Posts Tagged ‘Brad Marchand’

Top Line: Brad Marchand trolls internet; Kings near breakup?; more links

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By Allan Muir

An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

• The internet was not kind to Brad Marchand of the Bruins last night, accusing the demonstrative forward of faking an injury. He offered an amusing rebuttal.

• It’s not over for the Red Wings after last night’s 3-0 loss to Boston, but it might as well be according to Eric Wilbur.

• The core of the Kings has been together for half a decade, but the team’s struggles against the Sharks suggest that L.A. could be heading for a postseason breakup. If GM Dean Lombardi needs inspiration, he need look no further than across the ice. San Jose made a bold call to drop some of their thump in exchange for speed two years ago. Don’t think their GM, Doug Wilson, has spent a moment regretting that decision.

They’re ready to string up Matt Cooke in Minnesota, which doesn’t bode well for his chances with the Department of Player Safety on Wednesday.

• The Wild’s Darcy Kuemper earned a shutout in his first NHL playoff start. That deserves a song, right?

• In a rare interview Matt Duchene hints that he could be close to returning to the lineup for the Colorado Avalanche.

• A 2010 first rounder whose career was all but written off after a series of concussions could make his NHL debut tonight in Minnesota.

• Worried that Sidney Crosby hasn’t scored yet against the Blue Jackets? Don’t be. Advanced stats suggest he’ll break out of his slump soon.

Unless this changes for the Blackhawks, they’re going to have a hard time coming back in their series against the Blues.

• Injury-riddled St. Louis could get a big boost ahead of Wednesday night’s Game 4.

Read More…

  • Published On Apr 23, 2014
  • Top Line: Fallout from Canucks-Flames line brawl, more links

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    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • Sabres coach Ron Rolston was fined during the preseason for his player selection after he kept enforcer John Scott out for a face-off following a goal. Steve Ewen argues that the Rolston precedent makes Flames coach Bob Hartley liable for the starting lineup he iced ahead of Saturday night’s brawl with the Canucks.

    • Hartley is maintaining his innocence, saying he had no idea that things would get out of hand just because he started his fourth line against Vancouver.

    • Calgary assistant Clint Malarchuk said he was ready to punch his old buddy John Tortorella in the face if he’d gotten to him in that hallway melee.

    • It’ll be up to Colin Campbell, not Brendan Shanahan, to mete out discipline to Tortorella today.

    • Dejan Kovacevic went the stream of consciousness route in working out his feelings after the donnybrook between the Flames and the Canucks. He’s not too happy with Gary Bettman, ESPN or Peter Gammons, among others.

    • Cover your eyes, tree huggers. Another NHL star has come out in favor of fighting, even as he recovers from an injury suffered in a bout.

    Read More…

  • Published On Jan 20, 2014
  • Boston Bruins may be tiring of Brad Marchand’s antics

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    Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins taunted the Vancouver Canucks and their fans.

    Brad Marchand’s pot-stirring act has caused some concern about the Bruins’ image. (Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    The Boston Bruins have made two trips to the Stanley Cup Final during the last three seasons on the strength of a clear and strict program.

    And they have very little patience for players who cannot adhere to it.

    Take Tyler Seguin. The second-overall pick in 2010 and a world-class talent, he was dealt to Dallas over the summer for a number of reasons, including a contract that was going to be a problem under the tightened cap, and a log jam at center, his natural position.

    But mostly he was expendable because his on- and off-ice actions led the Bruins to determine that he was more trouble than he was worth.

    It was a bold deal, one that could swing heavily in the favor of the Stars before long. But that’s a price that GM Peter Chiarelli was willing to pay to keep the team’s house in order.

    And so, if Chiarelli was willing to take four quarters for a dollar on Seguin, where does that leave his old running buddy, Brad Marchand?

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  • Published On Dec 16, 2013
  • Top Line: Thornton decision reactions; Marchand’s creative taunts; more links

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    Boston’s Brad Marchand taunted the Canucks by “raising the Cup” in front of the Vancouver bench. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • The big news of the day was the stunning 15-game suspension handed down to Shawn Thornton and, not surprisingly, reactions to the verdict swung wildly in both directions. In Boston, an appeal was hinted at after what Stephen Harris called “a pretty crappy conclusion”. Nationally, Nick Cotsonika makes the case that Brendan Shanahan should be given a mandate to do more to deter this kind of act in the future.

