The Little Ball of Hate is going to be the Little Ball of Not Playing for 6 Games. Let’s get into it.
Let me start with this, I love Brad Marchand. The guy is easy to root for. He’s built himself from a 4th liner into one of the best left wingers in the NHL. Hell, one of the best PLAYERS in the NHL. He’s in my top 10 when I ranked my Top 100 of all time. He’s hilarious and great with social media, and he’s very generous with his time off the ice. He plays in all facets of the game and is a threat to score every single time he touches the damn puck. He’s a leader, both by his words and his actions; and in my opinion he’s THE tone setter for this organization. He was an integral part of bringing the Stanley Cup back home to The Hub of Hockey. The Bruins are lucky to have him and the brass must be counting their blessings that he wants to play his entire career for the Black and Gold. He’s given everything he has to you, Bruins fans.
But then…… sometimes…… the wires cross. This time it’s going to cost him 6 games. That’s 6 crucial games when the Bruins are now past the All-Star break. That’s 6 crucial games as the Bruins are getting ready for the sprint into the NHL playoffs. That’s 6 crucial games when his team needs him, and when the team is looking to cement a playoff spot. I think HC Bruce Cassidy summed it up best after the game. “Lack of discipline obviously on Brad’s part. I just watched the replay. It looks like some words were exchanged. … Brad’s a leader on our team. He needs to control his emotions in that situation.” Amen Butchie.
Brad Marchand hurt the Bruins during last night’s game. He didn’t hurt Tristan Jarry, he hurt the guys who share that locker room with him. Oh no, there are Bruins fans that are upset? Who gives a shit. Save that whining for the
worst fan base in the world Patriot fans who were butt hurt over Tom Brady not sending them a special farewell post. No matter who you are, after what he’s done; Brady owes you nothing. Same goes for Brad Marchand. He only owes it to his teammates to explain his actions.
So Dear Reader let’s dive into it. Let’s get messy and honest and find some truth. Some hard truth, the kind of truth that makes you toss and turn at night and makes you thankful for your Bruins night light. I think a lot of you are going to be viewing this through your Black and Gold lenses, so let’s play a game shall we. Close your bloodshot eyes and imagine if you can, that this was an interaction between Tom Wilson and Jeremy Swayman? Got that image in your head, do ya? Run it forward and think if it was big bad scumbag Wilson delivering a right cross to Sway’s ear hole. Would 6 games be enough for you in that scenario? Really? Be honest. If not with me, then at least be honest with yourself; you deserve that Skippy. You’d want Wilson tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.
Do I think 6 games was too harsh? Maybe, but I’m still ruminating on it. Marchand is a repeat offender (prior to this incident he’s been suspended 7x and fined 5x) and the NHL Dept of Player Safety has made it clear that they are no fans of Marchand. [cough-cough phantom slew foot]. Call me a conspiracy theorist if you like, but I’m sure his recent lack of GAF in talking about league business hasn’t earned him any fans up top either. If there’s one thing we all know, it’s that league officials have a wonderful sense of humour. (the preceding was sarcasm. We all need to come together as a society and agree upon a font for sarcasm that is universally recognized)
To be fair (to be faaaaaaaaair), there could be a long history between Marchand and Jarry that I’m unaware of. It didn’t seem as if any of Jarry’s teammates were in any real hurry to come to his aid. Actually, I thought the lack of any response by any Penguins player was…. peculiar to say the least. I mean initially Kris Letang had a reaction, but that cooled off rather quickly. At least with Letang you know that there’s a history of bad blood between the two players.
With this Jarry incident, it’s curious to say the least. Did Jarry say something to Marchand that put him over the edge after making the save? Was it Jarry’s early (non call) slash on Charlie Coyle that set Marchand to a slow boil (in the 2nd video)? Coyle never even looked back at Jarry, so how bad could it have been? I mean Marchand and Sidney Crosby are boys from back home and he wasn’t giving Sid an easy time of it last night.
I’m sure seeing Patrice Bergeron go down earlier in the game (day to day out vs. CAR with UBI) after getting his skate tangled with Crosby surely didn’t sit well with Marchand (and before you get all worked up, that was NOT a dirty play by Sid. Shut up and calm down) Lately, Marchand is THE GUY who always takes up for his teammates, especially when it’s his liney Bergy. Whatever it was, it started in warmups when Marchand wasn’t having it when Jarry tried to give a puck to a Pens fan at TD Garden. To me, this was funny. It was pregame and Jarry is on the road, so he gets what he gets. Marchand always wants to be the last off the ice (as is his prerogative at home), and Jarry could have easily sent over the trainer with a puck. This is Marchand at his best in my opinion. Pissing off the opposing goalie prior to the game, getting all the guys in the other locker room mad at you before opening face-off. That is good Brad.
But the ending of this game? Fuck me that’s not a good look bud. I ask you again, imagine if this happened with Pat Maroon (or Corey Perry) throwing a punch at an unsuspecting Linus Ullmark and tell me how you’d feel?. So now, with Bergeron out, Marchand suspended and Tuukka Rask retiring (more on that later in the week): for the first time since winning The Cup in Vancouver in 2011 your Boston Bruins will take the ice without a member of that squad in the lineup. Let that sink in for a moment Dear Reader as you look forward to the next 2 weeks without #63. Let me try to turn that frown upside down for you: at least Jake DeBrusk is still on the roster.
Cry not for Brad Marchand, for he doesn’t want your tears. As he told you back in 2017, his concern is not what you think, pigeon. He has delivered you The Cup: Are you not entertained?
By the way, your dominant NU Huskies are at it again this weekend as the ladies take on the Maine Black Bears for a pair at historic Matthews Arena. No suspensions over there. #HowlinHuskies
As always, I love to hear from all our impartial, knowledgeable Bruins fans. @abrow28