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Bruins winger Brad Marchand dodges suspension, fined $10K for trip on Wings’ Kronwall 01.26.17 at 1:23 pm ET
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Brad Marchand

Brad Marchand

The Bruins will not have to worry about being down their biggest threat against the league’s top offensive group tonight against the Penguins, as winger Brad Marchand has avoided a suspension for his ‘dangerous trip’ against Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall Tuesday night at TD Garden.

Instead, the NHL Department of Player Safety has slapped Marchand with a $10,000 fine.

B’s coach Claude Julien opted not to comment on the hit this morning (before word of a fine came down), and did not entertain the idea of the Bruins being unable to suit up for tonight’s game.

After a career-best 37 goals last season, the 28-year-old is once again paced for a career year, and has tallied 19 goals and 47 points in 51 games this season. Those 47 points are the most among NHL left wingers this season, and Marchand is one of six Bruins to have played in all 51 games this season.

The $10,000 fine is the maximum allowed for a repeat offender, under the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement.

It is the third fine of Marchand’s career (excluding those doled out during suspensions).

Admiral’s mailbag: Bruins need to start thinking about making significant move 01.26.17 at 8:28 am ET
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Don Sweeney. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Don Sweeney. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

It’s mailbag time. Questions can be sent to letitbleedrearad@gmail.com or @RearAdBsBlog ..

What kind of trade(s) do you expect the Bruins to make, if any at all? Danny, Everett, MA

I know I’m going to sound like a broken record, but if the B’s are within spitting distance of the playoffs and want to add parts before the trade deadline, it’ll likely be the same thing: a bottom four D-man and/or a top-nine forward. The problem is the team needs a top-two D-man and top-six forward to really have an impact. Lee Stempniak and John-Michael Liles were decent adds last year but weren’t even enough to get the Bruins into the postseason.

Of course, if they pulled off a blockbuster, that would presumably change not only the team’s dynamic but its needs. However, it’s the Bs. So I’m not holding my breath. If they’re way out of it in a month, they should consider shedding contracts in what is always a seller’s market. And despite the rocky season, the Bruins have some very valuable commodities plenty of other teams would love to add for a playoff run.

The Islanders finally fired Jack Capuano are now playing their best hockey of the year. Will they get into the playoffs? Joe, Derry, NH

I think they will catch the Flyers for the fifth spot in the old Patrick Division (Metropolitan Division might be the worst name in league history). The Isles are five points back of Philly with three games in hand and the Flyers are a long way from their big winning streak. Meanwhile, the Isles look like night and day (and I’m sure Bruins fans have taken note). Even if they do catch the Flyers, they’ll also need to have more points for whatever Atlantic teams are still lurking for the 8th seed. The bet here says they pull it off.
Any off-the-wall predictions for the playoffs? Bruce, West Roxbury, MA

Dallas bites the bullet, trades for a #1 goalie, turns around their season, and goes on a hell of a run. It’s really the only thing that’s been holding them back. For years now.

Toronto knocks off at least two teams.

A franchise will win their first ever Cup this year.

What’s the verdict on THE YOUNG POPE? Liam, Needham, MA

Jude Law is mesmerizing in HBO’s fictional limited series about an abrasive, often rude American pope who throws the Vatican’s heavily political maneuverings for a loop. He’s ambiguous with his motives and the viewer is often wondering what he’s up to. THE YOUNG POPE was filmed in Italy and the cinematography is unreal. Throw in Diane Keaton and a stable of international stars and it you kind of have to at least give it a whirl.

But the best thing I watched on TV this week was the New Edition miniseries on the BET Network. The three-part, six-hour event is not one of these cheesy-ass Lifetime movies. It’s extremely well done with top-notch talent and shows a wildly entertaining, warts-and-all look at the Roxbury kids who became R&B legends. Definitely worth a watch, especially if you’re from Boston.

Bruins winger Brad Marchand to have disciplinary hearing for trip on Niklas Kronwall 01.25.17 at 4:44 pm ET
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Brad Marchand will have a hearing for his slewfoot against Niklas Kronwall. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Brad Marchand will have a hearing for his slewfoot against Niklas Kronwall. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Has an NHL player ever been suspended from an All-Star Game? Bruins winger Brad Marchand, one of two Bruins to be named to the this weekend’s All-Star weekend in L.A., may be the first to find out.

