|Andy Brickley on M&M: Brad Marchand ‘overthinking it right now’||12.18.13 at 12:00 pm ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to talk about the Bruins and the most recent questionable play by Brad Marchand.
Marchand, the controversial B’s winger, was penalized two minutes for boarding after hitting Sean Monahan in Tuesday’s win over the Flames. Calgary‘s Curtis Glencross called it a “dirty hit” by a “dirty player.”
“Yeah, it’s a bad hit. He’s looking right at Monahan’s numbers,” Brickley said. “If you ask Brad, he’ll tell you he thought it was just a little forceful push and not heavy body contact. But it’s still on the numbers, on a guy that — he knew Marchand was there. When you watch the replay, he take a look over his left shoulder, which is the right thing to do for Monahan; you want to survey what’s going on around you. That puck’s not going anywhere, so you take a look to see what’s going on behind you and left and right and then make your play. So, he knew Marchand was right there, and Marchand decided to give him that little extra forearm shiver/push/hit, whatever you want to describe it.
“That’s a two-minute penalty for boarding. It’s a good call. It’s a bad penalty to take. It’s a bad timely penalty to take. And I just think it’s part of what’s going on with Marchand right now, that he’s trying to figure his game out and he’s overthinking it right now. He’s just got to go out and read and react, play the game. But the hard part for him is he needs to play on the edge in order to be the most effective player he can.”
Regarding the possibility of benching Marchand, Brickley said that’s not likely considering the number of injuries among the team.
“They’re just so short on numbers right now; what are their options?” Brickley said. “If they wanted to reduce his ice time, if they wanted to — like they did with Milan Lucic late in the year last year, make him a healthy scratch so he gets up on [TD Garden Level] 9 and takes a look at things and realizes there’s a lot more he could be doing.
“One of the things that jump out at you when you watch Marchand play, when he’s playing well — and it could be at any time during the game, he could have six, seven real good shifts in the course of a 20-shift night where he’s really, really effective, and he’s using his feet, and he’s skating, he attacks the offensive zone, he backs the D off then he curls up and he looks for a guy coming late. But what he’s doing right now, even when he makes a good play, he stops skating. And when you stop skating, that tells you you’re overthinking it. And when you start to overthink it, now you just don’t play the game in rhythm and you just don’t do things naturally.
“And I think that’s what they’re trying to educate him on and remind him of, that’s the way you need to play. Because when you get into that no-man’s land, you’re not the player you’re going to be. But what are your options in order to get that message across? Right now, because they are just so shorthanded, they need Brad Marchand and they need him to play to his capabilities or somewhere close to that in order to be effective. Because they need to win and they need to put up points.
And he’s still probably your best option, even though you might want to try to do something else to get further attention.”
|Curtis Glencross on Brad Marchand: ‘He’s a dirty player’||12.17.13 at 10:22 pm ET|
Flames forward Curtis Glencross had a pretty black-and-white assessment of Brad Marchand‘s hit on Flames rookie forward Sean Monahan.
“It’s dirty,” Glencross told WEEI.com. “He’s a dirty player.”
Monahan had turned and had his numbers to Marchand behind the Flames net when the Bruins’ forward hit him into the boards from behind. Marchand was assessed a two-minute boarding minor for the hit and was immediately chased down by Glencross in defense of his teammate.
“We’ve seen it from him how many times a year from him?” Glencross added. “It’s a dirty hit.
“You try not to worry about guys like that, but we’re trying to get those hits out of the game. It’s a dirty hit.”
Marchand was not made available to the media after the game, a 2-0 Bruins win. B’s captain Zdeno Chara said he did not see the hit, but that he knows the team needs to be alert with not making bad decisions.
“We’re aware of what’s going on, not just with our team,” Chara said. “Throughout the league there’s always names coming up for hearings and suspensions, but you are aware of it, but we try to really focus on the games. Speaking for myself, I’m always trying to focus on the game and not what is going on away from it.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien said the hit wasn’t worse than the call it was given on the ice.
“I look at that hit and it’s a two-minute penalty,” Julien said, “and I don’t think he was going in there looking to injure the guy. He was going to hit and the guy turned and how he got him deserved a two-minute penalty, but that’s as much as it is.
“I don’t want us to start thinking that everything Brad does is bad. It’s a two minute like a lot of other two minutes — not any worse than all the high sticks our guys took to the face tonight. He took the two minutes, went to the box and served it.”
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Patrice Bergeron: Bruins stick up for Brad Marchand||12.16.13 at 1:38 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — There was plenty of reaction to Brad Marchand‘s Stanley Cup-themed taunts Saturday night in a game the Bruins lost, and one of them came from the always quotable Kevin Bieksa.
