Bruins Notes: Bruce Cassidy Ribs Refs Over Brad Marchand’s Phantom Slashing Penalty


Nov 16, 2018

Brad Marchand and NHL referees aren’t exactly the best of pals.

Marchand, who’s been no stranger to crossing the line over the course of his career, is a consistent recipient of highly questionable calls, in all likelihood due to his reputation.

A shining example of this trend surfaced Friday night in the second period of the Boston Bruins-Dallas Stars matchup at American Airlines Center. With just over seven minutes remaining in the frame, Marchand quite literally tapped Ben Bishop on the pads, which led to a bit of acting from the Stars netminder. Bishop’s theatrics helped send Marchand to the penalty box for a slashing infraction.

Marchand understandably was miffed by the call, but he allowed his frustration to get the best of him. Upon entering the box, the star winger put a white towel on his stick and waved it, effectively asking for mercy from the officials. The refs clearly weren’t fans of Marchand’s stunt, tacking on a 10-minute misconduct.

The Bruins ultimately fell 1-0 in overtime, but aside from being disappointed with the result, head coach Bruce Cassidy wasn’t thrilled with how Marchand was treated.

“I think a linesman called him for 10 minutes. I don’t know, I wouldn’t be surprised if the video review guys in Toronto nailed him for a 10 one of these days,” Cassidy said, as seen on NESN’s Bruins postgame coverage. “I mean, it’s unbelievable that a linesman called him on kind of a very iffy thing to begin with. But he’s got to have better discipline and I think they have to show him more respect.”

Marchand is in a tough spot. It’s no secret that he has a short leash with referees, but his edge is part of what makes him a great player. There’s no doubt the Bruins and Marchand himself can do without some of his antics, but asking him to be a saint on the ice wouldn’t be of much benefit to the player or the team.

Marchand has earned the respect of everyone on the ice, including officials. He’s a perennial All-Star candidate whose game stretches far beyond being a pest. But at this stage in the game, it’s hard to imagine Marchand ever getting the benefit of the doubt from refs.

Here are some other notes from Friday’s Bruins-Stars game: 

— With the Bruins’ blue line decimated with injuries, a pair of young defensemen made their NHL debuts. Jakub Zboril logged one shot on goal and three hits over 10:53 of ice time, while Connor Clifton racked up four hits and a blocked shot over 18:53 on the ice. Clifton also went toe-to-toe with 16-year veteran Jason Spezza to earn his first career fighting major.

“When you dream it up I don’t expect to have nine penalty minutes in my first game,” Clifton said. “Obviously emotions were high. I don’t really know what happened, ended up getting in a scrap.”

— Tuukka Rask made his first start between the pipes since Nov. 5 following his brief leave of absence. The veteran netminder was sensational, denying 36 of Dallas’ 37 shots.

— Bruins fans’ stomachs likely dropped when Patrice Bergeron went down in the second period. The veteran center was on the wrong end of a brutal hit from Radek Faksa and laid on the ice for a moment before making his way back to the locker room. Bergeron returned to the ice later in the period, but he appeared to be favoring his shoulder on the bench.

— The Bruins were 0-for-2 on the power play.

— Boston concluded its regular-season meetings with Dallas. Both contests went into overtime, with the Bruins winning the other matchup, and only featured four goals combined.

Thumbnail photo via James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports
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