After his goal to make it 7–0 in Washington on Wednesday night Lars Eller got a little excessive with his celebration, which irked the Boston Bruins bench. The next time Eller stepped on the ice Bruins forward, Brad Marchand, was there to let him know they weren’t going to let him get away with it. Despite giving up four inches and 26 pounds to Eller, Marchand easily beat up on and bloodied the Danish forward. This wasn’t just a message being sent to Eller, it was a message being sent to the Boston Bruins.
The black and gold were getting absolutely throttled by the Capitals and it reached the point of embarrassment when Eller nailed the extra point to put the Caps up by seven. The Bruins needed something to get themselves going and set the tempo for the next night in Buffalo and Eller gave it to them. Eller presented Marchand with the opportunity to light a fire under his team and he did exactly that.
The next night against the Sabres, Marchand led the way for the Bruins with assists on all four goals in the B’s shutout victory over the Sabres. A win that was much needed was sparked by the man who’s led the team in points each of the last two seasons.
If I’m being honest, I’m not totally happy with how Marchand started the fight with Eller. I feel that he really forced Eller into fighting when he clearly didn’t want to. However, once the Caps forward dropped the gloves Marchand gave him the beating that he earned. Do I think Marchand should’ve been suspended for what he did? Absolutely not. But had Eller not dropped the gloves, things could’ve been real ugly for Marchand. All of that aside, Marchand showed his leadership with the Bruins through all of this.
You could clearly see on TV that the Bruins bench wasn’t pleased with Eller after his celebration. When the time had come to get back at him, Marchand was there. And Marchand gave him a beat down. He sent a message to his team that performances like the one they were giving weren’t going to fly. He then backed it up with a terrific outing the next night to help the team secure their first victory of the season.
Marchand has had his history with the NHL and I’ll be the first to admit that he’s a dirty player. He needs to clean his act up on the ice at times. He bordered the line on Wednesday night against Eller but once the Capitals forward committed to the fight it was all fair game. Marchand lit a fire under his team and then was the main reason they won their next matchup. The left winger proved his leadership on this club by defending his team on Wednesday night and leading them to victory on Thursday night.
Kevin Maggiore (@kevin_maggiore)