Bieksa, who took perhaps the worst dive of the 2011 playoffs in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals and called the Bruins “stupid” a year later, said after Saturday’s game that the Bruins don’t stick up for Marchand.
“Everyone knows Marchand’s deal,” Bieksa told ESPN.com. “I don’t want to get into a war of words but you know what Marchand is like. I think his teammates know what he’s like, too. There weren’t too many guys sticking up for him in those scrums.”
Patrice Bergeron, who has been a linemate of Marchand’s for the past four seasons, politely disagreed with Bieksa’s assessment.
“I’ve never been the guy that’s going to [talk trash] in the media, [but] I think we all stick up for one another,” Bergeron said Monday. “I think it’s something that we’ve done throughout the time that we’ve been here, so I don’t think that’s really an issue. That particular incident, yeah, maybe Marchy would like to take that one back, but it’s also part of his game. That’s it.”
Claude Julien was critical of Marchand’s actions following the game, saying that his behavior against the Canucks was “definitely not something we will accept in our organization. He declined to say Monday whether he had called the player into his office over the incident.
“If I did, I think it’s for us to keep internally,” Julien said. “I don’t think it’s for anybody else to know about. I was pretty clear in my comments. I think it’s not something that we want, so we deal with it internally in those situations.”
|Claude Julien: Brad Marchand’s behavior vs. Canucks ‘definitely not something we will accept’||12.15.13 at 3:00 am ET|
The Bruins pest was up to his old tricks Saturday as the B’s and Canucks played each other for the second time since the B’s beat Vancouver in the finals. First, Marchand took off his glove and kissed his ring finger following a second-period spat with Ryan Kesler (something Marchand would later say was a response to Kesler eye-gouging him). Then, with the Bruins on the way to a 6-2 loss in the third period, Marchand raised an imaginary Cup in the air and kissed it.
Claude Julien didn’t exactly give his actions a ringing endorsement after the game.
“I heard,” Julien said. “I did hear, and obviously I don’t watch the game; I coach the game, but I heard. He’s a good player, and he’s an agitator, and there’s some good things to that part of his game, but there’s certain areas where — again, I’ve said it before — you can’t cross the line. Sometimes his emotions get the better of him.
“We’ve worked with him and we’re going to continue to work with him. The perception it gives our organization is not what you want to see with those kind of things. Again, I don’t know what he said to you guys, but it’s certainly something we’re going to deal with.
“He’s too good of a player and we don’t want him to be a different player, but there’s certain things we want him to be different at. From what I hear, what happened, that’s definitely not something we will accept in our organization.”
Kesler wasn’t a fan either.
Kesler on Marchand kissing his ring: “Obviously no class.”
‘ Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) December 15, 2013
Marchand said he had reason for the ring-kissing gesture, and this isn’t the first time he’s called a player out for dirty antics. He did so a season ago with Jeff Skinner when he accurately pointed the Carolina forward’s tendency to slew-foot players.
Marchand on the ring kissing: ‘I did it after [Kesler] was eye-gouging me. Just my emotions were a little high after that.”
‘ Amalie Benjamin (@AmalieBenjamin) December 15, 2013
It isn’t the first time since the Bruins’ victory Marchand has reminded the Canucks of 2011. After Kevin Bieksa called the Bruins “stupid” following the teams’ January 2012 meeting (when Marchand delivered a low-bridge hit on Sami Salo for which he later was suspended five games), Marchand responded that the Bruins were “smart enough to win a Cup.”
|Chad Johnson, Jarome Iginla lead Bruins past Oilers||12.13.13 at 12:09 am ET|
The Bruins continued what’s been a successful road trip Thursday with a 4-2 win over the Oilers at Rexall Place.
Boston jumped out to a 3-0 lead after a first period in which Dennis Seidenberg scored on one of his famous fake dump-ins, Jarome Iginla sent a puck past both a screening Milan Lucic and Edmonton goalie Devan Dubnyk, and Brad Marchand tallied a shorthanded goal.
Dubnyk was replaced by Jason LaBarbera at the start of the second period, and the Oilers got back in the game with a pair of goals from David Perron. After the Bruins were able to kill off a pair of late penalties in the third period, Iginla sealed the win for the B’s with an empty-netter.
Picking up the win for the Bruins was Chad Johnson, who improved to 6-1-0 on the season. Johnson made a career-high 39 saves in the win.
