Brad Marchand has been suspended two games for his elbow to the head of Blue Jackets winger R.J. Umberger Tuesday night, Bruins reporter Fluto Shinzawa has confirmed.
“I understand where the league’s coming from,” Marchand said. “They really want to crack down on head hits right now. Obviously I’m disappointed to have to miss a couple games. It’s always frustrating when you have to watch your team play. But I understand why. The biggest thing is to regroup and make sure I’m ready for when I can get back in action.”
Marchand was not penalized at the time of the hit, but Umberger criticized him following the game, which the Bruins won 3-2 in a shootout. Umberger was not injured.
The NHL’s Rule 48 allows the league to impose supplementary discipline for blind-side hits or hits targeting the head.
Marchand will forego $6,330.64 in salary. Marchand will be eligible to play next Tuesday against New Jersey at TD Garden.
Suspending players for blindside hits is meant to deter head shots. Marchand said he will not change his feisty approach because of the suspension.
“You go out there and you can’t let it change your game,” said Marchand. “That’s how I’ve had to play to get here. That’s how I have to play to stay here. If I start changing things, then maybe I won’t be as effective. It happens. It’s hockey. That stuff happens. It’s a competitive sport. It’s always going to happen. There’s always going to be hits to the head, especially with how fast guys are, how big and strong they are, how physical they are. It’s always going to be there. The biggest thing is that you can’t be taking cheap shots. I think that’s where you’ve got to draw the line. But it’s not going to affect my game.”