Bruins' Brad Marchand suspended 5 games for elbowing Devils' Marcus Johansson
It's the Bruins winger's sixth suspension since 2011
The Bruins will be missing a member of their top line -- and maybe the best line in all of hockey -- for the next handful of games.
This latest suspension comes as a result of an incident Tuesday night in Boston that saw Marchand deliver an elbow to the head of Devils forward Marcus Johansson late in the third period. Johansson had to be helped off the ice after the blow to the head and Wednesday it was announced that he suffered his second concussion of the season.
Marchand argued that he was bracing for contact from Johansson as he tried to close in on a rebound -- a claim that the DoPS was willing to accept -- but he wound up initiating the contact and did so in a dangerous manner.
The league's disciplinary committee usually factors in extent of the damage done on incidents like this, so the fact that Johansson suffered a concussion likely didn't help Marchand's case. Also not helping Marchand's case is the fact that he's a repeat offender with a reputation of being a dirty player. The Bruins winger has been suspended five prior times (and fined three times) since 2011, with his most recent ban coming in April 2017.
Now the Bruins, who are on a 17-game point streak, will be forced to forge on without their lone All-Star. (Marchand is still expected to compete in this weekend's All-Star Game despite the suspension.) Marchand's 21 goals and 50 points lead the Bruins, though his linemates -- Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak -- aren't far behind with 20 goals apiece. The Bruins are the only team in the league with three 20-goal scorers.
Rookie winger Anders Bjork is expected to be called up from the Bruins' AHL affiliate while Marchand is out of the lineup.
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