Brad Marchand gets five games for hit on Salo; ‘Predatory’, according to Shanahan

Despite taking their sweet time and backing the announcement right up to Canucks’ game time, the department of player safety has finally issued a verdict regarding Brad Marchand’s low bridge on Sami Salo from Saturday’s match between the Canucks and Bruins. Canuck fans will probably like how it all shook out: the Bruins’ pest has been suspended a whopping five games for the hit, the maximum amount he could be given without flying to New York for an in-person hearing.

Why so many games? As usual with Shanahan, Marchand’s repeat offender status plays into the decision, as does the fact that Salo suffered a concussion on the play. But those are secondary factors. The primary one, simply put, is that Brendan Shanahan and company saw the incident as “predatory”.

But don’t take my word for it. Brendan Shanahan’s got the goods:

In case you don’t feel like watching the video and getting that tingly feeling when sweet, sweet justice is served like a slice of McCain Deep and Delicious Cake, here’s the quote that explains why this hit is worthy of such a heavy swing from the banhammer:

“While we understand that, in certain circumstances, a player may duck or bail instinctively in order to protect himself from an imminent, dangerous check, we do not view this play as defensive or instinctive. Rather, we feel this was a predatory, low hit delivered intentionally by Marchand in order to flip his opponent over him,. Further, Salo is not coming at Marchand with great speed nor in a threatening posture. He does nothing to indicate that Marchand is about to be hit illegally or with excessive force.”

In other words, all that stuff about Marchand just protecting himself? Horse twaddle.

Peter Chiarelli fell back on that argument in his statement following the suspension, saying:

“While we understand that the Department of Safety is an evolving entity, it is frustrating that there are clear comparable situations that have not been penalized or sanctioned in the past.

“It is equally disappointing that Brad sought the counsel of the Department this past Fall for an explanation and clarification regarding this type of scenario so as to adjust his game if necessary. He was advised that such an incident was not sanctionable if he was protecting his own safety.  Given our feeling that Brad was indeed protecting himself and certainly did not clip the player as he contacted the player nowhere near the knee or quadricep, today’s ruling is not consistent with what the Department of Player Safety communicated to Brad.”

But had he watched the video, he’d have seen its most engaging segment, when Shanahan refutes the “self-defence” theory the same way we did yesterday (think he saw it?), revisiting the contact between Salo and Marchand that starts 16 seconds prior to the low bridge. According to Shanahan, Marchand “shows clear frustration after the hit”, punching Salo in the back of the head. “While this may have led Marchand to believe that Salo might later seek retribution,” he says, “That’s no defense for clipping a player.”

In short, Shanahan finds the only reason that Marchand might fear Salo taking a run and instead turns it into proof of his intent to injure. Brilliantly executed.

By the way, this video also serves as a healthy rebuttal to every Bruins fan digging up other hits from the Stanley Cup Final and claiming they’re the same. Unlike Keith Ballard hitting Jamie McGinn or Mason Raymond ducking Marchand, this is “not an instinctive, evasive, or defensive maneuver”. And, unlike Dan Hamhuis’s hipcheck on Milan Lucic, this is clipping.

He doesn’t always, but I’m of the mind that Shanahan got this one right.

Tags: , , ,

53 comments

  1. J21
    January 9, 2012

    I assume Shanahan would have stifled a bit of laughter at the thought of Sami Salo seeking retribution. Marchand isn’t just a jerkass for this play, but also for the fact that it was on the NHL’s equivalent of Flipper the Dolphin.

    Pundits on TSN claiming Marchand shouldn’t change the way he plays. But no doubt Burrows is a “disgrace” in spite of virtually no prior violent history.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +52 (from 52 votes)
  2. Hips
    January 9, 2012

    Oh dear God I can already hear the Boston fans coming. Hide yo kids hide yo wife.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +68 (from 68 votes)
    • Msacras
      January 10, 2012

      No that’s only an appropriate comment after a Game 7 Loss in Vancouver!

