Cut the Crap, Marchand
By Patrick Hoffman
When you're a player in the National Hockey League that can score and play extremely hard, you should stick to those strengths.
What you should not do is add cheap-shotting to your resume. Sure, you can put the puck in the net and produce, but if you're someone who hits recklessly and does things behind the play, you'll certainly get a bad reputation around the league.
This appears to be the case with Boston Bruins' star Brad Marchand. Marchand, 29, currently (As of January 25, 2018) leads the team in scoring with 50 points (21 goals and 29 assists) and is tied for second on the team with 37 penalty minutes.
While his offensive numbers are outstanding, it is when he does stuff like this that should drive his team and his head coach crazy. There was absolutely no reason for him to elbow New Jersey Devils' forward Marcus Johansson on this particular play and because of it, he was suspended for five games.
Remember, the Bruins now (As of January 25, 2018) have a 17-game points streak. Marchand's outstanding play has been one of the main reasons why this team is on fire.
With Marchand now out for five games, it means that Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak lose their linemate. Up to this point, that line had perhaps been the best first line in the entire league and now, the line loses perhaps its best player.
Marchand also loses some money because of this suspension. It may not be a lot considering the amount he makes, but he will still be forfeiting $373,475.61 of his salary, which to folks like us is a big chunk of money.
This suspension also shows us and perhaps the rest of the league that Marchand has not learned anything. This is his sixth suspension, which is ridiculous considering how good a hockey player he is.
The things he gets suspended for are things that no player should be doing. He has been suspended for blindsiding someone, low-bridging a player, slew-footing another player, spearing someone, and clipping a player.
These are all things that both the league and the players are trying to take out of the game. Marchand appears to be a player that despite saying he has no intent of doing these things, he continues to do them.
If he wants to gain any respect in this league, he needs to stop now. He has been doing these things long enough and someone like a Bergeron or a Zdeno Chara need to have a chat with him and tell him to grow up and play the game the right way.
If Marchand continues to do these kinds of things, he is going to become a targeted player by not only the officials, but by the players. They could make the game extremely tough on him and give him absolutely no room for error out on the ice.
Shape it up, Marchand. You're a great hockey player and you do not need to be doing these kinds of things anymore.
Previously, Patrick has covered the NHL for Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.