Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins is — say it with me, kids — an agitator.
One who agitates. One who says or does things to goad or enrage you. One whose candid sense of humor has an undercurrent of provocation.
That candor was on display on WEEI on Thursday morning (audio) as Nose Face Killah discussed the Bruins' road trip to Buffalo to face the Sabres on Friday, with Mut and Merloni:
Q. You go to Buffalo now. Do you like Buffalo as road trip spot? Buffalo's kind of a boring town, I'd think.
MARCHAND: "Yeah, Buffalo would be the worst place in the NHL, so I'm not too excited to go there, but I'll be pretty excited to leave."
Q. Did you say Buffalo is the worst place in the NHL? Did I hear that correctly?
MARCHAND: "Yeah, it's one of them. It's up there."
As one might have expected, the Buffalo media were interested in having a word with Marchand about their fair city.
After the Bruins arrived there, John Vogl of the Buffalo News asked Marchand about his Frommer's Travel Guide assessment of Buffalo. Marchand said he was just havin' a laugh:
"It's always cold and usually rainy when we come here, and I was just playing around," Marchand said in First Niagara Center. "I hope I didn't offend anyone. The people here have always been very friendly and very nice. That was by no means a shot at them. They're great people. I was just joking around."
"I heard it was a little cold in Buffalo, and I'm allergic to the cold," said Marchand, a native of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
As Vogl points out, Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs is also a native of Buffalo. Squirm-tastic!
Marchand joins fellow Boston sports icon Tom Brady in having backed off comments about how terrible Buffalo is, as the New England Patriots quarterback recently had the audacity to say that Buffalo hotels weren't the nicest in the world.
But Marchand's assessment was much more in the spirit of Anaheim Ducks prospect Emerson Etem, who called it "the worst city ever" during the 2011 World Junior Championships.
Die By The Blade's words during the Etem affair ring true today:
Buffaloians know that their city isn't the greatest and that it has flaws. Abandoned grain elevators, bad weather, and a waterfront that never gets developed are among the issues that plague this city. All cities have flaws though and no one appreciates it when someone else points those out. Its like someone telling you that your father is cheap. You may know its true, but it doesn't mean that someone else can say it.
Actually, we appreciate it when Marchand points it out, because it's hilarious.