- With the 48-game season, and the Bruins in what would have been the second stretch of a normal campaign, Head Coach Claude Julien has said he's taking a "cautionary" approach to any bumps and bruises that come their way.
Dennis Seidenberg, for one, missed two games with a lower-body injury in January that he said he “definitely” could have been playing with if it was playoff time.
“Well you have to be [cautious] - I mean, it’s a short season with a lot of games in a short period of time, so you have to be smart about your little problems that you have going on," he had said.
So when Saturday night's game in Toronto was nearing the 6:30 mark of the second period - with the B's up 1-0 over the Maple Leafs thanks to Chris Bourque's first goal in the spoked-B - and Brad Marchand took a tough slide into the boards, it was the cautious approach that ensued.
After a clean, hard faceoff win by Patrice Bergeron in the B's zone, the puck went right onto the stick of Tyler Seguin, who pushed the puck up ice to Marchand racing down the left wing. No. 63 then cut towards the net, collided with Leafs' defenseman Mike Komisarek, got caught on James Reimer' right skate and was catapulted into the boards.
The puck had ended up bouncing off of Seguin's skate and into the back of the net, but it was deemed "no goal," as the referee was the in the process of whistling the play dead following the incidental contact between Marchand and Reimer.
Marchand was slow to get up, and cradled himself to the bench - he ended up taking a couple of shifts and then went to the dressing room.
“Yeah, he was,” Julien told media following the game, when asked if Marchand had been cleared to play following the collision in the second period, since he went back onto the ice. “I’m actually the one that looked at the clock, there wasn’t much time left and I said, let’s just wait until the period ends and let’s just evaluate you there because he wanted to keep going and it wasn’t to the point where he couldn’t play in a pinch.”
But after evaluation, Coach Julien and the B's staff determined that Marchand's recovery was most important, and the winger did not return for the rest of the game.
“It was a cautionary move on our part and instead of making the situation worse, we said let’s pull him back,” said Coach Julien. “We don’t want to lose players for long-term injuries by pushing through a minor one and we hope that after he gets re-evaluated and things settle down, that he’ll be better quickly.”
“But like I said, we don’t want to lose players long-term and so sometimes we’re being over cautious.”
In Marchand's absence (amidst the already absent Shawn Thornton and Dan Paille), Chris Bourque momentarily filled in on the second line with Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin - and then it was center Gregory Campbell who filled in on the wing.
"Yeah, what can you say, Marchy’s a tough guy to replace and I wasn’t trying to replace him. I was just trying to fill a void and help the team win," said Campbell sitting in his locker room stall at the ACC following the game. "To see Marchy hurt is not something – it’s not a good feeling for our team."
"We take pride in everybody being able to fill different roles in different spots and help the team win."
Campbell's season-high ice time had been 12:01 heading into Saturday night, and with the extra role asked of him, he ended the night with 14:21 in ice time, not to mention his contributions all over the ice, with two shots, two hits, one of the B's 22 blocked shots, and going 75-percent on the faceoff dot.
No. 11 was once again instrumental on the penalty kill Saturday, helping the B's kill off four penalties, especially at times early and late in the periods. He finished with 3:13 ice time on the PK, trailing only Zdeno Chara (3:46).
When Dennis Seidenberg was called for hooking wit 8:36 to go in the third period, Campbell first stickhandled with the puck in the right corner behind Reimer as time ticked off, and then later in the penalty kill, made a diving sweep to clear the puck - just two of the moments that Coach Julien noticed throughout the game.
"He played a really solid game for us and that’s what Gregory is capable of doing," said Coach Julien following the game. "He’s a very versatile player, he can play center, he can play the wing, he’ll block shots, he’ll do whatever it takes, and the more I finally get him in those situations, when you’re asking him to step up, he does a really good job."
The Bruins have the day off Sunday, but will return to the ice on Monday at Ristuccia at 10:30 a.m. - follow live updates from practice on Twitter @NHLBruins ^CS, as we'll hopefully have an update on Marchand's condition.