Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Bruins Clinch Postseason Berth, but Marchand Could be Suspended

Good news and bad news for the Boston Bruins.

Mostly good for the B's, who blanked the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0 on Tuesday night at TD Garden despite having to play two periods without Brad Marchand after the center was ejected for spearing Jake Dotchin (see video above). The victory means that the Bruins have clinched their first trip to the playoffs in three seasons.

But Marchand (and subsequently the Bruins) could be in some trouble. Boston's leading scorer (4th overall in the NHL with 85 points) was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for spearing and will likely face supplemental discipline from the NHL's Department of Player Safety.

Marchand, who has been suspended four times and fined several others, got away with a $10k fine after a "dangerous trip" on Niklas Kronwall in January.

He might not be so lucky after the NHL has a look at what he did to the Lightning rookie.

The Bruins have only two regular season games left so the NHL can opt to hit Marchand where it hurts by cutting into his playoff season.

Working in Marchand's favor is the fact that Dotchin returned to action early in the second period. The NHL is typically more lenient on players' whose infractions do not cause injuries.