Boston media react to five-game suspension handed out to Bruins' Brad Marchand after hit on Canucks' Sami Salo
NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan handed down a five-game suspension to Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand today (January 9) for his submarine attack on Vancouver Canuck defenceman Sami Salo during the second period of the Canucks’ 4-3 victory Saturday in Boston.
Salo suffered a concussion after he landed on the back of his head.
“We feel this was a predatory low hit delivered intentionally,” Shanahan’s decision read in part.
The Beantown media were quick off the mark in reaction to Shanahan’s ruling (five games is the maximum suspension allowed as a result of a teleconference hearing for an infraction).
The “Bruins Insider” for NECN.com (New England Cable News), Joe Haggerty, referred to Salo as an “oft-injured defenceman” who “reportedly suffered a concussion” when Marchand clipped him “as he arrived to deliver a hit”.
Haggerty went on to write: “If Marchand felt that the Canucks were taking runs at him Saturday afternoon…it makes sense that the left wing would be looking for ways to defend himself.” (Shanahan’s edict contained the line: “We do not view this play as defensive or instinctive”.)
Joe McDonald writes for ESPNBoston.com, and he sent in this unrepentant audio report: “The Boston Bruins don’t want Marchand to change his style of play; the Bruins don’t want to change their team style of play--because that’s the reason why they won the Stanley Cup in 2011 and they believe they can do it again in 2012.”
Boston sports-radio WEEI web columnist D. J. Bean treated his readers to this version of the incident before he reported the suspension penalty: “Marchand saw the Canucks defenceman coming in to hit him along the boards…lowered his body and hit Salo in the hip area.” (This just one sentence away from reporting the text from Shanahan’s decision, which stated that the hit was “dangerously low into Salo’s knee area”.)
Douglas Flynn, with NESN (New England Sports Network), called the suspension “a penalty that seems excessive for the offence”. He wrote: “Shanahan also definitively labelled the hit as a clip, which is certainly debatable, as Marchand appears to hit Salo above the knee.” Flynn did write, however, that “it was clearly a dangerous hit to deliver”.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli continued the game of anatomical amnesia by stating: “Brad was indeed protecting himself and certainly did not clip the player as he contacted the player nowhere near the knee or quadricep”.
In a change of tone, Amanda Bruno, a sports reporter for Springfield, Massachusett’s Republican newspaper, took Marchand to task for the hit. “It was dangerous and Marchand needs to recognize this,” she wrote after Shanahan’s announcement. “Bruins fans initially cheered the play, excited to see a Canuck go down, but let’s get this straight. What Marchand did was wrong and he deserved what he got.”
Perhaps realizing where she lives and works, Bruno then rehashed the hit that the Canucks’ Mason Raymond unloaded on Marchand in front of the Bruins’ bench during the fifth game of last year’s Cup finals. “You didn’t hear much from the Boston side about Raymond’s play, unlike the Canucks, who like to vent to the media,” she wrote. “And that’s the difference between the two teams.”
The Boston Globe’s Michael Vega, writing for Boston.com’s “Bruins Blog”, refrained from editorializing in his report, preferring to objectively report the news from the NHL’s disciplinary hearing and the reaction from Bruins brass. He referred to Marchand as a “feisty forward”.