One day after Marchand proved instrumental in the B’s comeback win over the Red Wings, with a power-play goal and the game-tying goal midway through the third period of what finished as a 4-3 win, the NHL has notified Marchand that he will have a disciplinary hearing for his ‘dangerous trip’ on Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall.

Also known as a slewfoot, the rather odd terminology of a ‘dangerous trip’ versus calling this a slewfoot makes sense considering the fact that this was not a true slewfoot if you consider the fact that Marchand does not also shove the player down in the process of tripping them.

No matter the term, it’s another instance where the B’s best winger, who has scored the most points among NHL left wingers this season (Marchand has 47 points in 51 games), has put himself back in the crosshairs of the NHL Department of Player Safety.

There’s no doubt that this was a sneaky dirty move from No. 63.

Aside from the giveaway of the immediate look back at Kronwall after he goes down, the play at the other end right before this hit involved an incident between Kronwall and Patrice Bergeron that left the B’s barking for a penalty against the Detroit defender. It’s also worth noting that Kronwall has missed 30 games since Feb. 2016 because of a knee injury (and another eight games because of a vague ‘lower-body’ ailment), which will not help Marchand in the court of public opinion.

But what will really matter for the Black and Gold winger is his reputation, which he has a hard time shedding, along with the history that’s earned him such a reputation. Marchand was suspended for two games in Jan. 2015 for a slewfoot on the Rangers’ Derick Brassard, was fined $5,000 in Nov. 2015 for a retaliatory punch against Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, and was hit with a three-game ban and near $200,000 fine for a clipping against Sens defenseman Mark Borowiecki last season.

That suspension caused Marchand, who hit 37 goals in 77 games a year ago, to miss the 2016 Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium.

Overall, the 28-year-old has suspended four times in his NHL career (and has been fined three times in total), with his longest suspension coming with a five-game ban for a clipping against the Canucks’ Sami Salo in Jan. 2012.

Marchand leads the Bruins with 47 points this season and is one of six Bruins skaters to have played in all 51 games to date.

Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask overcomes shaky start for overtime win 01.25.17 at 7:00 am ET
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Tuukka Rask stopped 23-of-26 shots for his 23rd win of the year Tuesday against the Red Wings. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Tuukka Rask stopped 23-of-26 shots for his 23rd win of the year Tuesday against the Red Wings. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask was pitching a shutout through the first half of the first period. Then the Red Wings’ Andreas Athanasiou put their first shot on net on Rask on a breakaway split through Zdeno Chara and Brandon Carlo, and the game was tied 1-1.

It was not how Rask, who pulled himself from the game in the second period of Sunday’s loss to the Penguins because of a migraine, pictured his return to the crease going in a 4-3 overtime win for the Bruins.

“You just try to stay as sharp as possible, but you look at it in the first period – you’re standing there for 15 minutes and don’t get a shot, and then all the sudden it’s a breakaway,” Rask said. “It’s not the ideal situation but – and then today again it seemed like every shot pretty much was a scoring chance again, and you just have to battle and find that battle element to your game and really try to stay sharp.”

Things didn’t necessarily get much better for the 29-year-old Rask, either, as the Red Wings scored two goals in under five minutes in the middle frame, including a real heinous one off Rask’s glove and into the net, which gave him an ugly stat line featuring just 10 stops on 13 shots against and a 3-2 deficit for the Black and Gold after 40 minutes of play.

But when the Bruins needed stops in the third period, especially when the game was tied, Rask came up big.

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Bruins show desperation, character in comeback win over Red Wings 01.25.17 at 2:44 am ET
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The Bruins pull off just their second third period comeback of the season. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins pulled off just their second third period comeback of the season Tuesday night against the Wings. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins have talked about their desperation at great length this season, but rarely has it translated into tangible results in the form of two points banked in the tight-as-hell Eastern Conference standings.

It looked as if the Bruins were paced for another one of those nights, too, as every breakdown ended up in the back of their net while they shot blank after blank on Red Wings netminder Jared Coreau.

But it was at the 8:20 mark of the third period that one of the club’s emotional leaders, Brad Marchand, had his say and put the B’s and Wings back even at 3-3, and forced overtime in the Hub.

From there, it was the David Pastrnak show that made its first appearance of 2017, behind No. 88’s first goal in 18 games.

In what was just the B’s second win when trailing after 40 minutes of play this season (the Bruins are now 2-16-3 in such scenarios), the Bruins had a full 20-man effort throughout the night, with each line held accountable for one another on a shift-to-shift basis.

