The Bruins were off from practice today, but the players participated in the team’s “Slice the Ice” charity event at the TD Garden.
For the first time since he was ejected from the Bruins’ loss to Vancouver yesterday, Marchand addressed the media and spoke about the clip on Canucks defenseman Sami Salo that resulted in a game misconduct in the second period.
“The puck was going around the boards and I went to pick it up and was kind of looking over my shoulder,” Marchand told the media in Boston. “I saw Salo coming in and I just kind of went down.
“It was unfortunate he got injured. I did go under him, but I felt the base contact was at about his hip point and that’s usually a pretty legal hit from what I’ve seen in the past.”
Marchand is scheduled to have a hearing with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan Monday. Last season, Marchand earned a two-game suspension for a hit from behind on Columbus’ R.J. Umberberg. Earlier this season, Marchand was fined $2,500 for slew-footing Pittsburgh’s Matt Niskanen. So obviously he’s a repeat offender and should be looking at at least a couple games out of the lineup. There was no update on the severity of Salo’s injury as of after Saturday’s game, but he did not return to the game after the hit.
Head coach Claude Julien after Boston’s loss tried to spin the play as Marchand trying to protect himself from a potential blow to the head.
“We all have our opinions on what is going on with the game and the hits and everything else. All I’m going to tell you is that I always told my players that they need to protect themselves,” said Julien. “The last thing I want my players to do is get hit and then end up with a concussion, and they have to protect themselves. Whether it’s the right way or the wrong way, it’ll depend on how the league looks at it. I’d rather have a guy take a two-minute penalty than turn his back to the play, stand up straight, and then get his face knocked into the glass and be out for maybe the rest of the year with a concussion, or maybe end his career like [Marc] Savard.
“So I think we have to really look at those kinds of things. In my opinion, if guys start protecting themselves the way Marchand did, maybe guys will stop taking runs at other guys because that’s the consequences you end up paying for taking runs at guys, too. Who knows where we’re going to go with this? I know we’re all trying hard to fix that part of the game, but it’s still there, and it’s still not fixed.”
The Bruins played without Marchand against Calgary and won 9-0 Thursday. So while he’s a key player, they should be able to get by without him for a couple nights.