The Washington Capitals are not happy with the Bruins' Brad Marchand for fighting Lars Eller While the Bruins' vets let Eller know that they didn't appreciate him skating by their bench with words, Marchand took matters into his own hands by fighting Eller in front of the Bruins' net. He kind of jumped Eller, however, and Eller didn't get much of a chance to turn down his first career fight.
Unsurprisingly, Eller lost. It's not exactly Marchand's first scrap, after all. After the game, some Capitals veterans spoke out against Marchand, who left Eller bloodied with a few serious punches to the skull.
"I understand why they were frustrated at Lars there," T.J. Oshie said, via NBC Sports. "But you go up to a guy and you ask him to fight and if he doesn't ... It's a long season. We play them a lot of times. They could have handled that differently."
Marchand said there was no time to exchange such pleasantries.
"His celebration was unnecessary," Marchand said. "He took an angle in front of our bench and celebrated in a 7-0 game. So I just let him know."
"[The NHL] set the standards, they want to get the dirty stuff out of the game," he said, per NBC Sports. "Which I think at least Tom's play was on the ice and he was hitting the guy that had the puck milliseconds before. And then you see tonight the sucker punches that Lars took in ... Marchand has a history, and we trust that they'll do what they're supposed to do and take care of business."
Of course, the NHL has a different view of retaliatory fights than blind side hits. But given the perception that Eller was jumped and Marchand has been suspended five times in his career, it's understandable that the Capitals want action taken. To be frank, it's unlikely Marchand will be suspended for this at all, but he may have a fine come his way. Contrary to what Oshie seems to believe, the NHL is much harder on on-ice plays, since decking someone at game speed is different from punching them in the head.
When Capitals coach Todd Reirden was asked about punishment, he simply said: "We'll let other people take care of that."
If the Capitals want the NHL to make an example out of Marchand, they may have to wait until next week when Marchand does something else. Even if the fight was premature, it was handled on the ice. According to the "fisticuffs" section of the rulebook, aka the best section, it takes three aggressor violations to get a two-game suspension. Given that this was the first game of the season, Marchand may find himself skating free for the time being.