December 06, 2011
Against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night, Brad Marchand(notes) of the Boston Bruins pulled a nefarious move against Matt Niskanen(notes) near the end boards: a slew-foot, that deplorable cheap shot in which he took out Niskanen's feet.
But then a curious thing happened later in the game: Marchand answered for it.
If you polled NHL fans, not many would claim Marchand to be a "stand up guy." But NESN's John Beattie believes this is evidence to the contrary:
Sure, Marchand likely called Niskanen bad things and told him that he left his purse behind the net, but regardless of what Marchand said, it's what he did that should be appreciated. The fact that he offered the (much larger) Penguin a chance to fight should put a smile on my fellow old school hockey fans' mugs. That's hockey.
A classy move that follows an unclassy act like slew-footing is missing in today's snaky game. Gone are the days where it was your duty to stick for pugilistic ramifications after pulling a dirty move. Nowadays, a slew-footer is usually complaining to the ref or knocking on the penalty box door begging to get inside for a cold drink and shelter. A quick breather, praying the two minutes will be just long enough for the opponent to forget it ever happened. Or, Marchand was probably just looking to rope the Penguin into a penalty. Either way, I applaud his decision to answer the bell.
Can one find honor in answering for dishonor?
Marchand takes a lot of crap for his actions on the ice. He's quickly played himself in pantheon of uber-pests who can annoy the heck out of you and then make you feel even more miserably offensively.
Because of that, he's become a rather popular player in Boston — and now the endorsements are rolling in.