BOSTON — If it were any other player, maybe the hit that took out Anthony Duclair would have been looked at as an unfortunate accident. But it wasn’t any other player, it was Boston’s Brad Marchand — a star player with a long history of walking the line between annoying and dirty.
Marchand clotheslined Duclair early in the first period Saturday night, and Duclair’s foot got caught underneath him, wrenching his right knee as he crashed to the ice. Duclair was on the ice for a couple of minutes and put no weight on his right foot as he was helped off the ice by Patrick Sharp and head athletic trainer Mike Gapski.
Joel Quenneville said Duclair will miss a week or two, so it wasn’t as bad as it initially appeared.
“I think it was a dirty play,” Blackhawks defenseman Erik Gustafsson said. “I think Marchand sees him coming, and I don’t know if he did it on purpose or not, but Duclair got stuck in his feet when he hit the ice. Looked pretty bad.”
A league source said not to expect any supplemental discipline for Marchand, because the contact was deemed accidental. Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said it was two guys “trying like hell” to avoid each other. Marchand was given a minor penalty for interference. Adding insult to injury, the Bruins scored a shorthanded goal during the penalty.
No Hawks players went after Marchand after the hit, but Quenneville said that was because the hit happened behind the play, and the players on the ice weren’t sure what had happened and how Duclair was injured.
“Some people might have thought it was a different kind of play because of the way the injury was not part of the play,” Quenneville said. “I didn’t think too much of it.”
Marchand has been suspended six times in his career, including a five-game ban earlier this year for elbowing Devils forward Marcus Johansson.