The shame may stay for a day, even if an end to death and taxes seems like the best bet.
Marchand, today’s NHL’s top shorthanded scorer, was pointed to the sideline badlands again on Wednesday night, suspended six games for his pair of nasty slaps the day before on goaltender Tristan Jarry in the final seconds of the Bruins’ 4-2 loss to the Penguins.
It’s the longest suspension in Marchand’s dotted history, and it comes only about 10 weeks after he was suspended three games for Vancouver’s Oliver-Ekman Larsson. This is the first time L’il Ball o’Hate has been suspended more than once in a season.
This, remember, from a guy who seemed to have his anger issues, shall we say, licked. But now Bad Brad has defeated Good Brad again, and the Bruins won’t have their best point producer in the roster until their Feb. 24 game in Seattle, the start of a six-game road trip.
Marchand has 33 shorthanded goals, as well as suspensions totaling 28 games. Admittedly, I’m not a big analyst, but his shorties-to-suspensions ratio is a bit troubling, as well as embarrassing for a franchise that has long claimed to play the game the right way – with honor, dignity and respect for opponents and passbook. rules (1).
Per footnote (1): Unless Marchand is having a bad night.
Worst of all – at least for those of us who can ignore the pain of coughing up over a million dollars in revenue – Marchand’s lack of impulse control is team-damaging conduct. Which, frankly, makes it that much harder to fathom, because the 33-year-old winger isn’t just the team’s best player and most prolific goalscorer, he’s also their team-mate booster. °1. At least when he’s not doing the trick.
No one in this room tops Marchand for flattery, for constantly downplaying or dismissing his own skills and performance, while emphasizing what every other guy adds to the team. Sure, he’s often guilty of hype, but that’s good guilt. He’s a man of remarkable generosity, sometimes portraying struggling young players or even fourth-row veterans as surefire MVP candidates.
Yet, in a surprising twist of emotion and selfishness, something Bad Brad happens that way. Like Tuesday evening, when he again hurt his team, the one who must now spend two weeks trying to score with an arm tied behind his back.
For reasons only he can explain (perhaps at morning practice on Feb. 24?), Marchand blindsided Jarry with a gloved right hand to the side of his head as the goalkeeper swung knelt in the slot, focused on retrieving a loose puck after the whistle. The shot floored Jarry as Sonny Liston slammed to the mat in Lewiston, Maine.
Then, just to get his extra $448,350 worth, Marchand slipped a linesman’s grip, reached out, and planted his stickblade in Jarry’s neck and chin area. It was a rough and very sticky daily double disciplinary.
Did his actions earn him an ejection in six games? Not close. Two games, max. But with his criminal record, Marchand gave himself up to the mercy of the court, and frankly, judges are giddy when they see his name appear on the docket.
In fact, it’s the Bad Brad moments that make the Player Safety guys hit the honor bar for the good stuff, like they’re about to see the Northern Lights twinkle in the night sky across everything. the Original 32 universe.
“Boys, it’s on, make sure the video is running and let’s pop the cork on that bottle of Moët Marchand!”
By the way, very poor job of restraint from the linesman, not to mention teammate David Pastrnak, who was there as a witness. Pastrnak has been around long enough to be able to spot that Jack Nicholson “Here’s Johnny!” shot when it bursts into Marchand’s eye. Yikes, how about making a line mate a solid over there and grabbing him by the collar?
General Manager Don Sweeney and Coach Bruce Cassidy know there really is no separation between the Bad Brad and the Good Brad. Not now. Never. It’s who he is. To be honest, they wouldn’t want him to change.
Bad is simply Good’s collateral damage, and the Bruins have learned to accept the cost.
Management, coaches and teammates may implore him to be smarter, to choose his spots, to engage his rage as one would tune the DVD to record a favorite program. But that’s clearly not how it works.
Anger often lacks intelligence, knows no boundaries, and my dime of psychoanalysis tells me that it is precisely this storm within Marchand, when channeled in a positive way, that has driven it for the past 10 years and more to a point where he ranked No. 7 in the NHL in that era in points (764) and No. 4 in goals (340). What else explains how in his career he was second to Alex Ovechkin in goals by an NHL winger?
Moderate your emotions? Be more the Good than the Bad Brad? Do you offer a face wash with the open palm of an old Teddy Green leather glove? It will not arrive.
The good Brad and the bad Brad are here to stay, with the cost periodically determined by the Department of Player Safety. It’s a mediocre and expensive business plan, but one that Marchand can only blame on himself.
Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at [email protected]