Brad Marchand Jumps Lars Eller

Last night marked the opener for the 2018-19 NHL season, with several teams getting the season underway. One of the premier matchups of the night featured two of the Eastern Conference’s best teams, the defending Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals against the Boston Bruins. What happened throughout the night, however, was a bit surprising.

With two great teams battling it out to start the season, many would have expected a close score. Surprisingly, the Capitals came out hot and dominated the game. It wasn’t until Lars Eller scored the Capitals 7th goal of the night that things really got out of hand.

Following the Eller goal, the Capitals forward celebrated and then skated by the Bruins bench with a couple extra celebratory waves. Perhaps some players took exception to this, but none more than Brad Marchand. On their very next shift together, roughly three minutes later, Marchand wanted to be clear on how he felt by jumping Eller and starting a fight that the Danish forward was clearly not ready for. Eller tried to hold off Marchand, but eventually the Bruins winger landed a couple of strong and heavy blows to Ellers’ head and knocking him down and cutting him open in the process.

“He’s a proud guy,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said of Marchand following the game. “I think Eller celebrated a little on a 7-0 goal. It’s his prerogative, and Marchy let him know that’s not acceptable.”

Marchand would pay for his actions in the form of penalty minutes. He received a two minute instigator minor penalty, along with a fighting major and a game misconduct. Receiving 17 penalty minutes in a game that was undoubtedly already going to be a loss hardly seems to be enough of a punishment for such a cowardly play. But is this something the league will look into?

The action taken by Marchand was yet another example of his immature antics out on the ice. From licking players in the 2018 playoffs to jumping Eller last night, Marchand has a history of poor choices out on the ice. It would be worth the league exploring sending a message to him that those types of situations are unacceptable. We all understand players policing themselves after a cheap shot, but Marchand crossed a line.

“His celebration was unnecessary,” Marchand told reporters after the game. “He took an angle in front of the bench and celebrated in a 7-0 game, so I just let him know.”

We’ll see if the league follows the same path and let’s Marchand know his actions were unnecessary.

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