DETROIT >> You can add Brendan Smith to the list of players that aren’t a big fan of Boston forward Brad Marchand.
The Bruins agitator drew a tripping penalty on Smith in the second period of Tuesday’s Game 3 of their Eastern Conference best-of-seven first round series.
Marchand thrived in pain on the ice gripping his right knee despite getting checked in the left leg by Smith.
“It was funny when he was putting all his weight on the leg that got hit (leaving the ice),” Smith said Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena. “It’s interesting when I saw the picture.
“That’s Marchand, he’s going to try to create some stuff, that’s the kind of player he is and he’s kind of lived off that for a long time, that’s why he’s great. It’s kind of funny when you get caught like that and you go down on your left leg and you got your right leg up. That’s how he is. That’s how he plays. It’s worked for him.”
Marchand has been trying to get under Smith’s skin the entire series, but he insists his ploys to do so aren’t working.
“For me I just keep playing,” Smith said. “I’m hoping the refs will start seeing a little more but it’s playoff hockey, that’s what goes on.
“That’s what he does, he’s an antagonizer, he’s kind of like a pest type of guy but he’s one of the best in the league at that,” Smith added. “It’s good that the refs can understand that.”
Boston’s ploy throughout the series seems to be try and get under the skin of any Wing in sight.
“It’s so emotional and the tensions (are) really high and guys are laying everything on the line,” Marchand said. “Things get chippy and guys are playing aggressively and it just comes out in playoffs a little more when you know what’s on the line and what you’re expected to do.”
In Game 1, Milan Lucic speared Danny DeKeyser between the legs. In Game 2, Zdeno Chara squared off with Smith and smiled the entire time as the Wings defensemen tried to engage with him at the end of the first period.
“I don’t like some of the cheap shots here and there,” Smith said. “In that sense I don’t like how (Marchand) plays that way.”