    • A bit of high-volume coaching magic from John Tortorella helped lift the Canucks to their seventh-straight victory last night, but all anyone is talking about after the 6-2 throttling of the Bruins is the antics of Brad Marchand. First, Boston’s super-pest taunted Henrik Sedin by kissing his ring finger and then he upped the ante by “raising the Cup” in front of the Vancouver bench. Creative, sure, but his coach, Claude Julien, was not impressed.

    • Jarome Iginla’s hand was a bit worse for wear after his bout with Ryan Kesler. What does the guy do? Gets it taped up, comes back out, and then gets in a tussle later in the game with Dan Hamhuis. What a warrior.

    • Check out the mask Jonathan Bernier had prepared specially for the Winter Classic, which he calls a tribute to pond hockey.

    • Don Cherry showed off a pretty spectacular Christmas jacket on Coach’s Corner, then called Justin Abdelkader and Alex Goligoski “dummies” for putting themselves in a position to get hurt in yesterday’s action.

    Read More…

  • Published On Dec 15, 2013
  • SHANABANNED! James Neal gets five games for knee to Marchand’s head

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    By Allan Muir

    The first suspension has come down after a series of violent events marred Saturday night’s game between Boston and Pittsburgh.

    The NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Monday suspended Penguins forward James Neal five games for kneeing Boston’s Brad Marchand in the head.

    The decision must have come as a huge surprise to Neal, who, after the game, claimed no ill intent. “I need to be more careful and I guess get my knee out of the way, but I’m not trying to hit him in the head or injure him or anything like that,” he said.

    But league safety czar Brendan Shanahan, displaying no evidence of having fallen off a turnip truck recently, wasn’t buying Neal’s golly-gee act.

    “With a clear view of Marchand and plenty of time to avoid him, Neal skates directly through Marchand’s head with his left knee,” Shanahan explains in the league’s suspension video. “This is more serious than simply not avoiding contact with a fallen player. Neal turns his skates and extends his left leg, ensuring contact is made with Marchand’s head.”

    A five-game suspension is the longest Neal could have received with a phone hearing, and the speed with which it was delivered suggests Shanahan didn’t see a lot of room for interpretation on the call.

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  • Published On Dec 09, 2013
  • Top Line: Stanley Cup Final Game 6 previews; Bernier to Leafs; more links

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    Patrice Bergeron of the Bruins may not play in Stanley Cup Final Game 6.

    Patrice’s Bergeron’s mystery injury and playing status is a major source of Game 6 intrigue. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    A supersized annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • We still don’t know what’s wrong with Patrice Bergeron beyond the fact that he’s day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. There’s no way he could play tonight in Game 6…could he?

    • The Blackhawks expect their own wounded warrior, Jonathan Toews, to play tonight. But given the surprises they’ve sprung on us in this series (Marian Hossa, anyone?), no one should count on No. 19 being in the lineup until you see him on the bench to start the game.

    • It doesn’t always work out that way, but the Hawks respect the cliche: The fourth win is always the hardest to get.

    Read More…

  • Published On Jun 24, 2013
  • NHL playoffs: Bruins complete stunning sweep of Penguins in Eastern finals

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    Boston's Tuukka Rask stopped 134 of 136 shots in the series and recorded two shutouts. (Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

    Boston’s Tuukka Rask stopped 134 of 136 shots in the series and recorded two shutouts. (Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

    By Brian Cazeneuve 

    BOSTON — Repeat it all so you know it’s true: The Bruins swept the Penguins. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin played the whole series without recording a single point. Pittsburgh never had a lead in any of the games. Implausible as it is, Boston completed an astounding sweep, holding an offensive juggernaut to two goals in almost 14 periods of hockey, capped by a 1-0 win in Game 4.

    “Great, great, great, can I say that again?” said Bruins forward Milan Lucic after the game. “It feels great.”

