There’s history between Brad Marchand and Lars Eller. Back on opening night, when Eller’s Capitals played against Marchand’s Bruins, Marchand took exception to Eller’s celly for a 7-0 lead and landed a few haymakers.
The two teams met for the first time since that incident on Thursday night, and quite understandably, Eller tried to goad Marchand into a fight. No dice, though, as Marchand refused to drop his gloves.
Why? Well, he had a simple reason for reporters after the game.
Technically, he isn’t wrong. It makes no sense for a team to lose one of its top goal scorers in a fight with a third-liner — but to fact-check Marchand’s quote, Eller is actually playing just a tick under 17 minutes per game, not “10-12.” It would still be wrong to say that they’re of equal importance to their teams, but, you know, there’s a pretty significant difference there, too.
With that said, Marchand has a particular reputation in the NHL for his history of getting mixed up in things like these, so you can decide for yourself if you’re accepting his motive to opt out of Eller’s challenge.