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Brad Marchand
Photo credit: Michael Dwyer

Bruins coach Montgomery says team will retaliate for Marchand injury

Published May 12, 2024 at 12:03
BY FRED MALTES
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In what is shaping up to be one of the most riveting matchups of the NHL playoffs, the series between the Boston Bruins and the Florida Panthers continues to capture the attention of hockey aficionados. Known for their rugged style suited for postseason battles, both teams have delivered performances that resonate with the intensity of playoff hockey. Tonight's Game 4 brings a new twist to the saga as the Bruins face a significant setback: Captain Brad Marchand will miss the game due to injury.


Marchand, a player revered for his resilience and gritty play, has been sidelined following an incident in the previous game involving the Panthers' Sam Bennett. Known for his provocative style on ice, Marchand's absence tonight is a testament to the severity of his injury. Discontent brews among Bruins fans, primarily because the injury resulted from what many perceived as a clandestinely aggressive maneuver by Bennett, who is increasingly seen as a controversial figure due to his physical play style.




Analyzing the contentious play, slow-motion footage reveals Bennett preparing for a reverse hit against Marchand, controversially extending his hand to strike Marchand's shoulder.

This act, falling outside the boundaries of legal play—where striking an opponent in such a manner is explicitly prohibited—has sparked outrage and calls for review.

Amidst this turmoil, Bruins coach Jim Montgomery expressed his strategy of restraint, focusing on adapting the team's response to Marchand's absence rather than retaliating. Montgomery's decision underscores the critical juncture at which the Bruins find themselves as they navigate the challenges without their key player.


Meanwhile, the Panthers, with players like Tkachuk, Cousins, and Bennett, often find themselves tangled in discussions about aggressive gameplay. With Bennett's history of similar incidents, notably in last year's playoffs against the Toronto Maple Leafs, scrutiny from the Department of Player Safety looms, yet no official review has been announced.

As the series progresses, the physicality is expected to ramp up, pushing the Bruins to adapt strategically. Without Marchard, the Bruins must elevate their game to match the Panthers, who have dominated in their victories.

The absence of a key player like Marchand is not just a tactical loss but a psychological challenge for the Bruins as they strive to stay competitive in the high stakes of the playoff series.

This unfolding drama not only highlights the inherent physicality of playoff hockey but also sets the stage for a deeper exploration of sportsmanship, player safety, and the strategic intricacies of managing a team in the face of adversity.

As the puck drops tonight, all eyes will be on how the Bruins recalibrate and whether the Panthers continue their assertive, albeit controversial, style of play.
POLL
May 12   |   79 answers
Bruins coach Montgomery says team will retaliate for Marchand injury

Should Bennett be suspended for this hit against Marchand?

Yes, give him a couple games5670.9 %
No, it was clean2329.1 %
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