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Leafs coach complains about Marchand's ‘elite' ability to get calls

Leafs coach complains about Marchand's ‘elite' ability to get calls originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Brad Marchand is officially under the Toronto Maple Leafs' skin.

The Boston Bruins captain led his team to a pivotal Game 3 victory in their first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series with the winning goal at 11:53 of the third period. Marchand's toughness, resilience and leadership helped the Bruins weather some shaky moments and earn a much-needed road win.

The veteran left wing also got tangled up with several different Leafs players throughout the game, especially Tyler Bertuzzi.

These two former teammates had an altercation during the buildup to Boston's first goal in the second period. Neither player was whistled for a penalty, which was the correct call by the referees. Does Marchand trip Bertuzzi? Perhaps, but Bertuzzi went down pretty easily. Both players were going at each other. You can penalize both or just let it go. The latter is typically the right call.

Marchand also sealed the 4-2 win with an empty-net goal late in the third period. He took out Bertuzzi's legs along the boards shortly before he scored. No penalty was called.

Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe praised Marchand after the game, calling him "world class." He then complained about the Bruins captain's ability to draw calls and get away with stuff.

"He's a world-class player, both in ability and how he plays -- the gamesmanship and everything. It's world class," Keefe told reporters.

"He's been in the league long enough. As you can see, he gets calls. It's unbelievable, actually, how it goes. We gotta play through that. You've got to play through that stuff. I don't think there's another player in this series who gets away with taking out Bertuzzi's legs the way that he does. There's not one other player in this series who gets away with that, but he does. It's an art and he's elite at it."

Does Marchand sometimes get away with things? Of course. He's an elite pest, in addition to being one of the best all-around left wings in the sport. He also drew zero penalties in Game 3, so it's not like he was getting a ton of calls. Bertuzzi and Max Domi have taken similar tactics all series, too.

The Leafs had a 5-3 advantage in power plays in Game 3, and at one point four consecutive penalties were called on the Bruins. Toronto has had 11 power plays in the series, one more than Boston. The Leafs have capitalized on only one of those power-play opportunities, while the B's have scored five times with the man advantage.

Marchand is elite at getting under the opponents' skin. He's been doing that for about 15 years. The Leafs got caught up in Marchand's act Wednesday night. They need to be more disciplined in Game 4 or this series could start to slip away from them.