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: -5 (from 7 votes)
  3. CanuckFanInSF
    January 9, 2012

    The wait for this verdict was unsettling, almost wanted to flip a cop car in sheer anxiety (That was a joke, btw)

    I feel justice has been served. Unfortunately, this will never erase the fact that oft-injured Sami Salo is now out with a concussion. Hopefully he would be well enough for the post-season, yeah?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +29 (from 29 votes)
  4. John
    January 9, 2012

    Perhaps someone with some time and some followers should start a Twitter meme, #ThingsMarchandFears

    eg: Marchand probably has to sleep with his bedroom door open a crack, because he’s worried that Sami Salo will jump out of his closet and eat him. #ThingsMarchandFears

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +42 (from 42 votes)
    • John in Marpole
      January 9, 2012

      Ohn the irony of the Bruins, their fans and their media constantly claiming that Swedes are cowards, only to now excusen this dirty chack as marchand “protecting himself” from a Swede.

      Collectively they apparently have the IQ of a used dish towel.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +8 (from 16 votes)
      • John in Marpole
        January 9, 2012

        Holy crap, can’t possibly make more typos in one post than that…. kinda negates the IQ shot…

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
        • Daniel Wagner
          January 9, 2012

          Also, Salo is Finnish. ;)

          VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
          Rating: +26 (from 30 votes)
          • The Bookie
            January 9, 2012

            Nah, he’ll be back. He always comes back.

            VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
            Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)
            • Msacras
              January 10, 2012

              Oh you Canucks fans are so witty…if only B’s fans could keep up.. And this John guy is classic, makes about 5 mistakes then questions others IQ…gotta love the irony… And if you think anyone in boston thinks Marchand was truly protecting himself then you obviously have no clue. That was purely an excuse by the coach to try to sway judgement for the punishment that was coming. Believe it or not even he knew it was BS but had to try. I love the stuff of repeat offender for 1 other incident for Marchand..how many antics from Burrows have we seen (Finger Biting, Stick in throat just to name 2 we saw both of which should have resulted in some disciplinary action and yet didn’t even get a penalty).

              And a guy who takes on bloggers is Brave? Thats something to be proud of TJ!

              VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
              Rating: -7 (from 7 votes)
  5. Rich bruins fan
    January 9, 2012

    Apples and oranges to compare suspendable offenses last year to this. Those hits from last year likely would have resulted in a suspension too. That said, Marchands is worse and repeat offender. I think 5 is a bit stiff, but not going to whine either.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +28 (from 28 votes)
    • John Andress
      January 10, 2012

      Thank you Rich bruins fan. Having just read the Boston Herald article and fan comments about the hit, I can safely say that you are just about the only one in Boston who is not whining about this issue. I mean, can you imagine a guy convicted of drunk driving saying “Well, lots of other guys have done it and not been convicted.”?

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
      • tj
        January 10, 2012

        Agreed. There’s this other guy, goes by (something) Cornelius, on one of the big B sites, who’s taken it upon himself to smartly argue with the whole pack of ‘em. Refreshing. And brave ;)

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  6. Hips
    January 9, 2012

    On a more serious note, while I’m happy that he got suspended, I’m hoping that the hit doesn’t put Salo outta action for more than a week.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +22 (from 22 votes)
  7. Geoff-C-
    January 9, 2012

    I am fine with 5 games, would have been happier if he got a few more though.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +19 (from 21 votes)
  8. Zach Morris
    January 9, 2012

    Man I hate Boston.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +24 (from 30 votes)
    • Andy
      January 11, 2012

      I would say Boston hates you too but nobody here gives a damn what you think.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
      • John
        January 11, 2012

        well – clearly, at least one person does. and, judging by the board, maybe one of two others.

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  9. peanutflower
    January 9, 2012

    I just love that word “predatory”.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +31 (from 33 votes)
  10. Edmond Black
    January 9, 2012

    I a,m a Devils fan that lives north of Boston, in New Hampshire. I see and hear all the boston crap ! And yes the bruins always feel like the victims , the bruins hunt down opposing players like a pack of wolves. But if you as much look at them , your dead! I am in my 50′s and i remember hockey in the 70′s,and now that the bruins have won the cup with this style, why change. How was it ok too level Ryan Miller ? How did lucic get away with leaving the bench ? Vancouver does need to had some tuffness. When my devils got Salvador no.24 , the bruins did not take liberties when on the ice !

