May 25, 2024

With Brad Marchand out for Game 4, Bruins seek to avenge him


BOSTON — Bruins captain Brad Marchand missed the 3-2 loss in Game 4 of their series against the Florida Panthers on Sunday night, and his teammates are looking to avenge him.

“I think it pissed off everyone. I think that whole team kind of ticks everyone off, to be honest,” said Bruins center Trent Frederic before the game.

Marchand left Game 3 after two periods with an upper body injury. Coach Jim Montgomery said he’s day-to-day and wouldn’t disclose whether the Bruins star had suffered a concussion. Marchand is the Bruins’ leading scorer in the playoffs with 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) in 10 games.

His injury might have resulted from a controversial play involving Panthers center Sam Bennett, who was making his first appearance since Game 2 of the opening round against the Tampa Bay Lightning. As Marchand went to hit Bennett near the benches, Bennett appeared to throw a gloved punch with his right hand as they made contact.

Bennett wasn’t penalized on the play and didn’t receive any supplemental discipline from the NHL Department of Player Safety.

Bruins center Pavel Zacha expects a response to Marchand’s injury in Game 4.

“I think we have to really go after their top guys. To let them know it’s not OK. To go after our captain, that’s not OK with us. We’re ready to be physical again today and be a little bit harder on them,” said Zacha.

Montgomery stressed that he didn’t classify Bennett’s play as “dirty” but that “it was outside the lines.” He noted that Bennett had a history of these types of plays. In 2023 against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Bennett was accused of throwing a gloved punch at rookie Matthew Knies before slamming him to the ice. Knies left the series with a concussion.

“I think it was someone that plays the game on the edge and you knew what he was doing. I don’t know if you’ve seen the picture from behind, but he clearly loaded up,” said the coach.

“I think we have to really go after their top guys. To let them know it’s not OK. To go after our captain, that’s not OK with us. We’re ready to be physical again today and be a little bit harder on them.”

Bruins center Pavel Zacha

Montgomery took the blame for the Bruins not retaliating for their captain’s injury during Game 3. He said the game situation — Boston trailing entering the third period but still in the game — played into that, but he regretted that there wasn’t any pushback.

“I feel that that’s my fault that we didn’t retaliate to some degree, but you’re trying to get back in a game. So there’s reasons why we didn’t, but again, I think there’s something that I personally take responsibility for,” he said.

Frederic said he and his teammates didn’t know the extent of the Bennett play until after the game.

“I think guys have now seen a replay. It slowed down and kind of see what he did at the time. I don’t know if we knew how bad it was and I guess now we do,” he said.

As far as retribution, Frederic said it’s a “fine line” considering that the Bruins are down in the series and the on-ice officials are already on high alert during what has been a physical series.

“I’m sure all these refs are aware of what happened in the last three games and what happened last game,” he said. “In a perfect world, where we can just go do something about it and it’s an eyeball for an eyeball. Sometimes it’s not exactly how it works and you just got to find your spot.”

Frederic said it’ll be hard to replace what Marchand brings to the team.

“He brings more than what you just see on the ice. So we’re going to have a lot of guys step up and talk more. On the ice, his actual play is going to be hard to make up,” he said.



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