Monday, January 9, 2012
You Won't Be Seeing Marchand For The Next 5 Games Thanks To His Suspension
As expected, Bruins forward Brad Marchand was suspended today by the NHL and it is a lengthy one as he will miss the next five games.
After a conference call with Brendan Shanahan-the NHL's vice president of player safety and hockey operations-the ruling came down this evening.
When I wrote my recap on Saturday night of the Bruins 4-3 loss to the Canucks, I didn't defend the cheap hit by Marchand on Sami Salo. My stance hasn't changed one bit since then despite all the whining from Vancouver that has made me cover my eyes and ears.
There is no excuse for that type of play. It was dirty and dangerous; if someone did it to a Bruin, we'd all be going crazy and calling for their head so it's only right that we remember it in this instance and not let our bias get the best of us.
Marchand is a player that is usually on the edge in terms of style. However, between this and the slew foot in Pittsburgh earlier this season (which cost him a fine from the NHL), it's clear that he needs to wake up and realize that he's way too valuable to his team to be pulling this Matt Cooke-esque bullshit.
Since he was suspended two games in 2011 for an elbowing incident against Columbus, Marchand had a track record which like being a bad student or a criminal meant that there was extra attention on him. He will miss games against the Jets, Canadiens, Hurricanes, Panthers and Lightning. If he doesn't appeal and starts serving it right away, expect him back in the lineup on Thursday, January 19 when the Bruins visit the Devils.
Benoit Pouliot should get bumped up to Marchand's spot on the second line with Zach Hammill replacing Pouliot on the third line. Jordan Caron might even get called up from Providence to practice with the team and be the extra body in case someone else gets hurt or suspended.
All we can hope is that Marchand learns his lesson from this meaty punishment. He'll lose out on $152,439.02 of game checks due to missing these five games so that should play a role as well in making him see the error in his ways. We all love Marchand and this one cowardly act won't change that, however I can't listen to any fan boys (or girls) that pretend that some type of suspension wasn't warranted. Get real folks.