Marchand: Blue Jackets' Atkinson ‘rude' for stick blade incident

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BRIGHTON, Mass – Brad Marchand was relatively quiet in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Toronto Maple Leafs, so it’s a welcome development that the Little Ball of Hate seems to be finding himself in the second round against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Marchand chirped former teammate Riley Nash for his physical play in Game 1 on Friday’s off day and he also addressed some other Little Ball of Hate-type activity in the overtime of Game 1. It was clear that something had happened with Marchand and Columbus forward Cam Atkinson when the two were jawing with each other in the OT, and then Atkinson needed to return to the Blue Jackets bench for a new stick after his was broken.

Atkinson gave Marchand a final shove to the back as he returned for the face-off circle, but at the time it wasn’t clear what happened.

A review of the video after the Game 1 win showed that Marchand stepped on Atkinson’s stick and broke it, thereby setting off the Columbus forward and forcing him to get a new stick in the process. One could understand Atkinson’s ire, but Marchand thought he had a reasonable explanation for exactly what happened.

"I think he was trying to dull my blade there,” said Marchand, with a smirk on his face while insinuating that Atkinson slid his stick blade under his skate ahead of the draw. “Send me to the room, get it sharpened. It's kind of rude of him to do."

Atkinson wasn’t in a joking mood about the stick incident when he was asked about it on Friday, and said Marchand owes him some money.

“He owes me $300, so you can tell him that,” said Atkinson, who said he'd go “toe-to-toe” with Marchand. “I'm expecting that. Cash. Straight cash.”

It’s unclear whether Marchand would actually owe the $300 to Atkinson or to the Columbus Blue Jackets, who presumably pay for all of Atkinson’s hockey lumber, but you can file all of this under Marchand finally Being Marchand in the second round.  

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