Bruins star Brad Marchand reveals his mindset entering season debut

Brad Marchand reveals his mindset entering season debut originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Bruins made a surprise announcement Thursday morning, revealing that Brad Marchand would return to the lineup for Thursday night's game against the Detroit Red Wings at TD Garden.

Marchand's return will come about a month before the projected return date the team had previously stated, which was around Thanksgiving/late November. The veteran left winger had surgery on both of his hips in May.

Bruins, Flyers, Canucks rank among biggest surprises, disappointments so far

Marchand, however, had this particular time in his mind as a possible return date for a while.

"We had this date circled on the calendar months ago," Marchand told reporters Thursday. "We wanted to keep it close. There are a lot of different variables about things that could happen and how I was going to feel. We weren't quite sure, but we've checked the box all along each step that we took in the progression. I felt good and I responded really well.

"I've got to give a ton of credit to the training staff. We sat down and talked about when we wanted to come back. There was the initial timeline, but we all wanted to get back as soon as we could within reason. They did a great job executing that and allowing me to come back early."

Getting in a good hard practice and playing his normal first-line left wing spot next to Patrice Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk was a good final test before making the decision to re-enter the lineup.

"Just the timing of it all, it was a shorter practice, but still, playing with Bergy and Jake and being on the power play, the timing of it, making sure I wasn't sore today when I woke up -- just another box we had to check to make sure," Marchand said.

"I could've woken up today and not felt right and had to take a step back, but that's not the case and I'm excited."

What are Marchand's expectations for his return?

"It's tough because it's a regular season game, it's not an exhibition game, clearly. You normally have three or four of those (exhibition games) to get ready for the season where you go in and feel it out, make sure you're where you want to be and it's OK to make mistakes. But that's not the case tonight," Marchand explained.

"It's about making sure I'm not a liability out there and not getting in the guys' way. They are rolling and feeling good. The main thing is just keeping it simple and being shift-short and not trying to do too much or too fancy."

Marchand won't play Friday night in the second game of a back-to-back against the Blue Jackets in Columbus. After that, the Bruins don't play again until Tuesday, which gives Marchand plenty of time to rest before playing in his second game.