Brian Fluharty/USA Today Sports

Bruins, Blackhawks react to Brad Marchand hit on Anthony Duclair

Ty Anderson
March 10, 2018 - 5:47 pm

Bruins superstar Brad Marchand is never going to get the benefit of the doubt.

Six suspensions and a lengthy list of fines (the latest coming just yesterday, as the NHL fined Marchand $2,000 for ‘embellishment’) will do that to you. And it makes you wonder if another dose of discipline is on the way to the Black and Gold’s polarizing leading scorer after his brutal first-period collision with Blackhawks forward Anthony Duclair.

After the game, which featured two assists from No. 63, the 29-year-old Marchand did his best to explain that his collision with Duclair was simply unavoidable.

“I was coming up ice and I think he was coming down the forecheck and we both got caught in the train tracks and we both didn’t know which direction to go, but we just kind of tried to avoid each other,” Marchand explained. “I think it’s really unfortunate.

“I think he twisted up his foot or something, that’s tough to see.”

Aware that he’s not likely to get the benefit of the doubt, Marchand, suspended five games in January, hopes that the video replay does all the explaining necessary.

“I think it’s pretty clear that I was trying to get out of the way, that he was trying to get out of the way,” Marchand said. “You know, it’s tough. Things like that happen in hockey, you never want to see a guy get hurt, but it’s – we were trying to avoid each other.”

“I expect (the NHL Department of Player Safety) will (look at it) because it’s Brad, but when I looked at the replay, it looked like two guys just turning trying to get the hell out of the way from each other,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the win, his club’s sixth straight. “But it doesn’t matter, right? It’s what they’re going to see, and hopefully the referees, the officials – I just asked what the call was – interference. He said he got him high, and I said, well I thought he hurt his knee, like, so what is it?

“The brief replay I saw on the bench monitor, it just looked like incidental contact to me.”

Those in the Blackhawk dressing room did not seem to agree.

“It was tough to call,” Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville said. “They got a penalty.”

“I think it was a dirty play,” Blackhawks defenseman Erik Gustafsson said after the game. “I think Marchand sees him coming and I don’t know how if he does it on purpose or not, but he gets stuck and Duclair gets stuck, got his feet stuck in the ice. It looked pretty bad. I haven’t talked to him yet. He is a good player and I hope he is back soon.”

The league would have to move quickly on a Marchand decision if they’re going to keep him out of the B’s next game, as the Bruins are set to skate in Chicago at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Another Marchand ban would hypothetically force the Bruins to dress seven defenders or reach down into Providence’s forward corps with an emergency recall.

“I don’t even want to go there,” Cassidy said of possibly losing Marchand to another suspension. “Because that’s not what I saw. You know, you’re going to see the different angles, but I just saw two guys turning and didn’t want to bang into each other.”

Marchand currently leads the Bruins with 29 goals and 69 points this season.

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