Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand appeared to be on the receiving end of a knee-on-knee hit courtesy Detroit Red Wings defenceman Brendan Smith in the second period of Game 3 of their opening-round series Tuesday.
Marchand took a tumble and needed help to get off the ice.
… He favoured his other leg on his way to the dressing room. That led to speculation he was feigning injury.
So what really happened?
According to Marchand, he tweaked his right knee while falling over.
“I twisted it when I landed there,” he told WEEI.com. “It kind of felt like a pop, and my leg was tingling a bit. I just wanted to make sure it was OK and moving right.”
If you look closely, Smith’s knee may not have made contact with Marchand’s at all. The B’s winger was tripped by Smith’s stick, but Marchand may have tucked in his leg at the last moment to avoid injury.
“I even said that to the ref after when he asked what happened,” Marchand said. “I just tried to jump around him and he clipped me a little bit, but it was just more how I landed, so it was the right call.”
So, this may not have been a case of embellishment after all, something Marchand has a reputation for. He also returned to the game shortly afterward.
Smith received a minor penalty for tripping and nothing more. As it should have been.
Marchand also took time to take a shot at his doubters.
Marchand on twitter crowd doubting legitimacy of his pain after collision w/Brendan Smith: “Thats why they’re on twitter and I’m in the NHL”