Boston Bruins star Brad Marchand had harsh words after NHL concussion spotters pulled him out of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers in the third period — several minutes after the hit that concerned them had occurred.
Marchand, 31, collided with Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba at the end of the second period and left the ice, looking dazed. But the league’s spotters did not pull him from play until the teams returned for the third period at TD Garden — prompting Marchand to call them “embarrassing” after the game.
“They had 30 minutes, 20 minutes to sit there and view the tape and call that in,” Marchand said via Conor Ryan. “But they made me come out in a 2-1 game as we’re starting to get momentum.”
“The guy up there is busy eating pizza and cheeseburgers and can’t watch the game,” he added. “Maybe next time he’ll pull his head out of his butt and watch the game.”
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy also appeared unhappy with the concussion spotters’ decision to not check Marchand during the intermission. He noted the league wants to showcase its best players on the ice with Friday’s nationally televised game — not take them off it unnecessarily.
“I thought it was fairly evident when he got hit and they decided to do it at the start of the third,” Cassidy told reporters. “That’s the only explanation I got. I don’t know why they wouldn’t do it between periods — there’s an 18-minute intermission.”
Marchand returned to the game cleared to play but did not factor into Boston’s 3-2 overtime win on Black Friday. The Bruins earned their 18th win of the season with the victory.