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +35 (from 35 votes)
    • Msacras
      January 10, 2012

      Old man get your eyes checked or maybe a color tv up there in NH, that was the Canucks jumping Thornton 6 to 1, and the league already corrected the Lucic left the bench falsity, come to grip with it – it was a blown call. And you think he got away with it?? Did you doze off while he got a pentalty and game misconduct. I remember back when grandpa.. no one gives a sh!t, now go back and watch jeopardy and change your depends….I remember back when the Canucks won the……oh wait never happened!! Wonder what you guys said after Todd Bertuzzi’s career ending stunt…since we are going to the way back machine…let me guess that was ok

      And yes to answer the big Q coming from TJ, Shoes, Mooney, etc… yes I am 12!!!!

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: -11 (from 11 votes)
  11. Body Schmautz
    January 9, 2012

    Now I feel shame for rant yesterday about the league. The emotion of seeing little Marchand intentionally injure Sami brought back terrible memories from last June. Had to stop myself from throwing the remote thru the TV when it happened. Just couldn’t let it go. Sorry for the rant.
    Kudos to Shanahan for proving his integrity again, and not succumbing to the mob. Also a special THANK YOU to passittobulis team for their excellent blog and dignified moderation. Your many fans (like me) can aspire to such grace.
    Hopefully Sami is OK and he and team can get closure on this and move on.
    Time for Boston trollers to move on as well – realize it is not a very nice place but you should go home now (he says stifling another rant).

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +27 (from 27 votes)
  12. Metaxa
    January 9, 2012

    What is the over/under for Rat’s next time?
    Over/under for the length of the next suspension?

    Come on, help a guy out, BoDog is no help here!

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +7 (from 9 votes)
  13. tom selleck's moustache
    January 9, 2012

    Right decision. But what I liked the most about Shanahan’s video was how his reasoning and analysis was pretty much lock step with Mooney’s when he broke it down yesterday, especially with the demonstration of Marchand acting like a thug just 16 seconds previous. It was like he had read your blog post just prior to making the video and said “You know what? He’s got a good point” and went with that. Well done guys.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +26 (from 26 votes)
  14. tj
    January 9, 2012

    Reading the Bruins’ GM’s response is disappointing. And now the BB media has started on the martyrdom they hate so much when our media does it (as it does so often).

    Is this the official end of the hipcheck? I think Ballard and Hamhuis will be far too nervous to try it now (and bad nerves could lead to bad hit).

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +2 (from 4 votes)
    • Daniel Wagner
      January 9, 2012

      It’s not the end of the hipcheck. Marchand used his shoulder, not his hip. The Boston media and fans tried to draw a parallel between Marchand’s hit and several Canucks’ hipchecks, but it’s a flawed comparison. Nevermind that Marchand went too low, he didn’t use his hip.

      VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +20 (from 20 votes)
      • tj
        January 9, 2012

        Thanks. And yes, I agree he went low, and I agree with the Shanahan/Mooney takes on this. It seemed that everything I read this afternoon was going on about hip checks, and how the NHL will be calling them. Plus, I watched that crap-ass game and wondered if they were nervous, or exhausted. Then guessed they were maybe just able to use that as a reason to take one for the AV. Can you imagine the circus if he had got the All-Star gig? Maybe I’m being cynical. Or worse, misinformed…

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  15. peanutflower
    January 9, 2012

    Geez, go have a look at the blog here. http://boston-bruins-corner.blogspot.com/2012/01/canucks-cry-to-media-bruins-respond.html#disqus_thread
    I sometimes think that the posters on PITB — well, not really, I think we’re pretty objective although I have a hard time being objective, I know. But the Boston bloggers, media, management, fans and players definitely see things quite a bit differently than we do. It’s really amazing. And BTW, don’t bother with IWTG tonite. AV didn’t want to go to the All Star game, right? That was a boring boring game. I ran through it a 15x and it was still boring. I think the Canucks were just wiped out.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)
    • Matt
      January 9, 2012

      I think we can all abandon the pretence of objectivity, but it is interesting to read opposing blogs, because they really do perceive the same events very differently. As a Canucks fan, I have to chuckle at Bruins fans who say poor little Marshy was just protecting himself from the “big goon” bearing down on him. Now if it had been big Z going after him, I could understand it, but Salo?!

