Bruins’ Brad Marchand Injured on Sam Bennett’s Sucker Punch

Boston Bruins captain Brad Marchand left Game 3 and it's possible Panthers' Sam Bennett punched him in the head.

Getty Boston Bruins captain Brad Marchand left Game 3 and it's possible Panthers' Sam Bennett punched him in the head.

The Boston Bruins lost Game 3 by a score of 6-2 to the Florida Panthers on Friday, May 10, but they might have lost something even more important going forward.

Bruins captain Brad Marchand was absent from the Saturday, May 11, practice. Head coach Jim Montgomery confirmed his forward is “day-to-day” with an “upper-body injury,” via Ty Anderson of 98.5 The Sports Hub.

On top of that, Montgomery expanded on his thoughts about what happened to Marchand in Game 3. The captain was forced out of the game early after a collision with Florida Panthers’ Sam Bennett occurred in the first period.

“In real-time, my eyes weren’t on there. Having seen it, there’s a history there with Bennett,” Montgomery said on Saturday, via Ty Anderson (the statement has been confirmed by other journalists including ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski). “There’s clearly evidence of what went on.”

Following Saturday’s practice and Jim Montgomery’s comments, David Pagnotta reported on May 11 that the NHL won’t suspend or discipline Bennett for the hit.

Did Sam Bennett Deliver a Punch on Brad Marchand’s Head?

Initially, not many were aware of what had happened on the ice in the action between Marchand and Bennett. Both collided in a heavy hit that made the Bruins captain fall to the ice.

In a story published on the morning of May 11 on Heavy reporting on Jim Montgomery’s postgame comments and taking the blame for the loss, Marchand’s injury was discussed briefly.

Further analysis of the hit footage has revealed the probable truth of what happened on the ice between Marchand and Bennett. It has led to Montgomery’s comments about Bennett’s “history” and the “evidence of what went on.”

X user @to_do_82 shared a slow-motion clip of the hit delivered by Bennett approaching midnight ET on May 10.

Paying close attention, Bennett’s right arm and hand clearly make contact and impact Marchand’s head on its right side. Marchand’s head consequently turns violently to its left, in which could have caused the captain of the Bruins a concussion.

Looking at the play in real-time, as coach Montgomery said, the speed at which the action took place act made most observers take it as a simple natural, body-on-body collision with Bennett’s shoulder and back.

The reverse angle shown during TNT’s broadcast of Game 3 seems to confirm the punch theory. It can be seen how the shoulder and back of Bennett barely impact Marchand. The gloved right hand, however, makes contact with his head.

Brad Marchand Out Day-To-Day, Could Miss More Games

Marchand returned to the game after getting some treatment on the bench. He skated during the first and second periods of the Game 3 loss to the Panthers.

The captain, however, was ruled out by the Bruins for the full third period. He didn’t return during the final stanza. Marchand finished Game 3 with 10:51 TOI over 15 shifts. He completed 4 hits but scored no points on the day.

Montgomery didn’t rule out Marchand’s return for Game 4 in his post-practice press conference on May 11. However, he reported his “day-to-day” status. Marchand, for what’s worth, wasn’t a participant in Saturday’s skate, via Ty Anderson.

If Marchand has suffered a concussion, he could miss around “a week or two,” according to a study from Pure Hockey.

Marchand would need to clear a concussion protocol before returning to the ice. That means he could be ruled out for the remainder of the second-round series spanning from Game 4 on Sunday, May 12, through (if needed) Game 7 scheduled for May 18.

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