Bruins

Brad Marchand wants NHL concussion spotter 'to pull his head out of his butt and watch the game'

Brad Marchand wants NHL concussion spotter 'to pull his head out of his butt and watch the game'

BOSTON — Brad Marchand was livid after the Bruins' comeback win over the New York Rangers, but it wasn’t about the Bruins not playing up to their potential in the first couple of periods. Instead, it was about Marchand getting pulled by the NHL concussion spotter from the 3-2 overtime win over the Blueshirts at the start of the third period, and the B’s top-line left winger thereby being forced to sit out the first half of the third period as a result.

Marchand ran into a raised Jacob Trouba elbow toward the end of the second, but finished out the period and sat through an entire intermission before he was pulled from the Bruins bench after his first shift of the third period. Marchand slammed his stick against the boards while breaking it into two pieces and then stormed down the runway to the Bruins dressing room, but it was unclear at the time why he exited the bench.

Bruce Cassidy confirmed after the game that the concussion spotter waited through the entire 15-minute intermission before pulling Marchand at the start of the third period, a bit of timing that certainly irked both No. 63 and the rest of the Bruins.

“This game is on NBC, he gets hit at the end of the second period and he gets pulled at the beginning of the third. To me, we’re trying to market our best players. I thought it was fairly evident when he get hit and then they decided to pull him at the start of the third,” said Cassidy. “That’s the only explanation I got. I don’t know why they wouldn’t do it between periods. There’s an 18-minute intermission. He was [pulled by the concussion spotter] and he checked out fine, but it’s a little frustrating for him especially when it happened. I didn’t like the timing of it at all.”

Marchand sounded a little more pissed off about the entire sequence of events following the game and understandably so given that it could have cost the Bruins two points.

"That's embarrassing. They had 20 minutes to sit there and view the tape and call that in. But they make me come out in a 2-1 game when we’re just starting to get some momentum. Guy up there is busy eating pizza and cheeseburgers and can't watch the game,” said Marchand. “Maybe next time he'll pull his head out of his butt and watch the game. I skated into his elbow, but [I was] fine.”

Hours later, Marchand tweeted an apology, writing that "my emotions got the best of me..."

It all ended well for the Bruins, of course, as they tied the game while Marchand was in one of the TD Garden back rooms for 10 minutes, and then won it in overtime when David Pastrnak set up David Krejci for the OT game-winner. But that’s as sharp as any criticism you’ll hear coming out of the B’s dressing room following the game, and justifiably so given the slow trigger employed by the concussion spotter working Friday afternoon’s game.

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Talking Points: Bruins' new-look David Krejci line pays off late in 3-2 win over Vegas

Talking Points: Bruins' new-look David Krejci line pays off late in 3-2 win over Vegas

GOLD STAR: David Krejci missed a couple of games with an upper-body injury, but made sure he returned for this final game ahead of the 10-day break for All-Star weekend and the bye week. And Krejci was a difference-maker. He scored the game-winner in the third period when he popped in a rebound of a Brandon Carlo point shot. 

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Krejci finished with a goal and two points along with a plus-1 rating with 18:04 of ice time, one shot on net, one takeaway and one blocked shots along with 6 of 12 face-off wins while centering Danton Heinen and Karson Kuhlman on a new-look line. It remains to be seen how the forward groups will be divided up when the Bruins come back from break, but things worked out pretty well in the 3-2 victory over Vegas on Tuesday night.

BLACK EYE: The Bruins won the game, but did it in spite of a power play that struggled mightily. 

The B's man-advantage went 0-for-5 on the power play against a Vegas team that’s stepped up its aggressiveness on the penalty kill. Boston managed just three shots on net in all that time on the man-advantage. 

They still won in spite of it all, obviously, but the B’s special teams were lousy with a powerless power play and a penalty kill that allowed a PP goal to the Golden Knights. 

Now, the Bruins' power play gets 10 days to re-energize and perhaps figure out a few new tricks.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins trailed 2-1 headed into the third period and it didn’t appear it was going to be their night. Still, they managed to summon a little extra effort in that final 20 minutes, outshot Vegas 14-13 and scored a pair of goals to win in regulation rather than risk another overtime or shootout loss.

It was Jake DeBrusk who scored on a left-wing rush to tie things up in the third and then Krejci who won it in the final few minutes before the Golden Knights got desperate by pulling their goalie. It was certainly a different tack for the B’s in this one. Rather than blowing a lead as they’d done a few times over the past couple of weeks, they rallied in the third to win it. 

HONORABLE MENTION: Good job by Jeremy Lauzon to step up and fill in at a time when the Bruins needed a little more physical thump. Even better, Lauzon managed to score his second career NHL goal on a deep point shot that traveled through a few Vegas bodies on its way to the net for Boston’s first score. 

Lauzon finished with the goal along with a plus-2 rating, two shot attempts, four registered hits and a blocked shot in 15:38 of ice time while also filling a lead role on the penalty kill. Considering it was Lauzon’s first NHL appearance of the season, it was very good with the physical, gritty play that could lead to more looks this season.

BY THE NUMBERS: 22:53 – the Bruins leading ice time player was Brad Marchand among forwards and defensemen in a game that featured plenty of special-teams situations.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “We did some good things [in] this first stretch. Enjoy yourself and get away wherever you’re going, mentally cleanse. But understand that [when] we get back, we get at it pretty quick.” –Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy on his message to his Bruins players headed into the 10-day break.

Mind-blowing stat shows importance of Jake DeBrusk scoring for the Bruins

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USA TODAY Sports photo

Mind-blowing stat shows importance of Jake DeBrusk scoring for the Bruins

The Boston Bruins are often carried by the efforts of The Perfection Line. Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak had accounted for 79 of the team's 166 goals entering Tuesday night's game and were a massive part of their hot start to the season.

But secondary scoring is important as well. And in particular, Jake DeBrusk getting goals tends to have a really positive impact on the Bruins.

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According to the "Boston Sports Info" Twitter account, the Bruins are a remarkable 44-5-1 when DeBrusk scores in the regular season.

And in the playoffs, the Bruins are 6-3 when DeBrusk scores at least once. 

DeBrusk was a key for the Bruins in their 3-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night. He scored the tying goal for the team early in the third period to afford them the opportunity to come from behind to win.

Moving forward, DeBrusk's scoring will be important. The Bruins are simply better when he produces goals and when the second line can impact the game. If this is the start of a hot streak for him, it could coincide with the B's getting hot.

Of course, they'll have to get through a lengthy All-Star break before that can happen. The Bruins won't play again until Jan. 31 when they travel to Winnipeg to take on the Jets.