Marchand disappointed, defiant about suspension


Marchand disappointed, defiant about suspension

Brad Marchand doesnt plan on changing his game one bit. The resident Bs agitator said hell battle through some disappointment while serving out a five-game suspension for a clip of Vancouver defenseman Sami Salo, and hell get rid of the hip check.

The Bs winger didnt feel like his hit targeted at or below the knee area and Marchand admitted that during his Monday phone hearing with Brendan Shanahan -- he did bring up the Mason Raymond clip on him during last years Stanley Cup Finals. But, according to Marchand, Shanahan wasnt having any of it and now Bostons top left wing will be on the sidelines for close to two weeks. Hes been called a predator, a rat and a cheap shot artist by some around the NHL over the last few days leading up to Shanahans decision, and it appears to be wearing on him along with the five-game suspension.

The Raymond hit came up in the conversation during the hearing, but he said that every situation was different, said Marchand of the exchange with Shanahan. You cant bring up any hit or something that happened last year.

But Marchand continued to defiantly insist he was only defending himself from the larger Salo, and the 5-foot-8 forward will keep trying to find ways to defend himself from the rising number of attacks trained on him.

Im obviously a little disappointed, said Marchand after practicing Tuesday morning prior to the BruinsJets game. I wasnt expecting as many games as I got. But thats what it was and I know I have to move on. Im a small guy. I play low to the ice and thats a way that Ive always protected myself on the ice. I felt that it was better to be safe than sorry. But Im still going to play hard. Thats my game. I have to play hard. At the end of the day I still have to protect myself and so does everybody else in the league. I cant change the way that I play.

When I brought it up with Shanahan originally and when I talked away from the conversation he told if it was to protect myself that it was okay in that situation. So when those situations arise I thought it was okay to protect myself. Thats what I did. I guess its clear that Im not allowed to do that and guys around the league arent allowed to do it. Ill have to come up with something else.

Marchand was peeved rather than disappointed about the comments from the Vancouver side. Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault intimated that Marchand was going to get it and going to get hurt as response to his actions on the ice. The Bs agitator said he took those words as a threat. As Claude Julien said on Monday, we all know what happened the last time somebody from Vancouver said that in reference to the Todd BertuzziSteve Moore incident, and Marchand wasnt too happy with the war of words.

Yeah, theyre threatening, said Marchand. It sounds like its a threat.
Marchand didnt elaborate, but he couldnt hold back when presented with the statements made by Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa that the Bruins play stupid hockey. The Nose Face Killah was not pleased at all, and will now have five games to stew about it while missing out on more than 152,000 in game checks.

They needed six or seven guys to jump Shawn Thornton and nobody wanted to seem to want to do anything after they were pulled off. It just shows their character, said Marchand. Yeah, we play stupid. Yeahwe play stupid, but were smart enough to win a Cup.

Though Marchand has been silenced on the ice for five games, it appears he can still be heard long after the Canucks high-tailed it to their charter flight on the way out of Boston.

Morning Skate: No place for Gudas’ slash on Perreault


Morning Skate: No place for Gudas’ slash on Perreault

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while enjoying the new Brown Sugar Cinnamon coffee flavor at Dunkin’ Donuts. It’s not Cookie Dough, but what is after all?

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) and PHT writer James O’Brien has the details on Radko Gudas getting ejected for an ugly, reckless and dangerous slash to Mathieu Perreault’s head last night. Gudas should be facing a long suspension for a play that has no place in the NHL. It’s time for Flyers fans to stop making excuses for a player who’s no better than a cheap-shot artist and hatchet man. He has to face the music for consistently trying to hurt his fellow players.  

*Frank Seravalli has some of the details for a historic GM meeting in Montreal where NHL hockey was born in the first place.

*You always need to link to a service dog being part of the pregame face-off ceremonies. That’s like a rule here at the morning skate?

*Cam Atkinson and the Columbus Blue Jackets have agreed to a seven-year contract extension, according to reports from the Athletic.

*It’s been quite an eventful year for Arizona Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet and some of it has been to the extreme both good and bad just a month into his first year as bench boss.

*For something completely different: Chris Mannix is all-in on the Celtics being the front-runners in the Eastern Conference after their big win over the Golden State Warriors.


Haggerty: For now, Bruins need to ride Khudobin’s hot hand over Rask


Haggerty: For now, Bruins need to ride Khudobin’s hot hand over Rask

These are desperate times for the Bruins even after pulling out a solid, blue-collar 2-1 win over a sputtering Los Angeles Kings team on Thursday night.

The victory ended a four-game losing streak and gave the Bruins just their second road win of the season in eight tries. It was also the fourth win of the season for backup netminder Anton Khudobin, who is a sterling 4-0-2 and has given them everything they could possibly hope for out of the backup spot. The Bruins have a grand total of 18 points on the season and Khudobin miraculously has more than half of those (10 to be exact).


It’s clearly a far cry from last season for Khudobin, of course, when it took until February for the goalie’s season to get in gear.

But Thursday night’s 27-save effort from Khudobin was also a stunning contrast to what Tuukka Rask has been able to produce this season. Khudobin has a .928 save percentage and 2.35 goals-against average. Rask has a dreadful .897 save percentage while giving them average play between the pipes at best.  

Khudobin is tied for seventh in the NHL with reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky in save percentage and Rask is chilling in the NHL goalie statistical basement with retreads Steve Mason and James Reimer.

Quite simply, Khudobin has been way better than Rask and the Bruins have, for whatever reason, played better hockey in front of their backup goalie. Some of it might also be about Khudobin’s more adaptable game behind a Boston defense that can make things unpredictable for their goaltender, but Rask is being paid $7 million a season to be better and figure it out. It would be amazing if this trend continued for the entire season and it would certainly merit more examination from management as to why the rest of the Bruins and Rask can’t seem to combine for an effective, winning product on the ice.

For now, the Bruins need to simply win by whatever means necessary and that amounts to riding Khudobin’s hot streak for as long as it lasts. It should begin with the backup goalie getting a second consecutive start against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night and seeing where it goes from there. Perhaps the extra rest gets Rask additional time to get his game together, or serves as the kind of motivation to get the Finnish netminder into a mode where he can steal games for an undermanned, out-gunned team that needs that right now.

“We’re going to look at it,” said Bruce Cassidy, when asked postgame by reporters in L.A. about his goalie for Saturday night. “He played very well against San Jose last time. They’re a heavy team. He seems to do well in these kinds of games with a lot of traffic around the net. But we’ll look at that decision [Friday].”

Khudobin has stopped 57 of 61 shots in his two games in November, so perhaps that level of hot goaltending could also allow the Bruins to survive a month that otherwise might absolutely bury their playoff hopes. Maybe Khudobin finally loses on Saturday night and the goaltending conversation, not controversy, ends as quickly as his point streak. For now, riding the hot goalie is the right call for a team that needs something good to hang onto.

The Bruins are in desperation mode until they get a number of their injured players back. There certainly might not be more of a desperate option than setting their beleaguered sights on a goalie they sent to the minors as recently as last season. But it’s a new season, Khudobin has been excellent and he’s earned a chance to carry this team for a little bit until they can get things back in order.

Calling Khudobin’s number is the right call right now for the Bruins and, quite frankly, shouldn’t be that difficult a choice given what we’ve seen so far this season.