Bruins

Marchand suspended five games for 'clip' on Salo

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Marchand suspended five games for 'clip' on Salo

Brad Marchand's fate has been determined by Senior VP of Player Safety and Hockey Operations Brendan Shanahan.

Marchand has been suspended for five games for his illegal hit -- deemed "clipping" -- on the Canucks' Sami Salo in the the second period of Saturday afternoons contentious loss to the Vancouver Canucks at TD Garden.

The video explanation of the ruling can be seen here.

In it, Shanahan describes Marchand's hit as a "predatory, low hit" that was neither "defensive or instinctive".

While the suspension is obviously a blow to the team, it will give the Bruins ample time to make arrangements to play without their syandout left wing for Tuesday nights game against the Winnipeg Jets.

Marchand and Salo had clashed multiple times on the same shift before the Bs forward under-cut Salo as he arrived to deliver a hit on the Bs forward. The oft-injured defenseman has reportedly suffered a concussion stemming from his head crashing to the ice after the hit.

Two days later Claude Julien said the team would abide by whatever decision arrives from the NHL Sheriff Brendan Shanahan, but felt others have authored the same kind of hits and skipped away free of the leagues supplemental discipline.

The Bs coach will also continue to preach that his players defend themselves when they feel an impending hit with intent to injure is coming their way. In Juliens mind its pretty simple: Its better to serve out a two-minute -- or a five-minute major penalty in Marchands case -- or pay a fine than it is to suffer a concussion. The Bruins havent had a very good recent history when it comes to enduring those kinds of head injuries.

Im going to let the league decide whatever they want to decide on it, said Julien prior to the announcement. Weve done our research. There are a lot of examples out there and from the team that we played of them doing the same thing. We all know about Mason Raymond on Marchand last year, but because Marchand doesnt get hurt they think its okay for Raymond to do that. But because Salo got hurt its not?

We cant have double standards here. Whatever the league decides to do we have to respect it. Whether its legal or illegal in their eyes well find out soon enough. But we lost Patrice Bergeron for an entire year. Weve lost him three times -- even in the playoffs last year late in the game -- to concussions. Weve got a guy thats probably ended his career in Marc Savard. Weve had some pretty severe injuries to this hockey club. The one thing weve taken charge of ourselves as an organization is telling our players they need to protect themselves better.

If Marchand felt that the Canucks were taking runs at him Saturday afternoon and looking to make a statement after his actions in last years Cup Finals, it makes sense that the left wing would be looking for ways to defend himself.

If that meant ducking under hits targeting his head area then thats something that couldnt be avoided. But ultimately thats for Shanahan and the league offices to decide if that was indeed Marchands intent. The bottom line is Marchands reaction to a charging Salo resulted in a head injury, and that usually spells suspension in the leagues disciplinarian handbook.

Protection doesnt mean necessarily being illegal, but its about protecting themselves, said Julien. We dont want any more of these Bergeron injuries and we dont want any more of what happened to Savard. We want to protect ourselves. Id rather see a guy protect himself and take a penalty than not protect himself and lose him for the year. Thats my point and Im going to keep making that point. I dont care what anybody else thinks about it. Its what we do, its what we believe in and were going to protect our players.

Marchands teammates openly wondered why some other similar hits werent viewed with the same tight lens by the league. Vancouver defenseman Dan Hamhuis put a low hit at the legs of Milan Lucic during last years Stanley Cup Finals that caused the Bs power forward to flip dangerously before landing on his head and shoulder. Hamhuis got the worst of the hit and was lost for the rest of the Finals due to injury, but that potential bridge hit, along with a Mason Raymond hit on Marchand in the Finals, were never closely scrutinized by the league.

Theres something to be said for letting more go when the Stanley Cup is on the line, but it makes for some questions about consistency.

They called it clipping, Lucic said. The definition of clipping is taking a guys knees out, and as far Im concerned it was the guys hips that Marchand got. Clipping is almost like a chop block in football. There is definitely similarities to the HamhuisLucic hit. Just because I didnt get injured doesnt make it any different. Even for Vancouver defenseman Keith Ballard, I saw him do the same exact clipping hit against Jamie McGinn last year when they played San Jose.

Its unfortunate Salo got hurt and everyone is a lot more sensitive to the concussion thing. But when I got hit like that I didnt have a problem with it. You didnt see me carrying on about it afterward. It is what it is.

The suspension was likely, given Marchands status us a repeat offender with Shanahan and the Hockey Ops departments. It wasn't a surprise that the suspension was stiffer than the two-game suspension handed down after his blindside hit on R.J. Umberger last season in a loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, and certainly more than the 2500 slewfoot on Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Matti Niskanen earlier this season.

Talking Points: DeBrusk provides energy in win

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Talking Points: DeBrusk provides energy in win

GOLD STAR: Jake DeBrusk gave the Bruins all kinds of energy out of the starting gate, and made a couple of plays that allowed his team to hold a lead despite getting outplayed in the opening 20 minutes. DeBrusk went hard to the net splitting a couple of San Jose defenders on the first goal, and fired a shot on net that created a rebound for Peter Cehlarik to cash in on. Then DeBrusk scored a little bit later on a rush where he beat Brent Burns in a foot race to a loose puck, then whistled a wrist shot past Aaron Dell for his fourth goal of the season. DeBrusk finished with a goal and two points along with a plus-2 and a team-high four shots on net while falling just short of 16 minutes of ice time in the victory. It was a strong effort from DeBrusk shortly after being a healthy scratch, and showed what he’s capable of when he gets his skating legs going.

