Bruins forward Brad Marchand made his weekly appearance on the Mut & Merloni show Wednesday, two days after receiving a five-game suspension for his low hit on Sami Salo in Saturday's loss to the Canucks. Marchand explained the reason for his hit, called out Canucks coach Alain Vigneault for his "threat" against him, and explained how Shawn Thornton made Dale Weise look foolish by stepping in when Weise actually wanted to fight Adam McQuaid.
Marchand acknowledged that many people view his hit as a dirty play.
"Yeah, you're right. But in a case like that he's still 6-foot-4, he's 220 pounds. He's got 50 pounds on me. He's a big boy coming in. I still have to protect myself," Marchand said. "Obviously, if you get punched you might want to retaliate. So, I was just trying to protect myself.
"In a situation like that there have been guys who are a lot smaller than him who have come at me, and I've done the same thing and there's been no suspension. I thought I was just trying to protect myself, and that's how it is. I was bulldozed, and I'm allowed to protect myself in that way. That's all I was doing."
Marchand said he heard Canucks coach Alain Vigneault's comments that someone will eventually "hurt the kid" if he continues to play this way, and the winger said he wants the NHL to step in.
"You don't see stuff like that very often," Marchand said. "It's a clear threat. Last time something like that happened in Vancouver we all saw what happened [Avalanche forward Steve Moore got a career-ending cheap shot from Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi in 2004] and it turned out very bad. So, hopefully the league will take care of that situation."
Marchand also revealed why Weise appeared so surprised when Thornton dropped his gloves after a faceoff. Weise backed away and refused to fight but was given a penalty anyhow.
"I'm going to clear it up for everyone who's listening," Marchand said. "It was actually a really sneaky play by Thorty. Weise was trying to fight McQuaid, who was standing behind Thornton on the point. McQuaid was going to fight him. So, Weise was yelling and saying, 'Yeah, let's go, let's go.'
"Thorty just figured that at that point he'd drop his gloves and surprise Weise. And the ref just kind of heard Weise yelling 'Let's go' and thought he was talking to Thorty and conning him into a penalty. Thorty kind of surprised him when Thorty dropped his gloves. Weise had no idea Thorty was going to do that."
Following are more highlights from the interview.
On his previous conversation with NHL discipline boss Brendan Shanahan when he was told he could check a player in similar fashion: "He told me it was OK to do a hit like that if I was protecting myself, and that's what I felt I was doing in that situation. He felt otherwise, and that's why I was suspended. It's an unfortunate play. By no means did I try to injure Salo on the play. I feel really bad that I did. I was just trying to protect myself. Coming out of our conversation, I did reference the hit on [Daniel] Sedin. When I spoke to him about it a month ago, he said that protecting myself in that situation was allowed. In our hearing he brought it up and said that the two hits were different, and he felt I was the aggressor in this situation, so that's why I'm being suspended."
On if he is concerned that he is getting a reputation as a dirty player: "The only time I'm going to worry about that is in disciplinary hearings, because it adds on to a suspension. Other than that, I don't care what anyone else thinks of me. My teammates know I'm not out trying to hurt guys. My management and coaching staff know the same thing. So, I could care less how anyone else around the league or any kind of fans think about that. That's their opinion. It doesn't affect me in any way. … I don't feel I'm that kind of player. I play hard and I battle hard. that's all there is to it."
On the emotion Saturday: "There was just too much that happened last year for it to be a quiet game. … Yes, we were the ones who won the Cup last year. They were still I think pretty upset about it. There's some chippy guys on both teams. When there's the kind of emotion that was there from last year and the kind of guys we have on our team, it usually doesn't end up too well."
On the Canucks complaining after the game: "There's a lot of emotion from both teams toward each other, a lot of hatred there. Sometimes when there's that hatred, you say a lot of things and do a lot of things. I think that definitely had a lot to do with it."
On his coach and general manager standing up for him in the media: "They obviously went to bat for me. They stuck up for me there. There was a lot of things said about our team that didn't need to be said. You didn't hear anyone on our team firing comments like that at their team. I think they might have just had enough and felt like something needed to be said."
On the Canucks-Bruins rivalry: "They're a very good team. They have an ego about them, and we're the same way. We play hard and obviously, we have a pretty big ego. … Both teams have big egos and when those type of teams mix and have a battle like we did, it's going to start some flames."
Patriots safety Duron Harmon joined the show on Monday to discuss their win over Pittsburgh in the AFCCG. Harmon was asked about his tackle on Jesse James on the half yard line, and he revealed to the guys he wasn't thinking much about it, but that the defense has wanted the chance to make a goal line stand since they did it against Cincinnati earlier in the season.
Patriots running back Dion Lewis joined the show to discuss how it feels to be headed to the Super Bowl for the first time in his career, his recovery from a serious injury in 2015, and how LeGarrette Blount fired up the sidelines by carrying half the Steelers on his back.
