On Thursday, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced that Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand was suspended two games for spearing Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jake Dotchin on Tuesday night. He will miss Boston's last two regular season games, tonight at home to the Senators and Saturday afternoon, at home against the Capitals.
The Bruins are still jockeying for position in the Eastern Conference playoff picture and still have a chance at home-ice advantage in the opening round or they could end up playing the Washington Capitals as the last wild card team, depending on how the results of the last few days pan out. They will have to do so without their top scorer.
Marchand is currently tied for 2nd in the league i the goal-scoring race at 39 goals, but that's where he'll finish this season. In 80 games this season, Marchand will finish with 85 points, which will have him firmly entrenched as a top 20 player in the hockey pool this season, but he'll likely fall out of the top 10, where he currently sits 9th, before the end of the weekend.
Unfortunately for Cam, his biggest hope of staying away from the Basement Dweller nod this week was going to be Marchand, but his team, which only sits at 1 point this week, won't have their best player to bail them out. His team won't drop any further than 13th, barring a complete disaster, but it was a season that did hold some promise at one point this year.
This is a shocking decision, in my opinion. The video above lays the groundwork for a serious suspension, dealing with Marchand's lengthy history with the Department of Player Safety, including a fine he had to pay for slew-footing Detroit's Niklas Kronwall this season, but they end up giving him a suspension that would better resemble a head shot or a first time offender.
Usually, it is thought to be considered that a playoff game would be worth two regular season games and even if there was one playoff game included, I would at least have better grounds to agree with this one, but I think the NHL missed the mark here, especially for those of us that regular watch, if not post, their explanatory videos.