WILMINGTON, Mass In the case of the Brad Marchand vs. the People that Think Hes a Diver, the feisty agitating forward fired back against his critics on Tuesday afternoon.
The Little Ball of Hate has been accused of diving and embellishing at several different points in the series by the Washington peanut gallery, and he was none too pleased about it.
The most notable diving accusations in the series: 1) An accidental blow near the visor from Karl Alzner in Game 3 that sent Marchand tumbling to the ice, and 2) a blindside hit from Jason Chimera in Game 6 that sent him spinning like he was on the Tea Cups at Disney World.
Marchand absorbed a Chimera spear to the groin that awarded the Bruins a power play in a vicious Game 3 victory, but he was derided by Washington Capitals fans as a flopper after that vitriolic contest.
For a Bruins team that has always prided itself on rising above the world of diving, flopping finesse teams like the Canadiens and the Vancouver Canucks, its the ultimate Scarlet Letter in hockey.
Marchand said he was moving on from any accusations of diving, and had the medical care to prove it wasnt a figment of his imagination.
I got cut there. I got a stitch, said Marchand, referencing his lip that was bloodied after the Chimera play. Whether it was a penalty or not that doesnt really matter. The game is over.
Marchand was asked whether it was his own stick that nicked him in the mouth and created the bloody lip.
I dont know. I havent seen the replay, said Marchand. I dont really know what happened. I didnt even see him coming. I was focused on Backstrom. I dont really know what hit me. It doesnt matter at this point.
The Game 3 incident forced Alzner to apologize postgame for the dangerous play.
"I didnt think he was going to stop short as I was bracing for a hit, and when he did my elbow hit him up in his visor," Alzner said. "I was like, Oh no, I hope that doesnt get me a penalty and it was really fortunate because it could have been much worse. I could see by his expression that he didnt see it coming at all. Im not that that type of player and I wanted to make sure Marchand knew that after the game.
Ive had other guy say my bad to me when Ive been hit like that before, so I wanted to make sure I extended that courtesy to somebody else. Marchand is one of the few guys on the Bruins that I know, so I wanted to make sure he knew it wasnt purposeful.
Later on in Tuesdays media scrum Marchand was asked about the diving allegations a second time, and this time he let loose against the Capitals fans that have criticized him.
For them to judge what knocks you down, they don't know your balance or whatnot on the play, Marchand told WEEI.com. They're sitting at home watching on TV. I don't really care what they say. They have no impact on my game, my life. They mean nothing."