Boston Bruins: Thoughts on the Brad Marchand suspension

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 23: Brad Marchand
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 23: Brad Marchand /

The Boston Bruins are going to be without their leading scorer after he was suspended for a hit on Tuesday night.

Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand will be out of commission for a while. The NHL announced that Marchand will be suspended for five games.

This is the sixth time Marchand has been suspended in his career and just adds to his amazing reputation. The play is interesting because Marchand is driving to the net and appears to try and avoid the New Jersey Devils goaltender, but the elbow he delivered on Marcus Johansson wasn’t the best look.

Marchand’s coach Bruce Cassidy stuck up for him on Wednesday when speaking to the media.

"“My thoughts are that I wish he had scored off the rush. I felt like he just saw a Devils sweater there and he was protecting himself from contact. From there it’s in the league’s hands now. Brad has taken some hits this year, so I absolutely think a player should protect themselves if they see a hit coming. How they do that? It’s up to the league to determine whether it’s legal or not. He’s taken some pretty severe hits in vulnerable spots, and he puts himself in harm’s way because has the puck so often. He’s a top end player so he’s going to take his hits. So he will have to protect himself in those situations, and I think that’s what he did. The one thing I will say is that I don’t believe there was any intent. I don’t think he had any clue which player was coming at him. He was just prepared to get hit, so he was protecting himself.”"

The NHL didn’t buy that excuse.

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Bruins without another star

This suspension couldn’t come at a worse time for the Bruins. They are already without Charlie McAvoy and are playing their best hockey of the year. Marchand is the leading scorer for the Bruins with 21 goals and is one of the driving forces on the Bruins first line. Without him, all the momentum the Bruins had during their points streak may disappear.

In the NHL’s official explanation they stated that “it was not a defensive maneuver,” and that his role as a repeat offender was a factor in their decison. Marchand’s reputation around the league is going to get even better after this suspension. He is one of the best scorers in the league, but he sometimes just makes these stupid plays. I love Marchand and his style of play, but sometimes he just crosses the line.

Marchand has had to defend himself a lot lately as he has been a target of opposing teams because of his style of play as well as how great he is scoring the puck. Marchand is going to have to be smarter going forward. He can be a Hart Trophy candidate and is apart of the most dominant line in the NHL.

Next: Boston Bruins: 3 keys to success in 3-2 victory over Devils

The Boston Bruins play the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night. Hopefully, they are able to succeed without arguably their best player.