BLACK EYE: Brent Burns was a complete mess for the Sharks. He was burnt by Jake DeBrusk in each of the first two Bruins goals in the first period with the B’s rookie going right at him with the attack. He also didn’t make it to the net with 12 of the 16 shots that he attempted and Burns finished with seven giveaways as well. It’s been a rough follow-up season for Burns after last year’s Norris Trophy season where he’s tried to do too much for the Sharks, and his game has suffered as a result. That seemed to be the case for Burns against the Bruins as well where his mistakes played a big role in the Sharks dropping the game.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins won the game when they managed to survive an opening 20 minutes where they were outshot 17-5, and even better they had a 2-1 lead based on some offensive fireworks from Jake DeBrusk. They were also aided by a couple of video reviews where the Bruins took a San Jose goal off the board when it was ruled that a crashing Joonas Donskoi punched a puck into the net with his glove. The Peter Cehlarik goal was also upheld at the other end after a challenge from the San Jose bench. It looked like DeBrusk was tripped before he partially crashed into Aaron Dell that set up the Cehlarik goal, and that’s clearly how the referees saw it after reviewing the play.

HONORABLE MENTION: It’s got to be Anton Khudobin, who stopped 36-of-37 shots and improved to 5-0-2 on the season with another strong win aided by a stalwart defensive effort in front of him. Khudobin now has 12 of the 20 points that the Bruins have amassed on the season, and he absolutely rewarded the B’s for opting to go with the Bruins backup for a second game in a row as they ride the hot goaltender. Khudobin was helped by a number of Bruins blocked shots in the third period when the game was still very tight, but it was also about Khudobin coming up with 16 saves in the first period when the Bruins were getting outplayed by the Sharks.

BY THE NUMBERS: 6 – the number of Bruins rookies that have scored their first NHL goals this season, including Peter Cehlarik finally getting his first NHL score Saturday night in his 14th career game.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “We need them. They’re in the lineup and they’re playing significant minutes. We need them to produce for us. Tonight we needed some offense early, and they provided it for us.” – Bruce Cassidy, on the role of the rookies in the win where it was all first-year players Peter Cehlarik, Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen doing the scoring vs. San Jose. 

Boston College beats UConn 39-16 in wind and rain at Fenway Park

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Boston College beats UConn 39-16 in wind and rain at Fenway Park

BOSTON - AJ Dillon rushed for 200 yards and two touchdowns, breaking free on a 48-yard run and a 53-yard score on Saturday night to lead Boston College to a 39-16 victory over UConn on the wet and worn-out turf at Fenway Park.

Playing most of the game in a heavy rain, with groundskeepers patching the field most every timeout, the Eagles (6-5) qualified for a bowl game for the fourth time in five seasons. UConn (3-8) showed little offense until two late touchdowns cut into a 36-point deficit.

One week after BC quarterback Anthony Brown sustained a season-ending knee injury, Darius Wade completed 7 of 15 passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. He was helped by Dillon's running, another 107 yards rushing from Jon Hilliman and two long interception returns, including a 65-yard pick-six by Taj-Amir Torres.

Hilliman scored on 38- and 3-yard runs for BC, and Lukas Denis picked off David Pindell at the goal line and ran it back 56 yards to set up Dillon's second score.

BC led 39-3 in the fourth before Kevin Mensah ran 70 yards for a touchdown. Pindell followed by hitting Hergy Mayala for 43 yards with 4:15 left to make it 39-16.

Pindell finished with a career-high 241 yards on 14-for-33 passing, with three interceptions.

Although the century-old ballpark is less than four miles from BC's Chestnut Hill campus, UConn was officially the home team. But the opportunity to use the Red Sox clubhouse didn't help the Huskies avoid falling to 0-12-2 all-time against BC.

A 21-point favorite, BC trailed 3-0 after one quarter before Wade rolled to his left toward the Red Sox dugout and evaded tacklers long enough to find Chris Garrison in the end zone, right in front of where home plate would usually be.

Dillon dragged four defenders into the end zone - with another standing by and watching - on his 53-yard score in the second quarter, then added a 20-yard TD run in the third to make it 33-3. It was his second career 200-yard game and the first 200-yard rusher against UConn since Ray Rice did it for Rutgers in 2005.

THE TAKEAWAY

Boston College: The Eagles are bowl-eligible for the fourth time in coach Steve Addazio's five seasons in Chestnut Hill. He's the first BC coach to go to five bowl games in his first five seasons.

UConn: The Huskies picked up a nice check - $1.25 million - and some players got the thrill of playing in Fenway Park.

OUT FOR THE SEASON

Boston College announced before the game that defensive back Kamrin Moore will miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury he sustained last week against North Carolina State. Moore, a captain, had started 23 consecutive games before missing Saturday night's game against UConn.

Moore finished with 140 tackles, six for a loss, and two interceptions.

KICKING WOES

Boston College missed three extra points and had a field goal blocked.

UP NEXT

Boston College: Wraps up the regular season against Syracuse on Saturday.

UConn: Finishes its season against Cincinnati next Saturday.