WILMINGTON -- Brad Marchand once again found himself answering questions about a borderline hit. Though in the past he has been the perpetrator, against the Red Wings he was on the receiving end.
Detroit Red Wings gritty forward Justin Abdelkader crashed into Marchand in front of the Detroit net as part of a four person pileup during the second period of Saturday night’s game, and the B’s left winger was the only player to remain on the ice for more than a few beats. Marchand actually had to retreat to the dressing room for a few minutes to get checked out while missing at least one shift, but he returned to finish out the game without incident.
Department of Player Safety President Brendan Shanahan tweeted following Saturday’s game that the Marchand/Abdelkader hit was an accidental collision that didn’t rise to the level of supplemental discipline. Two days later Marchand said there were no hard feelings, and that he just wished he’d seen the speeding Abdelkader sooner “so he could have ducked the hit.”
“That stuff happens. We were both going through the slot. I didn’t see him, and I don’t think he saw me until the last second,” said Marchand. “If I saw him I would have ducked instead of jumped like he jumped. But that’s just the way that it goes.
“It was a reaction thing. Guys do things to try to protect themselves. That’s how it goes. I don’t think he intentionally try to hurt me, or anything like that.”
Marchand also potted a goal in Saturday night’s win just minutes before the collision with Abdelkader.
The Bruins forward admitted he felt good knowing that Shanahan and his department were so closely examining things that might not even be on the borderline of dirty play.
“That’s what they do now. They’re trying to protect everybody and look at every single thing in a game,” said Marchand. “I never expected anything to come out of it, and I never wanted anything to come out of that.
“After my last suspension I’ve definitely changed my game a bit. I don’t want to be in that situation again. The league [calls plays more strictly] with good reason because they want to [players] to have longer careers. The last thing you want to see is somebody having a ruined career because of a cheap shot.”
It’s interesting to hear Marchand say that now. Three years ago he didn’t seem all that concerned about suspensions looming on his horizon, but he seems to have matured since then.