    In a series where every inch of space was a struggle and star players were reduced to mush, it was Adam McQuaid, a little-known defenseman, who scored the only goal of the deciding game. Meanwhile, goalie Tuukka Rask turned in another great performance, making 26 saves, including several that came in the frenetic closing seconds as the Penguins fought desperately to tie the score.

    In the closing moments, Crosby and Malkin both slid pucks through the crease, but Rask made two stops without his stick. “It’s a scramble,” said Rask after the game. “You can’t see anything and people are laying everywhere. You don’t have a stick. You’re kind of just trying to throw yourself as big as you can and try to stop the puck.”

    HACKEL: Penguins proving talent alone not enough in playoffs

    Some notes from the game:

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  • Published On Jun 08, 2013
  • NHL playoffs: Bruins crush Penguins 6-1, lead Eastern Conference Finals 2-0

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    Brad Marchand (center) scored two of the four goals the Bruins banged home in the first period. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

    By Brian Cazeneuve

    PITTSBURGH — Of course, everyone knew that the Bruins would waltz into Pittsburgh and outscore the home team 9-1 in two commanding victories. No surprise, right?

    “Shocked? Not really shocked,” forward Nathan Horton after his team dismantled the Penguins 6-1 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals. “Or maybe shocked, I don’t know. We maybe didn’t expect this.”

    Nope. Who would have expected the Penguins, laden with firepower but shut out 3-0 in the series opener and vowing to reassert their skill game, to suffer a 6-1 embarrassment on home ice in Game 2? What does this say about them, especially after the way they were derailed last year by the rival Flyers in a chippy, high-scoring series?

    During the first two games, the Bruins have forced turnovers, made far fewer mistakes, gotten far better goaltending, rendered Pittsburgh’s superstars pointless, and now look like a decisively better team against the East’s Stanley Cup favorites.

    Here are some thoughts and observations from a Game 2 shocker:

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  • Published On Jun 04, 2013
  • Top Line: Pens are tough, Fiberglass Face may be tougher; more links

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    Colin Greening of the Ottawa Senators

    Senators winger Colin Greening had a bit of stick embedded in his face when he scored the Game 3 winner. (Getty Images)

    By Allan Muir

    An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

    • One look at Colin Greening’s face proves how far a player will go to win in the playoffs.

    • Daniel Alfredsson’s game-tying goal in the last minute turned what looked like a Pittsburgh sweep into a series that could go the distance.

    • The Penguins always seem to do things the hard way, writes Dejan Kovacevic.

    • Forget what opposing fans say. This player has proven himself to be one of the toughest in hockey with his performance in these playoffs.

    • With a win, and Jason Spezza back in the lineup, there is hope in Ottawa.

    Read More…

  • Published On May 20, 2013
  • NHL playoffs: Marchand leads Bruins to OT victory over Rangers in Game 1

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    Brad Marchand finally broke through after being held to three assists in the seven-game series against the Leafs. (Charles Krupa/AP)

    After struggling against Toronto, Boston’s Brad Marchand finally broke through against New York. (Charles Krupa/AP)

    By Sarah Kwak

    Less than five minutes remained in the first overtime of Game 1 and the Bruins were outplaying and completely outshooting the Rangers with almost goal after almost goal. It was clear the Bruins were due for an actual goal any second. And for the last two weeks, their Little Ball of Hate has been due, too.

    Brad Marchand, the team’s leading scorer in the regular season, was kept muzzled through the first round, picking up only three assists in the seven-game series against the Maple Leafs. But in the closing minutes of overtime against the Rangers, with the score knotted at 2-2, Marchand tipped in a beautiful feed from Patrice Bergeron to win Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals for Boston. The pesky yet diminutive winger did it by powering through the even more diminutive Mats Zuccarello (5-foot-7, 174 pounds), who is probably the only NHLer Marchand (5-9, 183 pounds) could realistically muscle off.

    In the fight between these two big, burly and tough hockey teams, the battle between two flyweights decided it. Figures.

    Here are some more observations from the Bruins’ 3-2 Game 1 win:

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  • Published On May 17, 2013