The NHL Department of Player Safety announced Brad Marchand will have a hearing tomorrow morning for his actions against Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jake Dotchin. Remember, this is the same guy that has already been suspended on six different occasions in his NHL career and earlier this campaign was fined $10,000 (the maximum allowed by the league) for slew-footing an opponent (his old standby move).
On Tuesday, just to prove he doesn't have anything against Swedish defenseman, Marchand took things to the next level. Tampa Bay had small surges of offensive possession during the second and third periods, but nothing they did had any effect on Tuukka Rask or the rest of the Bruins.
On Tuesday, the puck was in Tampa Bay's zone and Dotchin was defending the front of the net when Marchand attempted to play the puck but finished with the spear. Dotchin fell to the ice in pain, but returned to the game. The team still managed to clinch their spot in the postseason Tuesday night with a shutout win against the Lightning, even in Marchand's absence. Marchand will miss two homes _ Ottawa on Thursday, Washington on Saturday. He called the incident "undisciplined" in a post-game interview.
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The Boston Bruins are doing their best to sprint - and not crawl - into the playoffs. The NHL made the announcement on Thursday afternoon. "Players who repeatedly violate league playing rules will be more severely punished for each new violation". Though this foul play wouldn't be acceptable under any circumstances, it's worse when considering the fact that Marchand has scored 39 goals and 85 points this season and is one of the elite talents in the National Hockey League. David Pastrnak (68 points) owns four assists in the last four contests and center David Krejci scored twice in the same span while forward Ryan Spooner snapped a 10-game goal drought Sunday.
"It was an undisciplined penalty, there was no question about that", Marchand told the media after the game.
Like the Lightning, the Senators - who are in the midst of a five-game losing skid - are also battling the injury bug at the worst possible time. It is not an easy road for the Maple Leafs, but they will squeak into the playoffs, most likely as the second wild-card in the East.