Don’t expect Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand to break NHL COVID Protocol or have sympathy for anyone that does and is punished for doing so. That includes his own teammates and the four Washington Capitals players that decided it would be a bright idea to ignore social distancing and hangout, without masks, in a hotel room recently.
As far as Marchand is concerned, there is no reason any NHL player can’t adhere to the NHL COVID Protocol that not just the NHL but also the NHLPA approved prior to this season. The rules are in place for a reason and whether or not a player agrees with them or not, it’s about respecting your teammates, your team, and the league. That’s why he doesn’t feel sorry for Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin, forward Evgeny Kuznetsov, defenseman Dmitry Orlov, and goalie Ilya Samsonov, who will now have to all miss a minimum of four games and saw their owner Ted Leonsis fined $100,000. Samsonov has since tested positive.
“I think the big thing is, it’s more of a respect thing,” Marchand said. “We all want to be able to play, and there’s rules put in place for a reason. They’re not that hard to follow. We all know the consequences of breaking the rules, and we know what the rules are. So they brought that on themselves. We’ve all been told very heavily what we’re allowed to do and what we’re not allowed to do, so it is what it is on their side of things.”
That’s not how Ovechkin’s wife, Nastya Shubskaya, viewed the NHL coming down hard on her husband and the Capitals.
“Of course, only Russian players of Washington Capitals were together in the same hotel room,” she wrote, according to USA Today. “Of course, all of the other NHL players, when playing away, separating themselves from their teammates. Of course, you can’t catch the virus when you and your teammates sit together on the bench, hug each other when they score a goal, or when they are all together in the lounge or locker room.”
Of course, intimating that there is some bias against Russians here is absurd and comical and as Marchand reiterated, this is about working together and respecting each other to pull off this COVID-shortened 56-game season and the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“I think it just comes down to having respect for one another,” Marchand said again. “You can easily hurt your team by breaking the rules and potentially getting it and having to quarantine. It’s pretty simple to follow the rules. If you get it by chance, it is what it is. It’s almost inevitable. But if you’re going to put yourself in a situation, that’s on you.”
Ovechkin did apologize via Twitter but now his team will be missing him and the other culprits for four games in a season where every game is basically a four-point game thanks to each game being a division game.