(Above Photo Credit: SiriusXM Canada)
By Andrew Thompson Follow Me On Twitter @Godwentwhoops
While there is plenty to love about Boston’s ‘Little Ball of Hate’ Bruins forward Brad Marchand put the team and the playoffs at risk with his spearing of Lightning defenceman Jake Dotchin.
Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand has been one of the best players for the Black and Gold this season. He leads the team with 39 goals and 85 points. He’s been a dependable top line winger that has finally evolved into a complete and elite NHL winger.
Brad Marchand also has a glaring liability. Marchand, for all his excellence still has the terrible habit of putting up a terrible penalty at the worst possible moment.
That liability was on display Tuesday night. With the Boston Bruins very season in the balance, Marchand chose to spear Tampa Bay defenceman Jake Dotchin between the legs.
This initially gave the Tampa Bay Lightning a five-minute power play for the major penalty he earned. It got worse. Between the first and second periods the refs decided to throw the book at Marchand again. They gave him a game misconduct and ejected him from the game. There will likely be a fine and possibly a suspension for his actions.
A suspension would not be surprising. Marchand is classified as a ‘repeat offender’ according to the latest CBA.
Marchand has had four suspensions and had three fines levied against him by the Department of Player Safety. His most recent brush with the DoPS came back in January of this season. He was fined $10,000 for slew-footing Detroit Red Wings defenceman Niklas Kronwall.
Brad Marchand should know better by now. He risked the team’s season on a bone-headed play. Thankfully, the Bruins penalty kill rose to the occasion. They kept the Tampa power play units to just two shots on goal in those five minutes.
The Boston Bruins went on to win the game 4-0. The B’s now have clinched a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference (although it will take the final two games to see where the B’s will end up compared to the rest of the teams).
“It was an undisciplined penalty,” said Marchand about his spear of Dotchin. “There’s no question about that, and it could have cost the team a very important game. But the guys did a great job of rallying and having a huge game. It was just a reaction, to be honest. Just a reactionary play, but obviously very undisciplined though.
“I have no idea [if there will be a suspension]. I haven’t seen the replay, but I got kicked out of the game and the refs made their call. So I’m just trying to enjoy the win with the boys.”
Marchand will be PROFOUNDLY lucky if he doesn’t miss the last two games of the season. He’s on track to be the first 40 goal scorer for Boston since Glen Murray did it in the 2002-03 season. It would be a shame to see him miss that milestone because of a suspension.
But frankly, it’s a suspension he has more than earned.
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