Marchand doesn't sound ready to tone things down after suspension

Marchand doesn't sound ready to tone things down after suspension

BOSTON – Brad Marchand sounded Thursday like somebody that was sorry he’d negatively impacted his team and sorry he’d be $100,000 plus lighter in the wallet after getting suspended for a couple of games. But it also didn’t exactly sound like Marchand had “seen the light,” so to speak, after getting suspended for the final two games of the regular season following his spearing of Tampa Bay D-man Jake Dotchin in the groin on Tuesday night.

“It was definitely very selfish and undisciplined at the time…well, obviously. But you can’t do anything about it now. The most important thing is that we’re in playoffs and regardless of who we have to play, we have to do the job,” said Marchand. “They won a huge game without me the other night and they’re going to be ready [to play] regardless. It is what it is. I mean, they made their decision and I have to live with it. Now, I have to move on and get ready for playoffs.”

Clearly it might be time for Marchand to really focus on toning it down after getting smacked with his eighth round of supplemental discipline from the NHL for throwing a cheap shot. That’s far too many times in eight NHL seasons for the Nose Face Killah, and this time around it could potentially cost the Bruins a chance at home ice in the first round due to his absence in Thursday night’s 2-1 shootout  loss to the Ottawa Senators.

If the Bruins were to also lose a tight game to Washington on Saturday then there could certainly be a growing chorus of second-guessers ready to criticize their best player, Marchand, for costing the Bruins with his suspension-powered absence. The B’s agitator made it clear in defiant terms that he didn’t care much about any critical eye toward his actions past or present, and went with the time-honored “you can’t possibly understand if you didn’t play the game” defense that pretty much never works.

“I’m not really concerned about how anyone really feels outside of the [B’s dressing] room,” said Marchand, showing the same kind of fiery spirit that makes him such a good player on the ice on most nights. “Things happen in hockey. The only people I care about in this world are my teammates and my family, and I think that they have different thoughts about me.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion. The team did the job so we’re in a position we need to be in for the playoffs. So we’ll move forward.”

Marchand mentioned his teammates and his family as the only people whose opinions that he cares about, but surely his coaches also fit that bill while standing behind Marchand’s game-to-game passion and also acknowledging the loss of discipline against Tampa.

“I’ll take Brad Marchand on my team any day,” said Cassidy. “I hope he understands how valuable he is to this team and on the ice. But Marchy is a big boy. I think when these things happen, I’m sure he thinks it through.

“As I said this morning, Marchy plays hard and it’s what makes him a good player. Sometimes [the moment] gets the best of him, but at the end of the day we need him on the ice. Hopefully he comes back from [the two-game suspension] and plays within the boundaries of the game and that’s it, and still plays well.”

The Bruins simply have to hope Marchand returns for the playoffs with something to prove beyond the antics that keep getting him suspended, and instead they get a focused, elite player that has already got his annual brush with NHL disciplinarians out of his system. A word to the wise, however: Don’t bet on that with a feisty, stubborn player in Marchand that probably doesn’t want to change much about his game after popping in a career-best 39 goals and 85 points this season. 

Bruins resiliency on full display in third-period comeback vs Stars

AP Photo

Bruins resiliency on full display in third-period comeback vs Stars

GOLD STAR: Every once in a while Brad Marchand wills the Bruins to a win that they probably wouldn’t have otherwise had, and that happened again on Friday night with a three-point explosion for No. 63 in the final 20 minutes. Marchand finished with a goal and three points in 19:57 of ice time along with a plus-2 rating, and played a key role in the three-goal outburst that allowed the B’s to vanquish a 2-0 deficit. It was Marchand that opted not to shoot from the face-off dot with a look at the net in the closing seconds, and instead dropped it down low to David Pastrnak as he curled around the net and pushed a puck past Kari Lehtonen for the game-winner. Marchand finished with two shots on net, eight total shot attempts and a number of big plays in the third period redirecting pucks in close, kicking off shorthanded scoring plays and then setting up clutch game-winners in the final 15 seconds of the game. It’s the kind of night where Marchand played like an MVP even if he isn’t going to get much of a sniff at the Hart Trophy. 

