Picture this: Alex Ovechkin is heading towards the net with the puck in a 4-4 game on a partial breakaway in overtime. A player on the opposing team bear hugs him and brings him to the ground to prevent Ovi from getting the shot on net.
He earns a penalty shot. He scores to win the game.
Now imagine this same scenario happening to Brad Marchand. He doesn’t get the call and the opposing team wins after the no-call wasn’t made.
Actually, you don’t have to imagine that because that’s exactly what happened in Monday night’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Any other player but Marchand and this is a penalty shot… pic.twitter.com/eKkKSSixu3
— Colin Beswick (@CBeswick) March 20, 2018
Now I know Marchand plays a dirty game. He’s made plenty of questionable hits in his career and I never expect him to get the benefit of the doubt. But in that situation, he should have absolutely got the call.
I was peeved when I saw it. It more than likely cost the Bruins the game and two points instead of one. Yes, that draws a penalty shot if anyone else was in that situation.
But as much as I was ticked off that Kendrick Nicholson was staring directly at the takedown and nothing was called, I also thought to myself, “Do I really want to see a game in overtime and on a penalty shot?”
When it comes to the team I’m cheering for, you’re darn right I do.
Regardless of what you think of Marchand as a player, you have to be able to admit he’s extremely talented at hockey.
His backhand goal on Monday was filthy. He’s quick to get to the puck. He’s small so he needs to use his size to his advantage. Each and every year, he scores goal after goal.
He’s one of the best goal scorers in the league. In fact, the only player to score more goals than Marchy over the last three seasons is Ovechkin.
Marchand is a talented and elite hockey player. It’s that simple.
I understand he will not get much respect from the league – and that’s on him and the way he’s played the game over the years.
But come on, in a tie game, in overtime nonetheless, the referee needs to make that call. It was a blatant penalty – not something questionable.
The Bruins still got a point out of the game and maybe the outcome would have still been the same had Marchy been awarded the shot. There’s obviously no way to be sure he would have netted the puck.
You can blame the team for giving up five goals. You can blame Tuukka Rask for letting in those five goals. You can blame Nicholson for not making that call. Hell, you can blame Thomas Vanek since he always destroys the Bruins no matter what team he’s on.
There’s plenty of factors that went into the B’s loss. But you can bet your bottom dollar if any other player was in the position that Marchand was on Monday night, they would have gotten that penalty shot.
-Lauren Campbell (@lalalalaurrrren)