Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand has been suspended two games by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for a dangerous slew foot on Rangers center Derick Brassard. The play happened during a Rangers’ power play with 5:23 to go in the second period. There was no penalty was called on the play by referees Justin St. Pierre and Chris Lee.
Brassard called out Marchand for the hit after the game.
“Yeah, [I felt it was dirty],” Brassard said. “You go in the corner with him and you go shoulder-to-shoulder, but he brings his leg in the back. I felt I got a slew-foot there. Like I said, I don’t want to find any excuses about it or I don’t want to be a crybaby or anything, but it could be dangerous and it could have been a game-changer. It could have been a 5-on-3 and we probably could have been back in the game, but the referee said it was a clean hit, I guess.”
“The way I fell on the ice, maybe I could have missed the rest of the season if I’d have hurt my knee there,’ he said. “I’m lucky enough there. Marchand’s a pretty good player. He’s feisty, he competes hard, but those kind of things we don’t want in our game.”
Marchand’s been suspended before. Back in 2012, he missed five games for clipping Vancouver Canucks defenseman Sami Salo. He’s also been fined by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for slew-footing Matt Niskanen back in 2011.
“I suspect he’ll get a suspension this time around,” said former NHL referee Paul Stewart. “Due to the players’ dangerous proximity to the boards, Marchand’s slew foot on Brassard was even worse than the one that justifiably got Dallas’ Ryan Garbutt suspended for three games just a few weeks ago.”
In the NHL rulebook, slew-footing is pretty straightforward.
52.1 Slew-footing – Slew-footing is the act of a player using his leg or foot to knock or kick an opponent’s feet from under him, or pushes an opponent’s upper body backward with an arm or elbow, and at the same time with a forward motion of his leg, knocks or kicks the opponent’s feet from under him, causing him to fall violently to the ice.
There’s no minor or major. A slew-foot automatically gets you a match penalty. Unless, of course, the officials miss the infraction.
Marchand’s hit was the textbook definition of slewfooting (though NESN’s Jack Edwards unsurprisingly disagreed), even in comparison to the league’s own examples of their standard for a slew-foot. As a matter of fact, check out who they used as an example right around the 2:06 mark:
We’ve had one slew-footing suspension so far this year, which saw Stars’ forward Ryan Garbutt suspended for three games. Marchand is now the second.