard-fought, and there are going to be some nice plays, but it should be a little choppy, especially at the start."
The Bruins held their final practice in Boston on Sunday before they head to Toronto to take part in the Eastern Conference round-robin tournament against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, and Philadelphia Flyers. The round-robin stage will determine seeding for the top four clubs in each conference for the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.