Was Brad Marchand sucker-punched by Panthers' Sam Bennett? Bruins believe 'there's clearly evidence' (2024)

Was Brad Marchand sucker-punched by Panthers' Sam Bennett? Bruins believe 'there's clearly evidence' (1)

By Fluto Shinzawa and Michael Russo

May 11, 2024

BRIGHTON, Mass. — Jim Montgomery did not see the first-shift collision in Game 3 between Brad Marchand and Sam Bennett when it happened. As such, the Boston Bruins coach did not notice anything out of the ordinary, save for the way his captain crumpled to the TD Garden ice.

But upon video review, the Bruins coach spotted something that referees Dan O’Rourke and Francois St. Laurent also failed to see.


“My eyes weren’t on the exact play,” Montgomery said after practice on Saturday at Warrior Ice Arena. “But having seen it, there’s a history there with Bennett. Hard player. But there’s clearly evidence of what went on. People can say it wasn’t intentional. We have our view of it.”

On the play, after getting rid of the puck at center ice, Bennett braces himself for a Marchand hit. In slow-motion clips, as Marchand tries to check Bennett, the Florida Panthers center appears to pop him with his right fist. Marchand’s head swings to the left upon impact.

“People can say it wasn’t intentional, but we have our view of it.”

Jim Montgomery‘s full comments on the Sam Bennett-Brad Marchand collision that injured the Bruins captain. pic.twitter.com/1sgAehh4QH

— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) May 11, 2024

Marchand looked groggy as he got to his skates and returned to the bench after the hit. He played through the injury for the rest of the first 40 minutes but did not return for the third period.

Marchand did not practice on Saturday. Montgomery classified the left wing as day to day.

During last year’s playoffs, Bennett was fined $5,000 for cross-checking the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Michael Bunting. In 2022, he was suspended for three games for hitting the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Cedric Paquette in the head.

“No, and I don’t think most of you would either,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said when asked if he saw Bennett punch Marchand. “It was just a collision. In a perfect world, every team has everybody healthy. Nobody likes to see anybody hurt.”

Bennett will not be fined for the hit Friday, legal or not, per league sources. The NHL’s Department of Player Safety reviewed the incident and discussed it Friday night but felt there was nothing to act on.

The incident could leave the Bruins down their captain and emotional accelerant for Game 4, though. Marchand leads the Bruins in scoring with three goals and 10 points through 10 games. He is averaging 18:04 of ice time per game, third-most among team forwards after David Pastrnak and Charlie Coyle. The Panthers have a 2-1 series lead after routing the Bruins in Game 3, 6-2.

GO DEEPERBrad Marchand hurt as Sam Bennett adds gasoline to already fiery Panthers-Bruins series

“You never want to see someone go down and not be able to come back,” said Coyle, Marchand’s center and penalty-killing partner. “Especially a guy who’s your leader and your best player. You want everyone to be healthy and everyone chipping in. But that’s an opportunity for guys to step up. We can do that. You see Toronto do that against us earlier with (Auston) Matthews out, them coming together and throwing together a couple good games without him.”


With Marchand unavailable, Montgomery executed major surgery on his lines in Saturday’s practice.

By moving Coyle to the third line, Montgomery is trying to counter Florida’s depth. Bennett, who made his series debut in Game 2, centered Florida’s second line. This allowed Maurice to use Anton Lundell as his No. 3 center. Bennett’s return rounded out the Panthers’ attack.

This is nothing new for the Panthers. Maurice may not have known how good the former Calgary Flames forward was before he arrived in Florida, but he learned quickly.

“He was in the three- and four-hole in Calgary at wing and center, and I didn’t see it,” Maurice said. “But what happened, before I got here, I watch all the playoff hockey after, I went, ‘Oh my God, this guy is a completely different player. … He plays hard all year.’ So when the playoffs come, there’s no different game. He’s not playing any harder last night than he was in November. So when it gets heavy and it gets hard, he doesn’t notice.”

This is the second straight postseason Bennett has impacted the Bruins-Panthers series after missing early action. Last year, the Bruins won Game 1 when Bennett was unavailable. He returned in Game 2 and scored the opening goal in the Panthers’ 6-3 win. The left-shot center is a prototypical Panther: speedy, skilled and brutish.

