BOSTON – Brad Marchand apparently doesn’t have too many big fans on the defending Stanley Cup champ Washington Capitals.
Clearly, the Caps got the last laugh with a 4-2 win on Thursday night against the Bruins at TD Garden, and Marchand himself was a minus-3 while not factoring into any of the scoring for the Black and Gold. But Marchand also got in the head of the Capitals when Lars Eller tried to get him back for an incident between the two players at the end of Boston’s opening night blowout in Washington, D.C. Eller challenged Marchand to a fight during the first period, and ended up taking a roughing penalty call after spinning the B’s left winger all over the ice. Clearly Marchand declined to accept the invitation to drop the gloves, and instead stayed out of the penalty box.
The Bruins got a power play out of it where they didn’t score, and the Capitals players got annoyed at the way Marchand handled things.
“[You] can't fight a guy that doesn't want to fight. Everybody saw what he is. I don't know what else to say,” said Lars Eller postgame in an interview that aired on NESN. “We got out of here with two points. We got what we wanted. I don’t think there’s a lot of integrity in his game.”
Similarly, T.J. Oshie weighed in on Marchand as well, and also didn’t really like how things went down with No. 63. How did Marchand respond?
Well, the Bruins got a power play out of it and Marchand largely stayed out of trouble while admittedly not doing enough to get the Bruins a winning result. In classic Marchand fashion, he also said he had “nothing to prove” to a player like Eller.
“I haven't looked at the stat sheet, but I really don't feel like I need to prove anything,” said Marchand. “He plays maybe 10-12 minutes a night and I'm playing 20. In a 1-0 game and to go on a power play, it doesn't make sense [to fight]."
Marchand's head coach agreed with that assessment.
"There was obviously some bad, some leftover residual effect from the previous game, but I think Marchy recognized the situation," said Bruce Cassidy. "We're trying to win a hockey game. You take care of business, as Marchy did, when the game was basically decided last time. So I thought he did... showed very good discipline. Did what he needed to do for the team to help us get on the power play, and unfortunately we weren't able to cash in."
So another team leaves Boston with players disgruntled about Marchand, and Boston’s favorite Little Ball of Hate more concerned that he couldn’t do enough to keep the B’s from losing their 14th straight game to the Washington Capitals.
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