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +7 (from 9 votes)
      • John Andress
        January 10, 2012

        As fans, I do not believe that we are obliged to be objective. Heck, the basis of fandom is that we love our team for a myriad of reasons most of which are purely subjective. But, although we are not required to be objective we are required to be rational and now and then the fans of every team stray away from rationality. Read some of the Bruins press and blogs and you will realize that they are not just unobjective, they are way, way, way over the edge. It’s kind of distasteful, actually, Mr. Chiarelli.

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
        • FGA
          January 10, 2012

          Anymore distasteful than having your coach suggest a player needs to take another player out? Can you say Bertuzzi on Moore? Raymond nailed Marchand in a lower spot than Marchand hit Salo, but yet AV seems to think that’s acceptable. He’s a hypocrit.

          VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
          Rating: -4 (from 4 votes)
      • John
        January 10, 2012

        fwiw – ‘big Z’ has never been suspended either….his rep is basically the same as Salo’s. He’s had one questionable hit in his life (that Montreal still is crying to the police about?!). For a guy who could literally crush 5 players every game, that is pretty good.

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)
  16. peanutflower
    January 9, 2012

    My comment is awaiting moderation? Since when? Is that the price of success for PITB?

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +5 (from 7 votes)
    • Harrison Mooney
      January 9, 2012

      Ha. We’ve had to dial it back to make sure some of the more obscene Boston stuff didn’t get through.

      VN:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +17 (from 17 votes)
      • peanutflower
        January 9, 2012

        Good! Do Canuck fans do that? I try and stay away from finding out… I’m guessing there are a faction that do.

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  17. whisky jack
    January 9, 2012

    with my tongue partly in my cheek:

    I think that we should get a goon
    An ignoramus who can skate
    We really have to get one soon
    Someone whose soul is filled with hate

    Canucks are simply far too nice
    Too easy to intimidate
    We need a thug out on the ice
    And let us not procrastinate

    I up to here with all this zen
    Let’s get a real live heavy weight
    To enforce justice now and then
    And bullshit crap eliminate

    For too long too diplomatic
    Now’s the time to be pragmatic

    whisky jack

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +3 (from 9 votes)
  18. Timmy Wong
    January 9, 2012

    And somehow Boston fans were incensed when Aaron Rome got 4 games IN THE CUP FINALS.

    Really, we should have consulted Dr Recchi on this…that is, if he’s not playing golf or taking a nap.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +15 (from 15 votes)
  19. Matt
    January 9, 2012

    It does warm my wicked heart to think of the li’l ball o’hate forfeiting over $150,000 in salary. But I’ve always wondered whether, in situations like this, teammates who think the punishment was unjust chip in on the QT to compensate for the lost salary.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
  20. zoe
    January 9, 2012

    Why did he contact the league about this particular type of scenario? Makes me think he has been thinking about doing this for a long time, using an incoming hit as an excuse for clipping and injuring. It really implicates him even more.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)
    • peanutflower
      January 9, 2012

      It is kind of weird, huh? Let’s see, I want to do this, this and this next season. I’m pretty sure none of those things is okay, or maybe they are. Greg said they are. Greg said to ask his dad. Or ask that new guy. He’ll say yes to everything. And if you ask him real nice you’ll get a hall pass and you can do ANYTHING! and no one will get mad at you. And if someone does get mad at you you can point to that new guy and say, but, he said it was okay, and then no one will blame you for what you did. Sound okay? I think it sounds GREAT! that’s what I’ll do then.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
    • Mo
      January 9, 2012

      I thought that too ,when I heard he’d clarified these scenarios over the summer – what would be clean, what wouldn’t. Not that he’d thought about going out and getting someone, but as he’d been told this kind of hit it would be OK to use as a “defense”, immediately upon being called on hitting Salo, both he & Julien uses “defense” an excuse. He and CJ thought they knew how to get around the suspension. Sorry. And so glad Shanny saw it the same way as PITB!

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)
    • shoes
      January 10, 2012

      By “discussion with the department”……was that in actual fact a conversation with “daddy” at a Bruins get together…..wouldn’t surprise me at all. Nor would the answer from pops.

      I am pleased with the suspension because now he can not do it again or much of anything. He got away with too much last year in the playoffs and this year until now. Which brings us to the next point…….Peter Chiarellis and Coach Julians response…they did not see this as “bad” which is what Vancouver fans have been saying for months about this classless yet strangely favored organization. The fact that they support the hit itself, not just thier little pansy rat but the hit itself tells me that they are genuinely surprised that the NHL came down on them.