BLACK EYE: Jamie Benn scored a shorthanded goal for the Dallas Stars, but he also jumped up in the air and clobbered Brad Marchand from behind with a completely unnecessary hit in the third period that went without a penalty being called. Instead it seemed to incense Marchand, who never gave up in the final sequence and ultimately fed a pass to David Pastrnak down low for the game-winner with just 11.1 seconds remaining in the game. Benn finished a minus-2 for Dallas while being on the ice for a pair of goals against, had a brutal 1-for-7 performance in the face-off dot and really acted like a punk on the play with Marchand in the third period. Benn is a better player than that and shouldn’t be resorting that level on a fellow star player like Marchand. 

TURNING POINT: Once again the Bruins really turned things around in the third period while outscoring the Stars by a 3-0 margin, and really flooding the Dallas net with 10 of their 36 shots on net for the night. It all started with a relentless shift from Boston’s top line where Riley Nash made a pass from his knees before taking a big hit, and then Brad Marchand redirected a David Pastrnak shot from the slot off his leg and into the net for Boston’s first goal. That first score finally allowed the Bruins to begin building some momentum, score each of the next two goals as the game slipped away from Dallas and once again proved themselves as a hockey club that one doesn’t ever doubt in the third period. 

HONORABLE MENTION: Tuukka Rask had a career-high 40 saves and turned away some really good looks from the Dallas offense while showing exactly what the Bruins can be capable of when their goaltending is on point. The only goals that beat Rask were a first period score with droves of traffic in front of the net, and a second period shorthanded score for Jamie Benn where he pulled one of those unconventional finishing moves on Rask at the very end. Rask made 11 saves on the Dallas power play alone during a trio of PP chances, and made a crucial leg pad save on Antoine Roussel in the third period that helped open things up for the goal-scoring outburst late in the game. Hopefully the strong, resounding performance from Rask answers some of the questions about some of his recent so-so performances between the pipes.   

BY THE NUMBERS: 29 – the number of goals this season for David Pastrnak as he readies to become only the ninth Bruins player to hit the 30-goal plateau in back-to-back seasons over the last 35 years of franchise history. 

QUOTE TO NOTE: “Resiliency. We didn’t want to go quietly for sure. We can live with the end result as long as we play the right way. The end result went our way again in the end, and I think that’s a credit to the guys.” –Bruce Cassidy to NESN about another comeback win for the Black and Gold.

Pastrnak scores with 12 seconds left to lift Bruins over Stars, 3-2

AP Photo

Pastrnak scores with 12 seconds left to lift Bruins over Stars, 3-2

DALLAS - David Pastrnak broke a tie with 12 seconds left and the Boston Bruins scored three straight goals in the third period to rally past the fading Dallas Stars 3-2 on Friday night.

A scramble followed a faceoff in the Dallas end, and Brad Marchand passed to Pastrnak in front. While falling down, he put the puck past Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen.

TALKING POINTS: B's resiliency on full display vs Stars

Tuukka Rask made a season-high 40 saves for the Bruins. Marchand scored Boston's first goal and also assisted on a short-handed goal by Tim Schaller that tied it midway through the third period.

The second-place Bruins won for the first time in three games (1-0-2) to move within four points of Atlantic Division leader Tampa Bay. Boston has already clinched a playoff berth.

The Stars are winless in their last seven games (0-5-2). They remained four points behind Colorado for the second Western Conference wild card.

Dallas led 2-0 on a first-period goal by Esa Lindell and Jamie Benn's short-handed score late in the second.

In the third, Marchand tipped in a shot by Pastrnak before Schaller scored on a 2-on-1 with Marchand.

Lehtonen finished with 33 saves.

Lindell scored 2:26 into the game. Jason Dickinson tried to deflect a shot from the right point into the net but the puck went wide right. Curtis McKenzie picked it up behind the goal line and passed to Lindell high in the left faceoff circle. His wrist shot went in off Rask's right arm.

Benn missed two good scoring opportunities early in the second period, but connected at 19:22. He took a pass from Tyler Seguin at the Dallas blue line and had a breakaway when Matt Grzelcyk fell down. Benn slid a backhand under Rask.