Boston Bruins

Mar 28, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Referee Mike Hasenfratz (2) skates towards Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy and the Boston bench after Boston had a goal disallowed during the third period of their 1-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Bruins are well aware of Garnet Hathaway’s history.

It’s why they weren’t willing to give the Washington forward the benefit of the doubt when it came to his questionable hit that knocked Bruins winger Brad Marchand out of Thursday’s head-to-head at TD Garden.

“I didn’t like at all, and I let the officials [know it],” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the win. “The official right there in front of it didn’t call it, the trail official called it. I’m not sure why the guy watching it didn’t. [Hathaway] hit a guy in the numbers in a vulnerable spot. Seen that from that player in the past, too, so I didn’t like that one at all.”

As alluded to, the Bruins are more than familiar with Hathaway. Less than a calendar year ago, Hathaway took advantage of a player in a similarly vulnerable position when he decided to try and board then-Bruins defenseman Jarred Tinordi into the fifth row of the loge. Hathaway followed that up with a playoff series where he basically ran around like a psychopath and took a pair of dumb penalties on the way to the Capitals’ five-game bowout to Boston.

“I thought it was a plan,” Bruins winger David Pastrnak said when asked for his thoughts on Hathaway’s hit. “You can see he didn’t have focus on the puck, he went straight at Marchand. Obviously, he’s that kind of player. We saw him a bunch [last year]. So I didn’t like it. It’s one of our best players and he took a run on him. I think it was dirty.”

Boston’s leading scorer this year, Marchand tried to stay in the game, but had one shift after the hit where he struggled to do much of anything, and was unable to lift his arm to celebrate when Pastrnak scored moments later.

The Bruins did not have an update on Marchand after the win.

“Obviously, we don’t know the severity of of Marchand’s injury,” Cassidy said. “I hate to see a guy like Marchand go down on such a kind of cheap hit. But that’s hockey some nights, and hopefully [he] bounces back.”

The 30-year-old Hathaway is not a total stranger to the NHL Department of Player Safety, as the league suspended him three games back in November 2019 for spitting at defenseman Erik Gudbranson. But the Bruins aren’t exactly holding their breath when it comes to Hathaway facing any discipline given who he targeted on the play.

“I guess the league may or may not look at it. When it comes with Marchy, sometimes they kind of move on,” Cassidy said. “But in this particular case, seemed like a vulnerable spot against the boards. [hit in the] back, high.”

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