Waddle over Dustin Byfuglien
Take a taxi Patrick Kane. Drive away on those fresh new tires Tim Thomas. Go buy a bunk bed from IKEA Dave Bolland.
You’ve all had your turn as Public Enemy Number One in Vancouver, but this weekend a young go-getter from Boston scurried into the spotlight and made a convincing long-term claim for the title.
Brad Marchand low-bridged his way into all of our hearts (assuming they’re somewhere below the knees) Saturday morning by flipping Sami Salo like he was a pool.
Today, the verdict from the Shanaban came down, and came down hard.
Five games. One for each inch of his nose.
But we’re not going to let him off that easily.
There are five very good reasons for the Canucks to want to see revenge on Marchand.
The reasons are the same number as Marchand’s suspension, but unlike those games, this list won’t cost Marchand $152,000.
1. The Self-Defence Claim
Marchand’s been consistent with his claims that he clipped Salo merely in self-defence, a claim backed by his coach and General Manager.
The problem is that we’re talking about Sami Salo. If Sami Salo was a bear, he would be a Care Bear. Marchand claims that he saw Salo come towards him and feared for his safety because of the height disadvantage.
Marchand is 5’9″. There are very very few players in the league who do not possess a height advantage on him.
As Shanahan explains in the ever so helpful and ever so on-point video, Salo is gliding into the confrontation with no seeming intent to go above and beyond the rules to destroy Brad Marchand.
After all, it was Marchand punching Salo in the back of the head just prior to the incident, not the other way around. The defense didn’t pass even a cursory smell test, and I’m glad Shanahan told him it stank too.
2. Sami Salo Does NOT Need Help Getting Injured
He’s very good at doing that himself, thank you very much.
A couple years ago Sami Salo was bitten by a very rare Finnish poisonous snake in Finland. Up until this point it was his only animal related injury, but he can now add Boston rat to that list.
Sami Salo had been a feel good story for the Canucks, climbing back after the Achilles injury last year, taking a paycut over the Summer, and playing fantastic injury-free hockey up until Saturday.
It’s a big part of what made Marchand’s low-bridge too far so frustrating. It’s why Sami threw his stick in frustration after getting up. When you have a gypsy curse on you, you don’t need to be taken out by dirty hits on top of that.
But again, Marchand was scared of being hit by a 37-year-old docile Finn.
3. Brad Marchand’s NEW defence
After news broke of the suspension and it was clear Marchand’s claims of self-defence didn’t take, Peter Ch-ch-Chiarelli released a statement claiming that Marchand had sought clarification on submarining players at the start of the year and was told that in specific isolated instances, they were fine.
What Marchand and Chiarelli fail to get is that this was not one of those times. Chiarelli also tried to say the point of contact was not below the knees but that pesky video evidence just isn’t doing him any favours.
Brenden Shanahan himself called one player involved in this predatory, and your hint is that it wasn’t Sami Salo.
4. Claude Julien and His Mouth
“I think it’s pretty hypocritical, everything that’s been going on. It’s unfortunate because, you know, sometimes you gotta look in your backyard. We all know that [Vigneault's"] got the same type of players on his team and they’ve all done the same thing. You just have to look at Burrows putting his blade in Thornton’s throat.
It’s so hypocritical.
I guess we’re stupid, we’re idiots, they’re the smartest team in the league.”
I still don’t get Boston’s inability to just admit a mistake.
Marchand should just claim heat of the moment or emotion of the game, apologize and move on.
Instead, Boston insists in dragging it into a He Said/She Said spectacle where the very notion that Brad Marchand is a dirty player is insulting.
It’s a weird game they’re playing where everything but the actual hit is being used as context. What Burrows did with his stick has nothing at all to do with Marchand.
It wasn’t even penalized.
Say what you want about Alex Burrows but he’s never ever been fined or suspended for on-ice actions (the Auger fine isn’t relevant here). At the end of the day would you rather have your hair pulled and a finger chomped down on or would you rather suffer a concussion.
Alex Burrows doesn’t play to end careers.
There’s a huge difference between chirping and clipping. Something about sticks and stones or something. That’s something even an idiot in Boston should be able to grasp.
5. Ratboy, Nose Face Killah, Marshmont
As important as Sami Salo’s reputation is in this whole thing, it’s important to remember too that Brad Marchand isn’t some innocent choir boy on his way home from School who took an ill-advised shortcut through a back alley and ran into a Finnish mugger.
This is Brad Marchand, or as Shanahan sees him, Brad Marchand: Repeat Offender.
- Here’s Brad Marchand slewfooting Matt Niskanen.
- Here he is elbowing RJ Umberger. (This video causes Ryan Kesler to have conflicted feelings)
- Here is Marchand again submarining a defencemen.
- Here he is doing the same to Daniel Sedin in the finals.
Now I’m sure in each and every case Brad Marchand was merely acting in self-defence.
But somehow I don’t believe that.
I think he just likes to play dirty.
And if I can produce videos like that with a quick search of “Brad Marchand dirty” on Youtube, then Alain Vigneault is probably right when he says the Hockey Gods will find their way into Brad Marchand’s life soon enough.
Boston is a hockey town that has seen first hand how injuries derailed the career of Cam Neely.
Marchand is on a war path to create the next Cam Neely, or Marc Savard.
The long and short of this whole thing is simple.
Keep your head up Brad Marchand because submarining hockey players on the off-chance they’re looking to headshot you is a fantastic way to get players to headshot you.
Ask the Canucks how league-wide hate can manifest into a pretty big target on your back.
Even bigger than your nose.