Brad Marchand finished the Bruins’ 7-4 win on Saturday with two assists. But he also came under scrutiny after a first-period collision with the Blackhawks’ Anthony Duclair.
As Marchand turned up the ice, he tried to jump out of the way of Duclair but ended up hitting him in the head with his right arm. Duclair fell awkwardly to the ice and left the game without returning due to an undisclosed injury, which appeared to be to his knee. Marchand was assessed a minor for interference at the time.
Here’s a look at the collision in slow-motion:
Anthony Duclair suffers knee injury after collision with Brad Marchand pic.twitter.com/Z3LdZaG6Qq— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) March 10, 2018
And in real-time:
For reference, here’s the Marchand-Duclair incident at real speed pic.twitter.com/AhbSDUFAgk— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) March 10, 2018
No Discipline This Time
Marchand’s history of suspensions and reputation for dirty play led to questions of whether he’d hear from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety over the incident. But both NBC Sports Boston’s Joe Haggerty and the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus reported that the play is being viewed as “accidental” and that Marchand isn’t expected to face any supplemental discipline.
Duclair, however, is expected to miss “a week or two,” according to Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville. That should be considered “good” news at this point, since the injury looked serious at the time.
Head coach Bruce Cassidy seemed to believe that Player Safety could still review the collision, despite its accidental nature.
“I expect they will [look at the play] 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, but it doesn’t matter, right?” said Cassidy. “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? But, at the end of the day, I haven’t looked at it close enough. The brief replay I saw on the bench monitor, it just looked like incidental contact to me.”
“We Were Trying To Avoid Each Other”
Marchand, who got fined $2,000 for diving/embellishment in a prior game, isn’t expecting a call.
“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 told reporters after the game. “I think it’s really unfortunate, I think he twisted up his foot or something, that’s tough to see.
On whether he expects to hear from the league, Marchand added: “I mean, that’s obviously up to them but I don’t think so. We were trying to avoid each other so I don’t think so.”
Blackhawks defenseman Erik Gustafsson seemed to disagree with Marchand and Cassidy’s assessment.
“I think it was a dirty play,” said Gustafsson. “I think Marchand sees him coming, and I don’t know if he did it on purpose or not, but Duclair got stuck in his feet when he hit the ice. Looked pretty bad.”
It certainly looks like a freak accident; even Marchand wouldn’t be crazy enough to intentionally leap and clothesline Duclair. The league appears to agree, in spite of Marchand’s checkered past. It looks like Marchand and Duclair both dodged major bullets here.
— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at email@example.com.