      I have ranted enough about the ties from the VP of Operations to this club and those ties would not fly in any other professional sports league…..anywhere in the planet.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)
  21. tj
    January 9, 2012

    I wonder if he’ll be asked to edit his comments on his blog post. He clearly raspberries both Shanahan and the ruling. Not sure if it’s stupidity or cajones, but my goodness it can’t look good to thumb your nose at a disciplinary action.

    Oh, and can I just say, if I never hear the terms ‘classless’ and ‘no class’ and ‘stay classy’ again it will still be too soon. Crimey.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  22. WW"Marchand"D
    January 10, 2012

    … and another thing. Why does the league and our ever beloved media continually show clips of not only the Boston win but the Rangers 1994 win over the Canucks ??? what’s next ?? we’re only half way through the season. they probably will make the platoffs. mark my word however; they will not repeat.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  23. shoes
    January 10, 2012

    Lets see.. Marchand is scared of the dark and Salo, Recchi is scared of Vancouver fans, Bolland is scared to go out alone in Vancouver. WTF are these guys aware that these “frights” make them look like little pantywaists, when aired publicly.

    Marchand should be a little afraid of going out alone in Vancouver now. Can’t hide that beak.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
    • tj
      January 10, 2012

      Oh, I don’t know… I don’t like to think that our fans would stoop to such thuggery. Had rather enough of it on both sides, myself.

      That said, it does seem that Marchand can’t handle discipline on–or off–the ice!

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
      • tj
        January 10, 2012

        (Ack–oops–that’s a reference to Shanny’s discipline, and not a rallying cry. Jeez, I hate to think what sort of circus it would be if we do meet in the playoffs)

        VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
        Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
    • Msacras
      January 10, 2012

      TJ – this ones for you… Stay Classy!
      Nice comment on the nose shoes…wow, original…
      Just remember, Marchand and Recchi have rings, and the Canucks have..
      At least our Rat will fight on the ice, yours will just bite…

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: -5 (from 5 votes)
  24. iceman
    January 10, 2012

    The gutless rat finally got what he deserved, which has been overdue for a long time. Anything less would have led me to believe Hockey God doesn’t exist. Now all I care for is Salo’s health – and wishing for his speedy recovery.

    I couldn’t care less about what the uneducated Boston GM, coach, media and fans say. They all have this “mob mentality” (We’ve done nothing wrong. What, you don’t agree? Crush them!) which is exactly what their goon squad does on the ice.

    You get on the ice to play hockey. Get into a cage if you want sucker punching, slew-footing, body-slamming and concussing people.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: +7 (from 7 votes)
    • John
      January 10, 2012

      can we all admit it was a dirty hit? sure it was.
      and can we all admit that Burrows has his share of dirty stuff too? sure.
      and can we all admit that Hanhuis’s hit might have been similar? perhaps a bit different – but really if you argue they are totally different, you are just being a biased fan.
      and can we all admit that rome’s hit was dirty? sure – that is why the league suspended him just like marchand got suspended.
      and can we all admit that hansen’s hit on ference was dirty? sure it was.

      So can we at least agree that both teams have made dirty illegal hits?

      The big difference to me between the 2 teams is that the Bruins never seem to back down from a challenge, they seem to always have their teammates’ back (a stark contrast to what they were just a few short years ago), and their goalie always plays the best in the biggest games….and, imho, all other things being equal, the B’s always win in a 7 game series with those factors.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: -3 (from 5 votes)
    • Ben
      January 11, 2012

      Vancouver knows a lot about mob mentality, so I’ll take your word for it.

      VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
      Rating: -4 (from 4 votes)
  25. Ben
    January 11, 2012

    I appreciate the part where you just blindly insist that the Marchand hit is different than Hamhuis et al. Brilliantly argued. Does Marhcand hit him below the knee? You don’t seem to understand the argument.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: -3 (from 3 votes)
  26. Sprucetrap
    January 12, 2012

    The only reason he got the suspension was because of the resulting concussion. There are identical plays that did not result in a penalty or a suspension.

    VA:F [1.9.16_1159]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)