Marchand expected to avoid any discipline in Duclair collision

AP Photo

Marchand expected to avoid any discipline in Duclair collision

BOSTON – It looks like this time Brad Marchand will be given the benefit of the doubt from the NHL’s long arm of the law.

Marchand was whistled for interference after colliding violently with Chicago forward Anthony Duclair in the first period of Boston’s 7-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden on Saturday afternoon, and Duclair was helped off the ice with an apparent right knee injury.

The sense following the game was that the NHL Department of Player Safety was viewing the collision as accidental rather than intentional, and as such doesn’t hand out supplementary discipline for things that happen by accident. So in essence Marchand was in the clear in this particular incident just a day after paying a $2,000 fine for embellishment, and just a couple of months removed from a five-game suspension for a check to the net of New Jersey’s Marcus Johansson.

After the game, Marchand said both players simply couldn’t get out of the way of one another, and that there was no intent on his part to do anything untoward.

“I was coming up ice and I think he was coming down the fore-check and we both got caught in the train tracks and we both didn’t know which direction to go, but we just kind of tried to avoid each other,” said Marchand, who posted a couple of assists in the win over the Blackhawks. “I think it’s really unfortunate, I think he twisted up his foot or something, that’s tough to see.

I think it’s pretty clear that I was trying to get out of the way, that he was trying to get out of the way. You know, it’s tough. Things like that happen in hockey. You never want to see a guy get hurt, but we were trying to avoid each other.”

Some Blackhawks players weren’t quite so sure it was accidental after the game given Marchand’s track record of six suspensions and eight guilty verdicts of supplemental discipline from the league.

“I think it was a dirty play,” said Chicago defenseman Erik Gustafsson. “I think Marchand sees him coming and I don’t know how if he does it on purpose or not, but he gets stuck and Duclair gets stuck, got his feet stuck in the ice. It looked pretty bad.”

Marchand had turned to go up ice and a split-second later was directly in the “train tracks” with Duclair, and instinctively raised his arm and tried to jump over the Chicago forward to avoid contact with him.

Instead Marchand caught Duclair with his right arm acting like a clothes-line of sorts, and the Chicago forward had his right leg bend awkwardly behind as he crashed to the ice. It was clear that he hyper-extended his knee on the play, and Marchand was served with a two-minute penalty on a play that looked accidental in nature.


Marchand on $2,000 embellishment fine: 'It's a joke'

Marchand on $2,000 embellishment fine: 'It's a joke'

BOSTON – Brad Marchand is carrying the Bruins right now with Patrice Bergeron out with a fractured right foot, so he doesn’t have the time or the inclination to worry about the $2,000 he was fined by the NHL on Friday for embellishment.

Marchand has five goals and nine points in the five games since Bergeron went down and the Bruins have gone 5-0-0 while watching Bergeron, Charlie McAvoy and David Backes all get subtracted from the lineup. Within the five game-winning streak, Marchand also had a play behind the Pittsburgh net where he was whistled for embellishment in the March 1 win over the Penguins. Both Marchand and Olli Maatta were whistled for off-setting penalties, and that was the play where he was ultimately fined by the NHL.

Marchand was given a warning from NHL Hockey Operations back in the Nov. 29 game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but the defiant B’s agitator said the $2,000 fine from the league wasn’t going to change anything he was doing on the ice.

“That [$2,000] hit is very small and minor. It’s the last thing I’m going to worry about,” said Marchand, when asked if the fine will change the way he plays. “I don’t care about this. It’s a joke. It’s a small amount of money and pretty stupid. But it is what it is.t

“It’s very easy to dictate somebody saying I fell a certain way. How are they going to tell how a guy is balanced on a certain area of the ice? When sticks are between your feet and your being pushed at different angles, they forget how to play the game pretty quickly. They go from being players to being management and running the league pretty quickly, and they forget what it’s like to play. But it is what it is.”

If Marchand were to be cited three more times for embellishment by the NHL this season, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy would also begin getting fined by the league as well. The B’s coach sounded like that was a road he wasn’t interested in going down. Marchand derisively called it “the new NHL”, but Cassidy has taken a much more detached approach to any treatment, good or bad, that the Bruins were receiving from the league.

“They have their guidelines or whatever they use to make their decisions, and generally you abide by them and move along,” said Cassidy. “We’ll talk to Brad about it, but I’m sure he’s aware that they’re on to him, for lack of a better term. Hopefully, this will be the last one for him.

“The coach does get [a fine] eventually, and the kids need to go to I will have a chat with him.”

With less than a month to go in the NHL regular season, it’s doubtful that Marchand is going to be racking up too many more embellishment calls ahead of the playoffs. But it also doesn’t sound much like No. 63 cares if it does go down that way either as he’s got bigger fish to fry carrying a playoff-bound team on his shoulders as he readies for the postseason.



Vatrano (lower body) out as Marchand returns vs. the Rangers

File Photo

Vatrano (lower body) out as Marchand returns vs. the Rangers

NEW YORK CITY – It’s a good thing that Brad Marchand is making his return from suspension on Wednesday night against the New York Rangers seeing as Frank Vatrano has been added to the injured list with a lower-body injury. Vatrano exited midway through Tuesday night’s 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings and will be the odd man out of the Black and Gold lineup in order to make room for No. 63 in his return for Boston.

Marchand will, of course, return to his spot on the Bruins top line after Danton Heinen did a bang-up job as a point-per-game player in the five games substituting for him with Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak. That should put all of the rest of the forward lines close to normal as well, though both Kevan Miller (upper body) and Noel Acciari (lower body) remain out with the B’s eyeing a potential return for one or both this weekend.

“They’re out tonight. We’ll look at them for maybe Saturday or Sunday,” said Cassidy. “Frank Vatrano is out with a lower body.”

Vatrano finished with just 4:53 of ice time in the win over the Red Wings, and had one shot on net before exiting with the injury. The lower body issue ends a string of five games played in a row for Vatrano, also in Marchand’s absence, where the 23-year-old went scoreless skating on the fourth line after a couple of months’ worth of healthy scratches. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings vs. the Rangers as the Bruins look to make it four wins in a row with Anton Khudobin between the pipes against the Blueshirts: