Friday, November 18, 2005

Marshall Devils Spark Plug

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ- On a team which possesses talented forwards such as Patrik Elias, Alexander Mogilny, Scott Gomez, Brian Gionta, Viktor Kozlov and Zach Parise, Devils right wing Grant Marshall is a gritty forward who provides energy for the club every night. Not the most skilled, Marshall relies on hard work to get the job done.

Asked about his role, Marshall said, "It's pretty simple. Just bring a lot of energy, physical play. I can move up and down any line I think."

Whether it's in a checking role or on the power play to provide some muscle up front, the 32-year-old Mississauga Ontario native will do whatever it takes to help his club win.

"I'm not the flashiest player which is kind of okay to be. Just work hard."

Marshall spoke of his recent hot streak. Entering Friday night against Montreal, he had two goals and three assists in the past three games. He had a chance to extend the streak but the puck slid off his stick on a breakaway.

"The hands came in the way there," he remarked. "I think all year, I've been working hard but things just don't happen for a reason. Good fortune as well. Things bouncing my way and you get on that kind of roll with certain players and kind of roll with it."

Regarding his team's hard fought 5-3 triumph Friday, the personable forward said, "Tonight was a big win for us. ... We regrouped and showed a lot of character in the third. We bounced back with a couple of goals."

In his 10-year NHL career, Marshall has won two Stanley Cups with the '99 Stars and '03 Devils. When asked about which one stood out, he gave a reasonable response.

"It's hard. People always ask me that. My first one. It's always your first one. It's always very special. But I was injured in the Finals that year and coming here and being able to contribute, play every game and help out was probably one of the most special things for me."

In the '03 Devils run Marshall played very well, finishing with six goals and two assists for eight points. He's best known for scoring the triple overtime Game Five Second Round clincher over Tampa Bay and setting up Jeff Friesen with a brilliant backhand pass for the winning goal against Ottawa with under two minutes left in Game Seven, making the Devils Eastern Conference Champions.

"I knew you'd ask that. People ask me that as well," he quipped. "I'd have to honestly say the pass that I made to Friesen without a doubt was the most highlight of my career so far."

"It was just the way the whole game was going up and down and (Jeff) was getting frustrated after giving up a goal a couple of shifts before that."

"I just talked to him and said, 'Listen. Relax. The game's tied. We're in Game Seven. Where else would you rather be?' And we came through with the pass and he got the goal. So it was great."

Undoubtedly, Marshall knows what it takes to win.

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