Here we go again.
Brad Marchand has crossed the line. In a just world, he should be suspended.
Come on, Marchand pic.twitter.com/HOP6mScuLa
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) May 1, 2019
I hate that I have to continually preface blogs with the fact that I’m a Bruins fan, but I feel it is particularly relevant in this one.
I have long been a defender of Marchand. He’s an elite offensive talent who makes the Bruins a better team. He also plays a style of hockey that a lot of fans (and often other players) hate. He’s on the edge. He’s chippy. At times, he’s dirty.
This past season has been a good one for Marchand. He broke 100 points for the first time. He played on the edge but he seemed to eliminate the truly dirty stuff that defined his earlier career. He had no suspensions, and no real controversy around his play. Bruins fans were convinced he finally found the perfect balance to his two contrasting styles of play.
But a zebra cannot change his stripes.
In a game that was probably the least physical of the series, Marchand regressed. Early in the second he took an unnecessary cross-checking penalty that lead to Columbus’ second (and ultimately game-winning) goal. It was a selfish penalty, but not completely egregious.
With 1:00 left in the third, and the Bruins losing by 1 – Marchand reverted to “Bad Brad” and through a jab to the back of Blue Jackets defenseman Scott Harrington. Harrington at the time was on his knees, with his back to Marchand.
It was cheap, it was dangerous (shots to the head are a no-go. Shots to the back of the head of someone not engaged in any way are a big no-go), it was completely unnecessary and stupid.
What makes it even more indefensible is that you can see Marchand look to ensure no refs are watching before he does it, and then he immediately skates away after. That’s chickenshit.
The NHL DoPS has yet to make an announcement about whether the play will be under review – but they should review it, and they should suspend him. Marchand has done himself no favors over his career, and this is the kind of play the NHL should be trying to enforce out.
Be better, Brad. The Bruins are struggling with you on the ice, taking yourself out mentally (and possibly physically) with this shit isn’t helping.