By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
If you had one request for Thursday’s tune-up game for the Boston Bruins, it was that they’d make it out of there in one piece.
Then came Brad Marchand wincing, getting back to the bench, and disappearing for the remainder of the third period. Cool. 2020!
But speaking with reporters after the loss, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy did his part to calm the masses when it came to Marchand’s status moving forward.
“Don’t think it’s anything serious,” Cassidy offered. “But we’ll have a better idea in the morning.”
It remains unclear what happened with Marchand.
When you see a player wincing and laboring on a penalty kill, your first thought is a blocked shot. But after watching the sequence a few more times, it was tough to find a block that would’ve caused that discomfort for Marchand. And unfortunately, being at the mercy of the in-house replays, that’s what I was working with, for better or worse. (I swear this will be the extent of me complaining about not being allowed in a bubble city in a pandemic. I don’t think some of these self-important sportswriters understand how straight-up dumb they sound when they stomp their feet about not being allowed inside the bubble to complain about free coffee and cough in a player’s face right now. Half these guys don’t wash their hands in a non-pandemic but we just gotta let them in to compromise the microchip? No chance.)
It appeared to a wince coming off a pivot to adjust his defensive positioning, which would almost indicate a groin or hip ailment more than anything else. But that’s complete speculation on my behalf — and, again, based off available replays — at this point.
And while Cassidy’s words are encouraging, it’s worth mentioning that this kind of update has come back to bite him a few times. He said the same thing about Kevan Miller’s knee in Apr. 2019. Miller still hasn’t played. He also said something similar after Marchand appeared to injure his hand in the team’s intrasquad scrimmage before the 2019 Stanley Cup Final.
Those are extremes, of course, but Marchand’s situation is absolutely worth watching given his importance to his team.
In addition to his obvious superstar status, Marchand’s symbiotic relationship with Patrice Bergeron has been downright lethal for the Bruins. That remained the case in 2019-20, too, with Bergeron playing just 58:16 of five-on-five play without Marchand on the ice with him. (That, of course, compared to over 677 minutes of five-on-five play together.)
The good news for Marchand, who scored 28 goals and 87 points in 70 games this season, is that the Bruins will be off the ice tomorrow before beginning preparation for Sunday’s round-robin tournament contest against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Sports Hub Sidelines Podcast
Matt Dolloff and I talked at length about the Bruins and the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the newest episode of the Sports Hub Sidelines podcast. Have a listen below.