Speaking of 100 points and almost 100 penalty minutes, I give you Brad Marchand. Love him or hate him, and he deserves both, he is an enigma.
Marchand is a throwback to the early days of hockey. As much as we all laud player like Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull and players of that era for their skills, we forget how tough they were. They were just as willing to jam a stick down your throat as they were to score a goal. That’s closer to Marchand.
However, instead of being overtly physical like those famous names, he is much more cerebral. The guy has this way of getting under your skin in ways that are despicable but not enough over the line to get any kind of punishment from the league – most times anyway.
Marchand is constantly walking that tightrope. He doesn’t really care who is there, he just reacts sometimes.
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Now, I’m not saying he was trying to bite the official, but I’m not going to say it’s impossible he was about to. You can clearly see the linesman say “Hey!” right as the forearm goes between where the teeth would be.
What there is no doubt of is that Marchand has licked a player.
I don’t agree with that type of behavior and most of the league does not. It is hard to argue with the results, sadly.
Marchand is the kind of player that is better when you are engaged and he is engaged in that kind of stuff. He thrives on getting under people’s skin, but unlike most agitators, he has the skill to make you pay himself if you are foolish enough to take a penalty.
He’s got all the grit and guile and mouth of someone like Steve Ott, but he can score with the best in the entire NHL.
As Pat Maroon said, the Blues have to find a way to completely ignore him and his antics. He is so agitating that I’m not sure even the Dalai Lama could ignore him, but that is what the Blues do have to do.
Hopefully they can accomplish that and hopefully Maroon is correct that it will throw Marchand off his game to not have that power over opponents.