By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Brad Marchand had the kind of blooper on Monday that people fixate on, to the point of forgetting the real reason they lost the game. But Marchand addressed his game-ending gaffe in a shootout loss to the Flyers the right way: their defeat started well before that.
Ultimately, Marchand’s shootout snafu won’t have a major impact on anything more than hockey’s blooper reels. It was certainly an all-timer in that department: with the Bruins’ final chance to keep their game alive against the Flyers, Marchand grazed the puck at center ice and skated right by it. By rule, he can’t go backward and make another play on the puck. Just nudging the puck at center ice was technically his shot, so that was that. Game over.
Marchand made an embarrassing mistake that he’ll hear about for a long time, especially from most most persistent haters outside of Boston. But the reality is the Bruins were sitting on a 5-2 lead in the second period and let it slip away. Jaroslav Halak gives up a soft goal, the Flyers get some puck luck, and Travis Sanheim wins a puck against both Bruins defensemen behind the net, and just like that the lead evaporates.
Anyone who’s followed the Bruins this season knew a shootout (or even overtime) was bad news, regardless of how it looked in the end. And dear lord it looked bad.
But handling the puck enough to take a real shot was far from a guarantee Marchand would actually put it in the net. Even then, it was only to tie the shootout. The final play stings, but what stung Marchand and the Bruins more was blowing that lead.
“I know that rule, you touch it on a penalty shot that’s your shot,” said Marchand. “It’s unfortunate. Tough way to lose on a play like that. But we need to be better when we have the lead, so we gotta do a better job with that tomorrow [against the Blue Jackets].”
It’s time for Marchand and the B’s to have a short memory, because they’re getting right back to action in Columbus against the Blue Jackets on Tuesday. Columbus got the best of the Bruins in overtime in their first meeting of the season on Jan. 2. Protect a lead and you won’t have to worry about another shootout disaster in the first place.
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.