All things considered, Bruins fortunate with result of Gabriel Landeskog hit on Brad Marchand

DJ Bean
November 12, 2015 - 6:27 pm
Brad Marchand chose his words carefully after Thursday night's loss to the Avalanche. He was visibly angry -- perhaps because the Bruins had just turned in yet another bad performance at home, but more than likely because he took an unnecessary hit to the head in the second period. Marchand was the recipient of a hit to the head from Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, who flew into the Colorado zone and caught Marchand in the head with his shoulder after the veteran Bruins winger had released a shot from above the left circle. Though Marchand took a few seconds to get up, he promptly skated to an ongoing scrum and delivered a sucker-punch to Landeskog's mouth. Landeskog, who was assessed a match penalty for his hit, automatically has a hearing with Department of Player Safety. Marchand reportedly does as well. "I tried to let up and then I tried to skate up and apologize and tell him I didn't mean to come across and he -- obviously he wasn't hurt, with that sucker punch," Landeskog said after the game. "I'm happy he didn't get hurt. I feel like the principal point of contact was shoulder, and like I said I'm happy he didn't get hurt." Marchand, who stayed in the game, was far more brief when asked about the play, delivering mostly short answers. He did note that he doesn't consider Landeskog a dirty player, but he said the fact that he was recently concussed -- he missed two games last month after suffering a head injury against the Canadiens in the second game of the season -- added to his frustration. "Any time you get hit in the head, you're a little concerned," Marchand said. "Especially [considering] I got a concussion a couple weeks back, so I was definitely nervous, but I'm happy I'm OK." The Bruins should consider this a major bullet dodged. While the Bruins still sit near the top of the league in goals per game (third after Thursday's game), their scoring has been down drastically of late. After scoring at least five goals four times over the first eight games of the season, the team's scoring has gradually dipped. The B's are currently amidst their quietest offensive stretch of the season, as they've scored two goals or less in four straight games. Things would look even more grim offensively without Marchand, plus they'd be without another penalty-killer after already losing Chris Kelly. So all things considered, the fact that Marchand didn't miss any time aside from serving his penalty for roughing was a major positive. The second overall pick in the 2011 draft, Landeskog does not have a reputation for delivering hits in his five-year career. Asked if he agreed with the call on the ice -- a match penalty for an illegal check to the head -- Landeskog pleaded his case a little more. "You can argue either way, I think," Landeskog said. "The video shows the principal point of contact was shoulder, and I even tried to apologize. There was no intent to injure and I'm happy he didn't get hurt." If anyone is going to be suspended for Thursday's incident, it figures to be Landeskog. Marchand falls under the category of being a repeat offender (he was suspended two games in January for slew-footing Rangers forward Derick Brassard last season), repeat-offender status only applies to punishment, not to whether a player is disciplined. Landeskog obviously has the track record on his side, but the fact is he came flying at a player from a ways away and hit him in the head. The speed of the game means that players who aren't necessarily dirty are prone to deliver the occasional dirty hit. Remember: Squeaky-clean Daniel Paille did this once upon a time: