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.