Glenn Ordway and Fred Smerlas talk with Cornerback Malcolm Butler in the lockerroom after the Patriots handily beat the Pittsburgh to advance to Super Bowl 51.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the 'Dale and Holley Show' talk about Isaiah Thomas' flagrant foul against the Heat, and also discuss why it's time for the Celtics to address their biggest need.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the "Dale and Holley Show" discuss the latest news on the injury that has kept Isaiah Thomas off the court and how valuable it is for Marcus Smart to stay in control.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of 'The Dale and Holley Show' talk about last night's disappointing finish against the Rockets and they talk about their love for DeMarcus Cousins.
Rob Bradford is joined by Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello to discuss life from the moment when he learned he was the American League Cy Young Award winner until the days just before spring training. Porcello explains how things have changed for him over the past few months, while offering his thoughts on Kate Upton's controversial tweets following the Cy Young announcement, and the actual voting process.
Mut, Rob, and John are talking about some of the Hall of Fame candidates who gained or lost support within the last year. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds both gained support, while Curt Schilling lost a chunk of votes he had gotten last year.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are in after it was announced that Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. They also talk about some notable candidates who weren't elected this year like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.
Guys discuss if or when the Bruins will fire Coach Julian
Ken, Rear and Ty get into a very solid week for the B's beating St Louis and the Flyers and losing a hard-fought game against the Predators. Is this team turning things around? Krug and Marchand are kicking things up a notch. The guys also talk about Claude and Sweeney's job security before getting into some big hits around the league this week.
Ken, Rear and Ty talk all things Bruins as they come off a 4-0 shutout win in Florida and head to Carolina later today. Did that victory save Claude's job? The boys get into Don Sweeney's recent comments on Claude's job and what the future holds for the black and gold.
Hour 4. Kirk and Gerry discuss how players from bad teams can come to New England and win.
Hour 2. Albert challenges Kirk and Gerry. Headlines with Kirk covers the Women's March.
Tim Hasselbeck joins the show.
The guys open the show discussing the Patriots 36-17 win over Steelers in the AFCCG, and if that win helped answer some questions the critics had all year about the Patriots defense.
Last week, there was a lot of talk about Aaron Rodgers and his other-worldly performances down the stretch and into the playoffs. On Sunday, he was blown out by the Falcons, and sent home packing. The guys discuss the rise and fall of Aaron Rodgers' season, and also get into the Falcons offense, and how the Patriots defense might stack up.
Chris Hogan, Dion Lewis, Kyle Van Noy, and Trey Flowers are just a few of the reasons why Bill Belichick should be credited more as a great GM, in addition to his accolades as a great head coach.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick breaks down the win over the Steelers and looks ahead to the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl, who Bill admits is a team they are not yet very familiar with.
Dale, Holley and Keefe check in with Special Teams Captain Matthew Slater after the Patriots advance to Super Bowl 51.
Dale, Holley and Keefe check in with former Patriot Heath Evans, now with the NFL Network, for his complete analysis of the AFC Championship win.
Kirk Minihane brings Chad Finn back to the show to talk about the Charlotte Wilder story about the relationship between the Pats and Trump. Chad defends Charlotte for some of the story and her previous articles, Kirk still has problems with what he thinks is lazy reporting. Kirk and Chad also talk about whether a third sports station in Boston would be viable and if Curt Schilling will ever make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Kirk Minihane has a loud and very confrontational argument with media personality John Ziegler about the guilt or innocence of Jerry Sandusky. Kirk believes him to be guilty, John believes beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sandusky is innocent. Yes, it may be an old case, but you all remember it and this episode may change your mind about some of the things you previously thought with regards to Penn State, Jerry Sandusky, and Joe Paterno.
Kirk Minihane wants to sit down with both sports editors at the major newspapers in Boston. Only Boston Herald sports editor Sean Leahy took Kirk up on the invitation to join the show. What you will hear is a great conversation between two people who are very interested in the newspaper business and how that business has changed over the years and what the future holds for newspapers. Kirk and Sean talk about the ongoing and longstanding rivalry between the Herald and Globe.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap a Patriots Monday after a Patriots AFC Title game win and a Tom Brady appearance with Kirk & Gerry.
Uncle Buck, George from S**t Pats Fans Say, and Jerry Thornton talk about the Patriots history in the AFC Championship game, the big wins, the bad losses, and what it will take for the Pats to win another AFC Championship game.
Ken Laird and Chris Curtis wrap up the K&C week after a Friday show with Kirk, Mut and Ben Volin in studio.
Tom Brady joins the show the morning after winning the AFC championship for the seventh time. Brady talks about the upcoming Super Bowl and his call to President Donald Trump.More from this show
Hour 1. The Patriots are going to the Super Bowl, which means Kirk and Gerry are going to Houston. Tom Brady joins the show.More from this show
Hour 2. Albert challenges Kirk and Gerry. Headlines with Kirk covers the Women's March.More from this show