May 18, 2024

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Brad Marchand is questionable for G4; Bruins not happy with the hit

Brad Marchand is questionable for G4;  Bruins not happy with the hit

BOSTON — Day 3 Brad Marchand suffered an upper-body injury after a collision with Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett in Game 3 that the Boston Bruins said may have crossed the line.

The Bruins’ captain’s status for Game 4 on Sunday is uncertain. He did not train with the team on Saturday. Marchand is the Bruins’ leading scorer in the playoffs with 10 points in 10 games (3 goals, 7 assists).

The Panthers lead the series 2-1 after a 6-2 win in Boston on Friday night.

Some on social media said a slow-motion replay showed Bennett connecting with Marchand’s head with his right glove as the Boston winger went for a checkup. Andrew Rycroft, a former NHL goaltender who covers the Bruins for NESN, called it “a sucker punch, not a reverse shot.”

A source told ESPN that the NHL’s player safety department will not discipline Bennett for the play, which did not receive a penalty from on-ice officials.

Bruins coach Jim Montgomery did not see the incident in real time but said, “I did.” [the replay]There’s a history with Bennett. He’s a good, tough player, but there’s clear evidence of what happened. People could say it wasn’t intentional. We have our own point of view on this matter.”

Montgomery said the history with Bennett is not with Marchand in particular but in landing these kind of blows on past hits.

In the Panthers’ series against the Toronto Maple Leafs last season, for example, Bennett’s right glove made contact with forward Matthew Kniss’ face before Bennett slammed Kniss down the ice. Kniss suffered a concussion on the play, and some said Bennett landed a trick punch on the Toronto rookie.

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Florida coach Paul Morris said he did not believe Bennett punched Marchand.

“No, and I don’t think most of you would have either,” he said Saturday. “It was just a collision. In a perfect world, every team is healthy. No one likes to see them get hurt.”

Bennett returned to Florida’s lineup for the first time since Game 2 of the first round against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He played 12:43 and assisted on Vladimir Tarasenko’s power play goal that gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead.

“He hits hard. He’s a really tough, tough guy. He knows how to get his timing,” Panthers wing Carter Verhaeghe said. “It’s a big skill how you score hits like that and get players like that. There are very few players like him in the league that can do that and have the skill set that he has.”

Marchand skated eight shifts in the first period and seven in the second period, accumulating 10:51 in total ice time before departing. He did not register a shot on target and made one shot attempt.

“You never want to see someone go down and not be able to get back up, especially a guy who’s your leader and your best player,” Boston center Charlie Coyle said. “But this is an opportunity for guys to step up, and we can do that.” Which noted that the Maple Leafs faced the Bruins in the first round after losing star Auston Matthews to an upper-body injury.

“I think you’ll see players take more responsibility and rise to that occasion,” Coyle said. “We want to play with players who are out of the squad and wish they were there. We play for each other, and that’s something we will do.” [Sunday]”.

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