By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Tragedy hit the ice on Friday night, as Bruins winger Brad Marchand lived up to his reputation as the league’s most offensive player with a vicious, potentially career-ending slash to the leg of Stars netminder Ben Bishop.
Say what you want about Marchand but a slashing call *and* a 10-minute misconduct for THIS is insane pic.twitter.com/CxC3sBZeQ8— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) November 17, 2018
Dallas-area dispatchers were called in for emergency shifts as people frantically dialed 9-1-1 and tried to understand what Marchand just did to another human being. NESN announcer Jack Edwards, meanwhile, actually ripped his suit jacket off and bit it in half before throwing it out of the press box and into one of the nine thousand empty seats at American Airlines Center.
Marchand, wearing an ‘A’ for the Bruins with captain Zdeno Chara (lower-body) out of action, was then hit with a 10-minute misconduct following a decision to put a white Gatorade towel on the end of his stick and wave the white flag at the referees after what was yet another undeniably horrible call against the Bruins.
“I think people pay to see the best players in the world play,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the loss. “I don’t think they show Brad enough respect, the officials. He’s got to earn it, as well, so it’s a two-way street.
“At the end of the day, I don’t understand that [slashing] call at all.”
Of course, Marchand has made his best in regards to his reputation throughout the league.
But this call was embarrassing as it gets for an NHL official. And considering some of the stuff that was let go or enough to be considered matching minors for both sides and nothing more, doubling down on this with a 10-minute misconduct that took Marchand off the ice in a tightly-contested, scoreless game, the call becomes actually downright inexcusable.
Falling back on an “it’s Marchand and he deserves bad calls against him” rationalization is painfully dumb, too, as you’re essentially validating shoddy officiating based on who it benefits or harms at that moment. That alone goes against the job of an official, mind you, whose primary job is to be unbiased.
Also: If we’re going with that reasoning (again, a stupid thing to do), it should be recognized that Bishop is a known flopper throughout the league, and nearly duped the referees into another power-play opportunity for the Stars when he feigned getting tripped by Bruins winger David Pastrnak on his stride by the Dallas net.
So, if you want to penalize the guy with a reputation how about also nabbing one of NHL’s best actors, too?
A true hero among us, though, Bishop stayed in the game and stopped all 23 shots thrown his way for the shutout win.
By staying in the game, Bishop likely let sweat pour into what I assume is an open wound from the slash. If not properly addressed in time, this could put him on the shelf for weeks, if not the remainder of the 2018-19 season.
Here’s to a speedy recovery for Big Ben.
We believe in you!
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. He has also been a voting member of the Boston Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association since 2013. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.