- James Murphy, Bruins reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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Wilmington, Mass. -- On Monday, Brad Marchand’s teammates defended him against criticism that he is becoming a “diver,” embellishing to draw penalties on the opponent. The criticism stemmed from what many fans and media believed was a dive that led to a second-period goal by Capitals forward Jason Chimera that tied Game 6 at 2-2.
On Tuesday following Bruins practice, Marchand defended himself and his actions.
“You don’t see the guy coming and you get clipped,” Marchand said. “For them to judge what knocks you down, they don’t know your balance or whatnot on the play. They’re sitting at home watching on TV. I don’t really care what they say. They have no impact on my game, my life. They mean nothing.”
Marchand was asked why he remained on the ice as the play went the other way and claimed he was simply “caught off guard”.
“I just got caught off guard, and I wasn’t really ready,” he replied. “I got hit in the mouth, and by the time I got up and I was getting back, they scored.”
But with the inconsistency with the way the referees have handled such situations in this series, at times blowing the whistle dead immediately when a player is on the ice possibly injured and in pain or at other times allowing play to go on, the Bruins pesky winger realizes he must play within the whistles no matter what and not assume anything.
“In a situation like that, blowing down a play can result in a team scoring or not scoring,” he said. “At this point in the playoffs, the refs seem to let a lot go. The further you go, they let more and more go. You have to realize that and jet try to continue with the play.”
Marchand also realizes that he and his teammates can’t allow themselves to wonder how Game 7 will be called or they could pay dearly. In the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs they saw the Canadiens use a late power play to force overtime in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Then in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, they beat the Lightning 1-0 in a thrilling game where not one penalty was called.
“You see it every year,” Marchand said. “Last year against Tampa, I don’t think there was one penalty all game. You never really know how it’s going to get called. There could be a bunch and there could be none. We just have to play between the whistles hard and leave your best effort on the ice.”
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