Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand will need to be on his best behviour this post-season.
In previous years, Boston Bruins fans have got behind Brad Marchand desptie his antics; licking opponent’s faces and just generally making some questionable decisions with regards to his on-ice actions.
This year though, any sort of contact that could elicit fluid transfer is likely to be dealt with incredibly harshly. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic seemingly easing, the NHL is unlikely to take kindly to antics that elevate virus risk factors.
Although training camps don’t yet have an official date, the NHL has sought to lay out stringent guidelines around COVID-19 testing when the Stanley Cup Playoffs do eventually get underway.
Brad Marchand will not be wanting to compromise his, nor the Boston Bruins’ chances at lifting the Stanley Cup and thus he will have to ensure his approach isn’t the same as in previous years.
In a sport that heavily features body contact and where there is somewhat of a limit to shielding player’s faces and by virtue of that, breath, from each other; it’s going to be hard enough as is, let alone with the reckless mind games that Brad Marchand has sometimes played.
This regular season, Brad Marchand remained well-behaved for the most part. Hopefully a positive sign for the Boston Bruins that the licking incidents were one-offs and that his lesson has been learnt.
Don’t get me wrong, the Boston Bruins still need Brad Marchand to get in their opposition’s heads. That part has never changed, aside from being an elite point-scorer, that element of his game is key to the team’s success.
Just let’s hope he doesn’t go too far this summer. If any of his previous antics are repeated, I expect the NHL to be quite severe in regards to punishments.
Of course, Brad Marchand may very well have seen the error of his ways already, two seasons ago when it initially happened even, and this fear is all for nothing.
A well-behaved, fully-fit and raring to go Marchand, coming off another season of 80+ points will be vital if they’re to succeed in the hardest run to the Stanley Cup ever.