Friday, 1 January 2016

Brad Marchand lowbridges again, the NHL whistles and looks the other way.

“It should be at least five games, it should already have been announced. Except that Brad Marchand is a Boston Bruin. And it certainly seems that there are different rules for the Bruins or the L.A. Kings. They’ll at least try to find a loophole to delay the punishment so as to scheme a way for him to not miss the Winter Classic.”–Tony Gallagher on TSN 1040 Vancouver.

So Brad Marchand, among all his low-level dirtiness and cheatery so far this season, committed a glaring low-bridge last night that will be reviewed by the NHLOL Department of Player Safety.

He’d been getting the Don Cherry treatment lately, how despite all the little foibles, golly, he’s still a really important player, and sure sometimes he goes over the line, he’s no choirboy, but you don’t win with choirboys, so really is it that bad a spear when you think about it, did he really mean to slewfoot that guy, if he had he could really have hurt him, he kind of let up on him when you think about it, …

The thing is, Brad Marchand, after his suspension a couple of years ago for the lowbridge against Sami Salo, committed another lowbridge hit, and yet another, which should have brought an even harsher penalty. The NHL gulped down hard, steeled itself, … and decided to look the other way. As if it never really meant it, that the five-game suspension was already too much for its own liking. Like the parents of the terrible toddler who shrug, since they’ve already sent him to his room for his quiet time, and it didn’t work, so what are they to do?

The NHL frets about the lack of scoring, but it really is the author of its own misery. It creates an environment which forces Linus Omark to the KHL, and players like Sven Andrighetto and Jean-Gabriel Pageau are eyed with suspicion, but players like Zack Kassian and Raffi Torres are given chance after chance to keep their job, because toughness and playoffs and Don Cherry.

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