“He hits hard,” Carter Verhaeghe said. “He’s thick and a really tough guy. He knows how to time it. It’s definitely a huge skill how to time hits like that and get guys like that. There’s very few guys in the league like him that can do that. … Anytime you have him on your team … like if their D have the puck and they’re looking where he is, it makes them get rid of the puck faster. And it’s to our benefit.”

As for an offensive replacement for Marchand, Jake DeBrusk should be in line for more touches. DeBrusk potted one of the Bruins’ two Game 3 goals. With Pastrnak on his right flank, DeBrusk should get more available ice as the Panthers train their sights on No. 88.


“Jake was being intense on pucks, coming up on loose pucks,” said Montgomery. “As I thought Pasta was. I thought (Morgan) Geekie was working. Just putting those three guys together, which just happened kind of organically because Marshy wasn’t there.”

Danton Heinen, unavailable for the first three games because of an undisclosed injury, could return in Game 4.

“So it’s just an opportunity for us,” Coyle said of being without Marchand. “I think you’ll see guys taking on more responsibility and opportunity and rise to that occasion. We do it together. We want to play for guys who are out of the lineup, can’t be in there and wish can be in there. That’s how we play out there. We play for each other. That’s something we’re going to do tomorrow.”

(Top photo: Winslow Townson / USA Today)

Was Brad Marchand sucker-punched by Panthers' Sam Bennett? Bruins believe 'there's clearly evidence' (2024)


Was Brad Marchand sucker-punched by Panthers' Sam Bennett? Bruins believe 'there's clearly evidence'? ›

No, and I don't think most of you would either,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said when asked if he saw Bennett punch Marchand. “It was just a collision. In a perfect world, every team has everybody healthy.

What round was Brad Marchand picked? ›

Bradley Kevin Marchand (/mɑːrˈʃænd/ mahr-SHAND; born May 11, 1988) is a Canadian professional ice hockey left winger and captain of the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Bruins selected Marchand in the third round, 71st overall, of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

How many Stanley Cups does Brad Marchand have? ›

Brad Marchand has played 15 seasons for the Bruins. He has 401 goals, 528 assists and a plus-minus of +292 in 1,029 games. He has won 1 Stanley Cup.

How many points did Brad Marchand have? ›

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Why does Marchand wear 63? ›

Marchand was drafted in 2006 and taken in the third round at the 71st overall pick. He was given the number 63 because of this combination of numbers. The Halifax native had always worn 17, but he wasn't going to get the number from Milan Lucic. Marchand decided to stay with the number and it's been a great number.

How heavy is Brad Marchand? ›

How much does Brad Marchand make a year? ›

Does Brad Marchand have a twin brother? ›

Who is 63 on the Bruins? ›

Official Instagram Boston Bruins Brad Marchand #63 forward.

Who is the oldest player in the NHL? ›


Mark Giordano is skating in his 18th NHL season, beginning his career at 22 with the Calgary Flames in 2005-06. As the oldest player in the NHL today, Giordano has only skated in 24 games this year, missing some time due to injury. Overall, he's netted over 570 points in 1,120+ career games.

What nationality is the last name Marchand? ›

Marchand (French pronunciation: [maʁʃɑ̃]) is a frequent surname in France, in Quebec, and in Louisiana. (French word for merchant). It is sometimes anglicized to "Merchant", "Marchant", or "Merchand", all with similar pronunciations to Marchand.

What size is Connor Bedard? ›

Connor Bedard
Bedard with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2023
BornJuly 17, 2005 North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
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How long has Marchand been a Bruin? ›

Brad Marchand has played 15 years for the Bruins in his career.
Brad Marchand12020-21
Brad Marchand12021-22
Brad Marchand12022-23
Brad Marchand12023-24
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Who has won the most Stanley Cups? ›

Having lifted the trophy a total of 24 times, the Montreal Canadiens are the team with more Stanley Cup titles than any other franchise. Founded in 1909, the Canadiens are the longest continuously operating professional ice hockey team and the only existing NHL club to predate the founding of the NHL itself.

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