Brad Marchand hits Mark Borowiecki (via YouTube)
Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand could be facing a suspension after a questionable, low hit on Ottawa Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki. Marchand’s hit sent Borowiecki flying, but he was able to return to the game. Marchand was suspended five games for a similar hit in 2012.
Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand embraces and excels at his role as one of the peskiest goal scorers in the NHL, but playing with an edge means sometimes he might take a step too far. Tuesday may have been one of those nights.
Midway through the first period of Tuesday’s outing against the Senators, Marchand was deep in Ottawa territory forechecking and attempting to get in on Senators winger Mark Stone. Instead of allowing Marchand to get close, Stone put on the brakes and turned up ice. In order for Marchand to get up ice, he had to maneuver around defenseman Mark Borowiecki, but instead of going around the Senators blueliner, Marchand decided to go through him.
What followed was a questionable low hit that sent Borowiecki flying and crashing to the ice on his face:
As ugly as that looks for Borowiecki, he was able to return to the game after a short absence Marchand didn’t receive a penalty on the play, even though he likely could have been whistled for interference, at the very least.
The Bruins don’t play again until Friday — the Winter Classic game at Gillette Stadium against the Montreal Canadiens — and the NHL will have time to decide whether or not they want to dish out supplemental discipline. The Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin reported that a league source told her “to use the world ‘likely’ in regards to potential discipline” for Marchand.
If the NHL does choose to suspend Marchand, it should be interesting to see how long of a ban the league issues. Marchand has been suspended three times in his career — once in 2010-11, once in 2011-12 and once in 2014-15 — for a total of nine games. However, his longest suspension was a five-gamer after an eerily similar hit on then-Vancouver Canucks defenseman Sami Salo.
That Marchand has committed a similar offense will likely be brought up should the league determine his hit on Borowiecki as suspension-worthy. And if the league does decide to suspend Marchand, don’t expect him to be heading outdoors with the Bruins for the Winter Classic.
(Video via dafoomie)