BOSTON - Brad Marchand was livid after the Bruins' comeback win over the New York Rangers, but it wasn't about the Bruins not playing up to their potential in the first couple of periods. Instead, it was about Marchand getting pulled by the NHL concussion spotter from the 3-2 overtime win over the Blueshirts at the start of the third period, and the B's top-line left winger thereby being forced to sit out the first half of the third period as a result.
Marchand ran into a raised Jacob Trouba elbow toward the end of the second, but finished out the period and sat through an entire intermission before he was pulled from the Bruins bench after his first shift of the third period. Marchand slammed his stick against the boards while breaking it into two pieces and then stormed down the runway to the Bruins dressing room, but it was unclear at the time why he exited the bench.
Bruce Cassidy confirmed after the game that the concussion spotter waited through the entire 15-minute intermission before pulling Marchand at the start of the third period, a bit of timing that certainly irked both No. 63 and the rest of the Bruins.
"This game is on NBC, he gets hit at the end of the second period and he gets pulled at the beginning of the third. To me, we're trying to market our best players. I thought it was fairly evident when he get hit and then they decided to pull him at the start of the third," said Cassidy. "That's the only explanation I got. I don't know why they wouldn't do it between periods. There's an 18-minute intermission. He was [pulled by the concussion spotter] and he checked out fine, but it's a little frustrating for him especially when it happened. I didn't like the timing of it at all."
Marchand sounded a little more pissed off about the entire sequence of events following the game and understandably so given that it could have cost the Bruins two points.
"That's embarrassing. They had 20 minutes to sit there and view the tape and call that in. But they make me come out in a 2-1 game when we're just starting to get some momentum. Guy up there is busy eating pizza and cheeseburgers and can't watch the game," said Marchand. "Maybe next time he'll pull his head out of his butt and watch the game. I skated into his elbow, but [I was] fine."
Hours later, Marchand tweeted an apology, writing that "my emotions got the best of me..."
My emotions got the best of me after today's game. I didn't want to miss any shifts with us being down 2 to 1. I know the spotters are there to help us and I shouldn't have take my frustrations out on them.— Brad Marchand (@Bmarch63) November 30, 2019
It all ended well for the Bruins, of course, as they tied the game while Marchand was in one of the TD Garden back rooms for 10 minutes, and then won it in overtime when David Pastrnak set up David Krejci for the OT game-winner. But that's as sharp as any criticism you'll hear coming out of the B's dressing room following the game, and justifiably so given the slow trigger employed by the concussion spotter working Friday afternoon's game.