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Brad Marchand Practices And Could Play In Game 6

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Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins captain Brad Marchand could return to the lineup for his team’s do-or-die Game 6 against the Florida Panthers on Friday night at TD Garden.

Brad Marchand participated in a full-contact practice on Thursday morning at Warrior Arena, skating on the left wing of a line with Charlie Coyle at center and Trent Frederic on the right wing. After practice, Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery stressed that Marchand ‘still has boxes to check’ before he can be cleared to return to game action and would not commit on Marchand’s status for Game 6.

One good sign that Marchand is closing in on a return is that he was back on the Bruins’ top power play at practice on Thursday. Montgomery had Marchand, Coyle, Jake DeBrusk, David Pastrnak, and Charlie McAvoy on the top unit. Justin Brazeau, James van Riemsdyk, Morgan Geekie, Pavel Zacha, and Mason Lohrei formed the second power play unit.

Friday will mark one week since Marchand was injured as a result of a reverse hit and sucker punch by Florida Panthers center Sam Bennett. The team continues to term Marchand’s injury as an ‘upper-body injury,’ but it’s hard to believe he didn’t suffer a concussion, and that’s what caused him to miss Game 4 last Sunday and kept him out of his team’s 2-1 Game 5 win in Florida on Tuesday night.

 

 

Despite that second angle of the play (above) between Bennett and Marchand surfacing before Game 4 on Sunday, the NHL Department of Player Safety still did nothing to address what was clearly a dangerous sucker punch to the head of Marchand. Even worse, they’re called it a ‘hockey play,’ according to ESPN NHL analyst and reporter Emily Kaplan. This was Kaplan on X just before the ESPN broadcast of Game 5 between the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers on Monday night:

“Talked to several people in the league about the Sam Bennett/Brad Marchand play. The NHL also didn’t see the reverse angle until Sunday, but it didn’t change how Player Safety saw it — not as a sucker punch, but as a hockey play with two players engaged.”

 

 

Here’s what the lineup looked like for the Boston Bruins on Thursday:

Forwards

Jake DeBrusk – Morgan Geekie – David Pastrnak

Brad Marchand – Charlie Coyle – Trent Frederic

Danton Heinen – Pavel Zacha – Justin Brazeau

Jakub Lauko/James van Riemsdyk – John Beecher – Pat Maroon

Defensemen

Mason Lohrei – Charlie McAvoy

Hampus Lindholm – Brandon Carlo

Parker Wotherspoon – Andrew Peeke

Goalies

Jeremy Swayman

Linus Ullmark

 

 

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