Yesterday, Boston coach Claude Julien defended Brad Marchand’s decision to hit Sami Salo low during the Canucks-Bruins game at TD Garden.
“We all have our opinions with what is going on with the game and the hits and everything else,” said Julien. “All I’m going to tell you is that, I have always told my players that they need to protect themselves. The last thing I want my players to do is to get hit and then end up with a concussion, and they have to protect themselves.”
Today, Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault told reporters what he thought of Julien’s take.
“That’s a stupid comment,” Vigneault said, as per the Vancouver Province. “What Marchand did there, you could end a player’s career doing that and I’ve never seen Sami Salo take a run at any player in the NHL. All I’ve seen Sami Salo do is play with integrity and play the right way.
“Marchand — this is just my feeling on this — someday he’s going to get it. Somebody is going to say enough is enough and they’re going to hurt the kid, because he plays to hurt players and in my mind if the league doesn’t take care of it, somebody else will.
“Sometimes it takes the league time to figure things out and there’s a difference between a good hip check when the player is coming down on you one-on-one with the puck and what we saw Marchand do with his definite attempt to injure. Something needs to happen.”
Meanwhile, Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard had a message for anyone who might try to compare his signature hip checks to what Marchand did to Salo.
“Normally when I do that, the guy has the puck and the guy is coming down on me and trying to beat me,” Ballard said. “There is a difference and anybody who says there’s not a difference is an idiot.”