Boston Bruins Brad Marchand is once again the eye of the storm following a controversial play involving Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Timothy Liljegren in the Bruins’ 3-2 shootout win on Thursday night.
Late Friday morning, Leafs fans and some media that cover the team were still up in arms on social media over what many perceived to be another slew foot by the Bruins captain. With time winding down in the first period, Marchand and Liljegren were chasing down a puck together as it went into a corner in the Leafs’ zone. As Liljegren tries to rub out Marchand, the Bruins winger tries to win the battle for the puck by impeding Liljegren’s path to it. The two become entangled, and Liljegren winds up falling and slamming into the boards awkwardly.
Unfortunately, Liljegren was injured in the play and will miss some time, according to Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe, who was beside himself speaking to the media after the game and basically called out referee Wes McCauley.
“They didn’t see the stick [of Marchand] go in between his legs and can opener him to make him go feet first into the boards in the most dangerous area of the ice,” Keefe said. “He didn’t see it.”
In case you missed it or just want another look, here you go:
Wes is watching it pic.twitter.com/ZCPPhtV2Rt
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 3, 2023
The play immediately had Leafs fans up in arms and even some well-respected media calling for a penalty and potential supplemental discipline based on Marchand’s history of slewfoot infractions. Brad Marchand has been suspended twice for slew-footing before, with the last suspension coming on Nov. 29, 2021, when Marchand received a three-game suspension for slew-footing Vancouver Canucks defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. He built a reputation for the dangerous play despite cleaning up his act so much that the Boston Bruins named him captain this past September that reputation seemingly will always follow him.
“I mean, I really don’t like this play here,” Sportsnet analyst Justin Bourne said in the first intermission show. “I know you guys feel differently, but I wonder if this is suspendable. He clearly takes his feet out, going back in a tough spot.”
Fellow analyst and former NHLer Nick Kypreos then chimes in.
“I wonder if this is suspendable if the word is that Liljegren is hurt,” he opines.
Alas, Marchand was penalized, fined, or suspended for this one, but will it carry over to the next time the two bitter rivals meet in Toronto on Dec. 2?