By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Bruins top-line winger Brad Marchand is most certainly under a watchful eye from the National Hockey League.

He knew as much heading into Game 5, after league officials spoke to him and instructed him that he would need to stop licking opponents. And he was reminded again 12 minutes after Game 5 began, when he was sent to the penalty box to serve a two-minute minor for embellishment.

It did not appear as if the embellishment call was made immediately. But referees Gord Dwyer and Chris Rooney met with linesemen Brian Murphy and Michael Cormier before calling Marchand over from the Boston bench area to serve his minor penalty.

Here’s the play in question:

Whether or not Marchand actually took a dive remains up to interpretation. Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman definitely interfered with Marchand, and the contact was without question deserving of a two-minute penalty on Hedman.

But did Marchand oversell the contact? That could be debated. What should not be debated is that if it were any other player involved, the embellishment penalty would not have been applied.

Marchand was fined earlier this season for embellishment after a play which also involved a very clear penalty with a debatable level of embellishment on Marchand’s part.

After that fine came, Marchand said that he wouldn’t let a $2,000 fine bother him.

“That hit is very small and minor. It’s the last thing I’m going to worry about,” Marchand said in March. “I don’t care about this. It’s a joke. It’s a small amount of money and pretty stupid. But it is what it is.”

The penalty during Sunday’s Game 5 was somewhat costly, as the Hedman penalty was set to negate a Tampa Bay power play. Instead, the Lightning continued their power play, forcing the Bruins to continue playing short-handed. The Lighting, though, did not score on the power play.

Later in the first period, David Krejci scored on a power play to give Boston a 1-0 lead. The Lightning eventually won, 3-1, ending Boston’s season.

Diving is always a matter of interpretation, and watching the replay, it appears as though the on-ice officials were only looking at the upper-body contact that Hedman was making on Marchand. Had they seen Hedman’s stick tangled up in Marchand’s skates, they may not have made such a call. Yet because it was No. 63 for Boston involved, the call became a little easier for them to make.

You can email Michael Hurley or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

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