The Bruins will wrap up their West Coast road trip Saturday with their first trip back to Vancouver since winning the Stanley Cup there in 2011.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
— Johnson gave up a couple of bad goals in the second period, but he came up huge with a glove save on Nail Yakupov from the slot five minutes into the third period on a play that could have tied the game. He then made another stop on a Jordan Eberle shot with the Oukers on a man advantage midway through the third.
— The Bruins came up big on that third-period interference penalty on Marchand, as a unit of Gregory Campbell, Jordan Caron, Zdeno Chara and Johnny Boychuk silenced the Oilers on a very lengthy possession that saw Boychuk block a one-timer from Eberle.
The Bruins had an easier time on a Dennis Seidenberg penalty with just over three minute to play, as the B’s cleared the puck regularly against a desperate Oilers team late.
— The occasionally sneaky Seidenberg was up to his old tricks again for the Bruins’ first goal. Taking the puck through the neutral zone, Seidenberg looked to be dumping the puck into the offensive zone until he fired a wrist shot at the blue line that fooled Dubnyk. Remember, this is the same guy who had a pair of center-ice goals over the last few years, one of which came when he gained the red line and, faked a dump-in and threw a wrist shot past Mike Smith back on Dec. 2, 2010.
— It isn’t necessarily a good thing given that it took Lucic off the ice, but Lucic said recently that he expected to get to his usual six or seven fights a season and he meant it. Though his Nov. 30 fight against Dalton Prout was just his first bout of the season, Lucic’s fight Thursday with Luke Gazdic marked his third fight of the season, all of which have occurred over the last six games.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
— The B’s had another injury scare when Seidenberg got hit up high by a shot from the point. Seidenberg turned his head in time to not get hit in the face by the puck, but he was still down for a few moments, with trainer Don DelNegro tending to him on the ice. Fortunately for the banged-up Bruins, Seidenberg stayed in the game.
— The Oilers stepped up their game big-time in the second period, and it was capped by a bad goal late. Johnson, making a save off a puck Perron had tipped from Eberle, poked the puck with his blocker right back to Perron at the side of the net, with Perron then scoring on a wraparound.
— On the subject of Perron’s goals, neither of them were good goals for Johnson to allow. Perhaps Seidenberg was screening him on the Oilers’ first goal, as there’s no other excuse to not stop the wrist shot that beat him stick side high.
— His line was used as a fourth line, but Ryan Spooner‘s struggles at the faceoff dot weren’t an issue. Why? Because his line was only on the ice for one faceoff and he won it. That’s one way to solve the problem. Spooner was given only two shifts in the third period and didn’t play the final 12 minutes of regulation as Claude Julien shortened his bench in a one-goal game.
Campbell took most of the faceoffs for the Bruins, going 11-for-23. Spooner finished with just 8:16 of ice time.
|James Neal respects NHL’s decision to suspend him||12.10.13 at 2:59 pm ET|
“Obviously, it’s not the smartest decision I’ve ever made,” Neal said. “I’m glad he’s OK. Going forward here, I need to learn from it. It’s something I can’t do, and I know that. I respect what the NHL’s done, but I’ve got to put it behind me and move forward here.”
Marchand was down on the ice after being tripped by Sidney Crosby, at which point Neal skated by, stuck out his left leg and hit Marchand in the head. The suspension is the third of Neal’s career.
It was at that whistle that the scrum between Brooks Orpik and Gregory Campbell, among others, took place and Shawn Thornton attacked Orpik with a slewfoot and two punches to the head. Orpik is out indefinitely with a concussion and has memory loss. Thornton’s in-person hearing with the league over the play is scheduled for Friday.
After the game, Neal had initially offered little about the play in which he hit Marchand, saying he hadn’t seen the replay. Marchand stayed in the game.
“I mean, what do you want me to say? That I was trying to hit him? No, I’m going by him, I don’t get out of the way like I said,” Neal said following the game. “I need to be more careful and I guess get my knee out of the way, but I’m not trying to hit him in the head or injure him or anything like that.”
|Penguins’ James Neal suspended 5 games for knee to Brad Marchand’s head||12.09.13 at 1:18 pm ET|
Marchand was getting up after being knocked to the ice when Neal delivered his cheap shot. Neal claimed after the game that the hit was not intentional despite video evidence that made it apparent he went out of his way to contact Marchand.
“While Neal does not kick or violently thrust his leg toward Marchand, it is our belief after reviewing this incident that this is more serious than simply not avoiding contact with a fallen player,” NHL directory of player safety director Brendan Shanahan explained in a video review of the incident. “While looking down directly at Marchand, Neal turns his skates and extends his left leg, ensuring that contact is made with Marchand’s head.”
The suspension will cost Neal $128,205.15 in lost salary, which will be donated to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.