BOSTON – Brad Marchand did the crime, and now he’s probably, unfortunately also going to have to do the time.
Marchand is under review by the NHL Department of Player Safety once again after a spearing play to the groin of Tampa Bay defenseman Jake Dotchin in the B’s 4-0 shutout win over the Lightning at TD Garden that also punched Boston’s ticket into the playoffs.
Marchand was slapped with a five minute major penalty and a game misconduct for the nasty action of whacking Dotchin between the legs with his stick, and it would appear that the B’s left winger is also in line for more than a fine after his long history of dangerous, dirty plays that have put fellow players in harm’s way. A contrite Marchand said after the game that he regretted his actions and the way it could have cost his team in such an important game, but he didn’t go into too much detail about what caused him to lose it on Dotchin.
“It was an undisciplined penalty. There’s no question about that, and it could have cost the team a very important game,” said Marchand. “But the guys did a great job of rallying and having a huge game. It was just a reaction, to be honest. Just a reactionary play, but obviously very undisciplined though.
“I have no idea [if there will be a suspension]. I haven’t seen the replay, but I got kicked out of the game and the refs made their call. So I’m just trying to enjoy the win with the boys.”
While other players have gotten away with fines for spears to the groin in recent years, ironically enough Brandon Prust paid a $5,000 fine for spearing Marchand in the groin last season, it’s more the entire dirty body of work (slew-footing, clipping and kicking guy’s legs out from under them) for No. 63 that’s going to earn him a potential suspension from NHL disciplinarians.
For his part, Bruce Cassidy also called Marchand’s actions undisciplined and said he planned to have a chat with his emotional play once things had died down a little bit following the clincher.
“We want all our players on the ice from start to finish, and it’s that simple. It was undisciplined, and there was not much else I can do about it but coach the game,” said Cassidy. “We’ll have a talk with Brad. He’s got to be more responsible, but at the end of the day, it happened. There’s really nothing any of us can do out on the ice other than play and get the job done. That’s what we did.”
It remains to be seen how long the Bruins will have to go on without Marchand if he is indeed suspended, but at least they proved on Tuesday night that they could win a big game against a good team without him.