Brad Marchand sounds off on the NHL’s concussion spotters

"The guy up there is busy eating cheeseburgers and pizza and can't watch the game. Maybe next time he'll pull his head out of his butt."

Brad Marchand (left) was pulled from the Bruins' game on Friday due to concussion protocol.

The Boston Bruins earned another thrilling come from behind win over the New York Rangers during their Black Friday matchup at TD Garden. Yet, the biggest takeaway didn’t come from a Charlie McAvoy fight, a stellar penalty kill or David Pastrnak continuing his historic pace following his two-point night.

Instead, the primary discussion following Boston’s 3-2 overtime victory involved Brad Marchand and his words for the NHL’s concussion spotters.

Marchand took a hit to the head area late in the second period. He went into the locker room for the intermission but didn’t report to concussion protocol during the 18-minute break between the second and third frames.

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Boston’s veteran top-line forward received accidental hit to the head in his very first shift of the final stanza. Unlike the first instance, the league’s concussion spotters lurked in their perch from the Level 9 press box, deemed that Marchand enter concussion protocol.

 

A visibly upset Marchand threw his stick onto the ice before heading down the tunnel. Marchand’s frustration with the concussion spotters continued with his postgame comments.

“They had 15-20 minutes to view the tape and call that in,” a groggy Marchand said during his media scrum inside Boston’s dressing room. “The guy up there is busy eating cheeseburgers and pizza and can’t watch the game. Maybe next time he’ll pull his head out of his butt.”

Of course, a player’s safety in a physical sport like hockey rightly provides concern for the National Hockey League. Yet, in front of a nationally televised audience, the league fumbled at their first chance to take Marchand out of the game.

“He gets hit at the end of the second period, and then they pull him at the start of the third,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I thought it was fairly evident when he was hit, and then they decide to do it at the start of the third. That’s the only explanation I got. I don’t know why they wouldn’t do it in between periods; there is an 18-minute intermission.

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“But, yes, to answer your question, he was (fine). He checked out fine. It’s a little frustrating for him especially when it happened at the end of the second period, so I didn’t like the timing of it at all.”

Marchand’s history of run-ins with the NHL’s front office has led to a handful of suspensions and other forms of supplementary discipline during his decade-long career. On Friday, the talented, but pesky winger had every reason to validate his frustrations after the league whiffed on another issue that took place right in front of their concussion spotters.