Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Boston Bruins: Missing Brad Marchand

The Boston Bruins have hit a rough patch since the Vancouver game. Heading in to last night's game, the B’s are 2-1 since the Stanley Cup Final rematch, but have not looked sharp in the wins. The Black and Gold are missing their Little Ball of Hate, Brad Marchand. Marchand was slapped with a five-game suspension for his hit on Sami Salo in the Canuck game. His speed and ability to get under his opponents’ skin are not easily replaced. Benoit Pouliot has taken the majority of Marchand’s ice time and has played well. But Big Ben plays a whole different style of game. Marchand should be back this week against New Jersey.

The reaction to Marchand’s suspension has been interesting. Primarily it has been one of surprise at the length of the sentence. There has been discussion in the media of whether the hit rated a suspension at all. The Bin’s take: it did, but two games would have sent the message. Particularly in light of the fact that Nashville’s Ryan Ellis had the exact same low-bridge hit on the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds and there not only was no supplemental discipline, there was no penalty called on the ice. Also, during the Bruins-Canadiens tilt, Habs D-man PK Subban took a flying leap at the B’s David Krejci, leading with his elbow to Krejci’s head. Subban got two minutes. Andrew Ference received four for coming to the aid of his teammate. No supplemental discipline. Hello…Brendan Shanahan…is there anyone home? The Bin is not big on conspiracy theories but any objective read says someone upstairs doesn’t like the Bruins. The key for Shanahan (whose job title claims he’s concerned about player safety) is consistent discipline. Not happening at this point.

While we’re on the subject of Subban…you are playing with grown-ups, PK. Join them or get out. Subban elbows Krejci in the head, and Ference jumps in to help his forward. Andrew is the smallest defenseman on the B’s roster. He can hold his own in a fight, but he’s no pugilist. Subban has 17 pounds on Ference. And…Subban turtles. Really turtles. Face down on the ice hiding his mug in his gloves turtle. Ference ragdolled him around a bit until the linesman broke it up. Perhaps PK should reread the hockey code book. If you’re gonna play dirty, you will get into fights. Man up. Be proud, Habs fans. Be very proud.

120116 tjz

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