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Bruins winger David Pastrnak ends 18-game goal drought in style 01.25.17 at 2:13 am ET
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David Pastrnak ended an 18-game goal drought Tuesday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

David Pastrnak ended an 18-game goal drought Tuesday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

A smiling David Pastrnak greeted reporters in front of his stall.

“I missed you guys,” he said.

For Pastrnak, a crowd of reporters typically means that he’s done something well. The crowd often went three rows deep early in the season, too, when Pastrnak lit the NHL up at will and kept pace with Sidney Crosby for the league lead in goals. And it’s been quite a while since one of those crowds waited for Pastrnak after a game.

Mired in an 18-game goalless skid, the 20-year-old put an end to that Tuesday night, and in style, with the overtime game-winner that rocketed through Red Wings netminder Jared Coreau to put an end to the B’s four-game losing streak and give Pastrnak his 20th of the year.

“It was just a matter of time – sometimes you feel it. He did make a couple of plays there that I wouldn’t advise on him making but overall I thought his skating was good and there was some determination in his game,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said of Pastrnak ending his scoring drought.

“Hopefully it gets that monkey off his back. It’s been a while and I think that he has been feeling the pressure and hopefully that’s a step in the right direction for him and we start seeing him put more of those in the net.”

With 65 shots in between goals, it was impossible for the situation not to weigh on Pastrnak.

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Bruins end slide with overtime win over Red Wings 01.24.17 at 9:56 pm ET
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The Bruins ended their four-game losing streak Tuesday. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Nothing comes as a surprise with these Bruins anymore. In fact, by now, you sort of expected what happened Tuesday to happen.

It was the ending, however, that you did not expect.

A day after an intense video session, the Bruins came out of the gates flying against a shorthanded Red Wings team. They pummeled the first 12 shots of the game on Wings netminder Jared Coreau, and had a 1-0 lead behind Kevan Miller’s first goal of the season, scored 3:39 into the first period. But as the clock ticked without a shot from the Red Wings, and with the recent history between these two teams (when the Red Wings overcame a Bruins-heavy first period and won 6-5 after being down 4-1 just six days ago), you knew the danger that would follow.

Without a shot on goal during the first TV timeout, and still without a shot to their name by the time the second timeout rolled around, Mike Green found a speeding Andreas Athanasiou through the sea of Zdeno Chara and Brandon Carlo and in alone on Tuukka Rask.

Athanasiou, naturally, did not miss.

And just like that, all the momentum that the Bruins had seemingly established with a dogged puck-pursuit game and countless one-on-one victory battles in the opening half of the period, went out the window. Sure, the Bruins lead in shots by a 12-1 mark, but they were tied 1-1 on the scoreboard, and that’s all that truly matters for this club given their straight-up dire situation.

The Bruins regained the lead by the end of the first period thanks to a power-play goal scored by Brad Marchand for his 17th goal of the season, but the mindset had already established, or so it felt, and no in a good way. No matter what the Bruins did with the puck, no matter how many shots they took, you just had a feeling that the Wings were still in control of their own fate in this one.

Predictably, the Wings found breaks behind a fortunate bounce off Miller and into the B’s net at the 6:25 mark of the second period, and another one when Tomas Tatar snuck a bad goal under Rask and into the back of the net for a Red Wings lead.

Left to fight from behind to begin the third period for the 21st time on the year — the Bruins entered the third with just one win and five of a possible 40 points in such scenarios — it looked as if the Black and Gold were going to do yet another fade to black.

The Bruins padded their shot totals with low-percentage looks from just inside the blue line, but with nothing of actual substance, the fruitless search for an equalizer raged on against the Wings’ Coreau, who looked like a goalie breaking new gear in with ease.

But it was the Bruins’ best three-man unit all year long — Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak — reunited for this game with the B’s in desperation mode, that would create the scramble in front of Coreau, and Marchand that would tuck the game-tying marker through Coreau for his second of the night and his 19th of the season to give the B’s life.

The frustration of 17,565 in the crowd turned to hope, and the Bruins were seemingly snapped out of their Groundhog Day-esque run of futility and with the help of a last-second stop on Darren Helm, the Bruins forced overtime.

And in the overtime, it was Pastrnak, with space and some dramatics of a Toronto-initiated review to give it some added flavor, that pumped home the slide-snapping goal for his 20th of the season, and his first in 17 games.

OK, so maybe they’re not out of surprises just yet.

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