Monday, January 9, 2012

5 Thoughts on Bruins' Marchand, Julien, Chiarelli

And somehow the Vancouver Canucks are the NHL's most hated team?

On the day that Bruins' forward Brad Marchand was suspended for five games for his predatory hit (Brendan Shanahan's words) on Canucks' defenseman Sami Salo, Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien and GM Peter Chiarelli had some choice words in response to Alain Vigneault's comments, capping a war of words since their first meeting since their seven game series last June.

Claude Julien:
"If guys start protecting themselves that way that Marchand did, maybe guys would stop taking runs at other guys, because that's the consequences you end up paying for taking runs at guys too."

Alain Vigneault:
"That's stupid, that's a stupid comment. You know, what Marchand did, you could end a player's career doing that. I've never seen Sami Salo take a run at any player in the NHL. All Sami Salo has done is play the game with integrity... Marchand - and this is just my feeling - but someday he's going to get it. Someday, someone's going to say 'enough is enough' and they're going to hurt the kid because he plays to hurt players. And if the league doesn't care, somebody else will."

Let's stop here. First of all, Julien is an idiot. If every player low-bridged every other player, we'd have serious injuries every game. Marchand did not shy away from contact, he turned towards Salo with intent to flip him over. Secondly, Salo was not taking a run at Marchand. Not everyone plays the game like Milan Lucic.

On the other hand, Alain Vigneault should not have made the comment about Marchand potentially being on the receiving end of vigilante justice.  Nevertheless, Julien put his foot in his mouth again today.

Since Vigneault's comments, the Bruins management and players have said a number of stupid things, further insulting any hockey fan's intelligence.  Due to the Canucks playing in Florida tonight and Tampa Bay tomorrow, Alain Vigneault was not available for immediate comment, luckily, I am.

1) Claude Julien: "I think it's pretty hypocritical, everything that's been going on," Julien told reporters. "It's unfortunate, because sometimes you have to look in your own backyard. We all know he's got the same type of players on his team, and they've all done the same thing."

No, the Canucks haven't all done the same thing.  Marchand has made a habit of it however.  

2) Claude Julien:  "You just have to look at Burrows putting his blade in Thornton's throat. So hypocritical. It's unfortunate. I guess we're stupid, we're idiots and they're the smartest team in the league. So I guess we have to listen to all the gab they have to say."

This Burrows play is being over-played beyond belief.  Burrows raised his stick and perhaps grazed Shawn Thornton's face.  You know what that's called? a two minute minor for high sticking.  It was not a spear, nor attempted murder.  

3) Milan Lucic: "It was difficult," Lucic said about the game misconduct. "The toughest part about it is getting over the fact that it was a 6-on-1 and they picked me out of the group to give a penalty like that to when I was clearly on the ice."

Yes, noted goons Henrik and Daniel Sedin jumped Shawn Thornton who was innocently trying to remove a spider from Alex Burrows helmet.  Seriously? Thornton (noted tough guy) tries to sucker punch Burrows (not a tough guy), and Thornton's the victim?  What about when Shawn Thornton wanted to fight Dale Weise?  Boston fans seem to forget the unwritten code of not challenging a guy who's already fought.  Besides, what's the gain in taking Thornton off the ice for 5 minutes?  It's SHAWN THORNTON.  

And where do the Bruins get off complaining about group beat-downs?  When six Bruins jump an opponent, isn't it called team work?

Note Choir Boy Brad Marchand's attempted blindside hit starts this off, then him firing right hands from behind to an opponent on his knees, swarmed by four other Bruins.  Nothing but class from Boston, but I guess Shaw Thornton can't handle a Sedin twin or two?

4) Claude Julien: "Somehow the Bruins happen to be the team that people prefer picking on and think we're the bruisers and the example of the league."
 Somehow? As if the case above weren't enough...

SOMEHOW, Boston leads the league in Fighting Majors, Penalties in Minutes per game, and Misconducts despite having played fewer games than any other team in the league.  But I guess Boston hasn't earned that reputation yet, right?
5) Peter Chiarelli: "Brad does play on the edge, but he's no dirtier than maybe two or three of their players. I think in general after a game like that you see all the high-handed propaganda and I just feel the need to respond. Whether it's from coaches, GMs, or players, I don't like to hear that kind of stuff. There's a lobbying element to it. I feel the league does a real good job in these hearings and I don't think it's necessary to have that out there."
Right Peter, because you didn't lobby for anything during the Stanley Cup Finals last year after Aaron Rome hit Nathan Horton?  Brad Marchand and Claude Julien didn't do any lobbying with their bullshit excuse of self-defense?  Brendan Shanahan put that excuse to bed pretty quickly.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Marchand clips Salo with low hit

It was quite the game this morning / afternoon in Boston.  Filled with plenty of rough play, the Canucks and Bruins met for the first time since their Stanley Cup final six months ago.  Late in the second period, noted Bruins rat Brad Marchand chickened out on a routine play in the corner, sending Sami Salo up in the air and onto the ice with a low hit.

The play was deemed worthy of a 5-minute major penalty for clipping and a game misconduct, here's a look at it:
The NHL surely will review this hit and consider a suspension for Brad Marchand.  Sami Salo left the game and did not return with an apparent shoulder injury.  The league should definitely consider Marchand's history with these types of hits, like his turtle-job on Daniel Sedin in the Stanley Cup Finals last year:

For all those fans of other NHL who hate the Vancouver Canucks right now, perhaps they should consider players like Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand and re-evaluate their stance on leaving the bench to join altercations, or submarining players and chickening out of hits.  Haven't seen Max Lapierre or Alex Burrows do either of those.

For the Canucks, they'll gladly pick up the two points and move on to Florida, and they can also claim some bragging rights for the time being.  They answered the bell and reacted accordingly to the Bruins intimidation techniques, and they burned them on the scoreboard with four power play goals.

The shots were 7-1 Vancouver despite Boston having the only power play early on, and that's when the Bruins turned into the Goons in an effort to stem the tide.  Of course, Brad Marchand's history includes a slew-foot of the Penguins Matt Niskanen earlier this year that earned him a $2,500 fine.

Canucks' GM Mike Gillis was quote in the Province with the following: “You talk about unacceptable plays in hockey,” Gillis fumed. “That's clearly one. I'm not going to comment any further.”

“It's very, very cheap,” Canuck defenceman Kevin Bieksa said. “I can't think of a cheaper hit you can do on the ice. That and a slew-foot kind of go hand in hand. Twenty seconds before that, [Marchand] and Sami have a pretty good collision in the exact same spot. Sami probably gets the better of him. Then second time, Marchand comes back and loses his will and goes down low. A cheap shot from him, and I hope he gets a phone call from the league.”