Marcus Johansson is the Devils player that was on the other end of a Brad Marchand elbow back in January. Marchand served a 5 game suspension, Johansson hasn’t played since.
Just for a refresher…
I even got a nice slow motion view for you guys.
Anyway, it’s pretty safe to say Johansson wasn’t too happy with Brad.
Here are #NJDevils Marcus Johansson’s unabridged thoughts on the Bruins’ Brad Marchand hit that left him with a 2nd concussion in 3 months. This is one of the most honest, raw and thorough takedowns of another NHL player/a dirty hit as you’ll see. pic.twitter.com/sjgTuLqHe8
— Corey Masisak (@cmasisak22) March 26, 2018
I’m not attempting to defend Brad Marchand here, so don’t misconstrue the words I’m about to say. I think the elbow was definitely not inadvertent. Did Marchand mean to elbow Johansson in the head? Obviously I have no idea. Here’s what I do know, and I’ll break it down using stop times in the video above.
7 seconds – Ken Appleby (Devils goalie) covers the puck
8 seconds – Marcus Johansson completely and unnecessarily invades and takes away Marchand’s space
9 seconds – Johansson gives a chop down on Marchand’s stick, continues to take away space
10 seconds – Johansson completely walled off Marchand, causing him to be stuck between Johansson and the goalie Appleby. Johansson now has his stick around Marchand’s midsection
To me, Marchand has two options at this point. He can either 1) trip and fall over Johansson’s stick, toppling the goalie as a result or 2) he can try to shoot the gap between Appleby and Johansson.
Marchand choose option 2, probably viewing that as a better option that getting attacked by 5 Devils players while laying on the ice, which would have surely happened had he so much as grazed Appleby.
11 seconds – Marchand attempts to shoot the gap, yet inexplicably brings his elbow up and drills Johansson with it.
Before today, I hadn’t watched this clip in a while. I almost forgot it even happened. But now watching it again, I’m thinking the same thing. I have absolutely no idea what Johansson was trying to accomplish with his slash/hook combo, or why he so aggressively pinched off Marchand’s space.
Here’s my best guess as to what happened. Marchand didn’t want to touch Appleby. By trying to avoid the goalie, he knew he was in danger of going down because of Johansson’s stick placement. To me, it looks like Marchand was loading up to jump and try and get over Johansson’s stick which was relatively low at this point.
Johansson continued to glide toward Marchand, and by the time Marchand was ready to jump, Johansson’s head was in the way. The elbow was unnecessary and a suspension was warranted in this case, but I felt like 5 games was enough.
This incident being brought up on Twitter again last night was interesting. It reminded me of how many people hate the Bruins and Brad Marchand. It also reminded me that Marcus Johansson has some skeletons in his closet.
For my money, that’s a much dirtier hit than what Marchand did.
-Brian Borders (@bborders12)