Boston Bruins superstar Brad Marchand had his night end fairly early on Tuesday. The game against the Tampa Bay Lightning was the potential playoff clincher, a game in which Marchand should’ve used his head. Instead, he decided to give Tampa’s Jake Dotchin a little cup check. By little, I mean not little at all. The dude had his you know what’s pushed back up and in, and rolled around on the ice for a solid five minutes.
This resulted in a five minute major and a game misconduct, of course, so Brad was headed to the locker room for the remainder of this one. The Bruins rallied despite losing their top player this season and shut out Tampa Bay 4-0, clinching their first playoff spot since 2014. Finally.
Over the past few years we’ve seen Marchy let his temper get the better of him; some might call him a dirty player. That’s all well and good, but how come when golden boy Sidney Crosby does it or even slices a dude’s finger off for God’s sake, it’s just a little slap on the wrist? The NHL released the following statement regarding Marchand’s suspension:
“Stick infractions are common in the National Hockey League. With some exceptions, the vast majority can be sufficiently penalized by the on-ice officials. What causes this play to rise to the level of supplemental discipline is the intent, the amount of force used and Marchand’s substantial history of attacking the lower body of unsuspecting opponents.
“This is not light contact that, while illegal, does not rise to the level of supplemental discipline. Marchand drives his stick up and into Dotchin with substantial force.”
Spearing a guy in the crotch is nothing new in the NHL, but what is new is getting suspended for it. Brad Marchand now will miss the final two games of the Bruins regular season, and two important games at that. Tonight’s tilt against the Ottawa Senators has hefty playoff implications considering that’s most likely who they’ll meet up with in the first round, all things considered. When you’re in a division as tight as the Atlantic, every point counts no matter how late in the season it is. Even Saturday’s season finale against the President’s Trophy winning Washington Capitals could be of the utmost importance. So… Do the Bruins have what it takes to get the W in the final two games of the season without the fire of #63?
I think so, and here’s why… It’s obvious that Marchand is not the favorite child throughout the NHL and this suspension proves it. A big fine is usually all you see when the family jewels get a quick stick jab. Especially if you’re Sidney Crosby who also has history with attacking the lower extremities, if you will.
The B’s have been firing on all cylinders lately and at the perfect time, so why stop now? This is the perfect chance for players like Pastrnak, Marchand, and Krejci to take over the goal scoring role that Marchand has assumed the entire season. Tuukka Rask is playing his best right now so having that support while this entire team is clicking will make life (two days, I’m being dramatic) nothing to worry about.
Look at the positives here guys, he’ll be perfectly rested and ready to go come next week having these extra two days. Playoffs are coming, that’s what we should be concerned about now.