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No fine or suspension for little clipper Marchand

Feb 16, 2012, 4:05 PM EDT

Boston’s Brad Marchand will not face supplementary discipline for clipping Montreal’s Alexei Emelin last night at the Bell Center.

“Like all penalties on the ice, not all ‘clips’ rise to the level of supplemental discipline,” tweeted Senior VP Player Safety Brendan Shanahan. The “check by Marchand was delivered to the upper thigh/hip and not the knee area. We don’t like it, but not [supplemental discipline].”

Marchand, of course, received a five-game suspension for clipping Vancouver’s Sami Salo on Jan. 7. The Canucks’ defenseman suffered a concussion on the play and missed some games as a result.

Emelin, on the other hand, was not injured, and that likely factored into Shanahan’s ruling.

Anyway, I don’t know about you guys, but I’d love the league to clarify the clipping rule sometime soon.

Here’s how it’s currently described:

44.1 Clipping – Clipping is the act of throwing the body, from any direction, across or below the knees of an opponent.

A player may not deliver a check in a “clipping” manner, nor lower his own body position to deliver a check on or below an opponent’s knees.

An illegal “low hit” is a check that is delivered by a player or goalkeeper who may or may not have both skates on the ice, with his sole intent to check the opponent in the area of his knees. A player may not lower his body position to deliver a check to an opponent’s knees.

So let’s take a closer look at two examples:


In my opinion, Marchand’s hit on Salo was across the knees (thus illegal), though I’m fairly certain it wasn’t below the knees. There will be those who say it was slightly above the knees while admitting it was a garbage play, and there will be those who say it was slightly above the knees, so why should Marchand be penalized?

I wouldn’t vehemently argue with any of the above opinions. It’s too close to call with absolute certainty.

I have a bigger problem when a player like Keith Ballard gets called for clipping when, according to the rulebook, it’s blatantly not clipping.


Unless the upper thigh is part of the knee in the NHL.

  1. 2dollarpbrs - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    How is one a penalty & the other not?? I am confused~~

  2. anotheryx - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Just guessing there could be some intent part to it.
    “A player may not deliver a check in a “clipping” manner, nor lower his own body position to deliver a check on or below an opponent’s knees.”

    Marchand kind of delivered the check in that manner, but he missed, which might (and might not) relate to the penalty / no suspension.

  3. loinstache - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Probably not worth a suspension, but definitely worth adding another footnote to his file.

    And I agree Jason, there have been some absolutely terrible calls (in players getting called for even the slightest of hip-checks) every since clipping became a larger issue. It’s infuriating that hot topics influence referring so obviously.

  4. ruddigervancity - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    I haven’t considered the thigh to be a part of the knee since the days of bragging to my buddies in high school. HIYOOOOOO!!!!

  5. homelanddefense - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    personally I think the hit on Salo was LESS of a clip then the one last night.

  6. crusty14 - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Loincloth, if it’s not worthy of a suspension, or worthy of a penalty in-game, there should be no reason for it to be held against him in the future, as a “note” in his file.

  7. vismund11 - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Brad Marchand is such a scum.

  8. patsbruin1021 - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    It’s not a clip Marchand is short look at any tall player make a hip check bends the body the same way( see Johnny Boychuck)

    • elvispocomo - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:23 PM

      That puts all the more onus on Marchand to make sure he delivers a clean check.

      Compare that to Chara: do you not think he realizes that at 6’9″ he can’t go in with his arms up or straight up and down when he comes at a player shorter than him (which is pretty much everybody)? Chara adjusts his hits accordingly to avoid headshots and elbows.

      Marchand has to do the same to avoid clipping a player at the knees, particularly when he tries to use his ‘not really a hip check’ hip check.

  9. crusty14 - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    I agree the Ballard call, by rule is not clipping, but by the picture shown he is crouching down and delivering a hit to the knee area (as per shanny). There definitely is some grey area here for Shanny to judge what deems an illegal hit.

    • loinstache - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:17 PM

      In that play Ballard’s didn’t even hit him with the hip, he got him with his shoulder. It was a trashy call that the furthest referee made. This is just one incident, I’ve noticed the call being made a lot more frequently in the games I’ve watched.

  10. fthepens - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    the Boston Teabaggers will never be in hot water…Lurch runs a players head into the glass with an elbow and doesnt even get a penalty, but gets pissed when thier fans applaud him getting hurt. F him and the Teabaggers.

  11. bigtganks - Feb 16, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    Full disclosure… huge Canucks fan, obviously hate the Bruins and Marchand,… BUT…

    it’s apparent it’s all about OUTCOME and not intent.

    Had Marchand torn Emelin’s ACL or something, and Salo hopped right up, he woulda been suspended for this infraction and not the last. So if we’re all looking for consistent rulings, it’s about the outcome, not the intent. (sadly IMO)

    • elvispocomo - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:26 PM

      I disagree, I felt the Salo hit was clearly at (or at least around) the knees, where the one on Emelin was higher up and around the thigh. it might only be 8-10 inches difference but it matters in regards to potential for injury.

      • bigtganks - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:29 PM

        Yah, I’m just saying that the NHL for the most part seems to be fining if someone was injured as well. But say Emelin tore his ACL (which looked like he could have on the hit). Do you really think Marchand wouldn’t have been suspended at all?

      • elvispocomo - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:36 PM

        Oh sure, that factors into the weight of the suspension (I don’t necessarily agree with that, a bad play is a bad play, regardless of if it results in injury) and perhaps even if there is a suspension or just a fine on borderline calls. The act itself and repeat offender certainly make up a majority of the decision making though.

  12. jdubs21 - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Marchand throws/dives himself at players legs, Ballard turns his body and throws a hip check. I don’t know why a hip check should be classified as clipping, if you are using your hip? When you lead with your shoulder into a guys knees or legs, tat’s clipping.

    One thing I don’t understand is, why when Marchand does this, doesn’t another player instantly go after him and beat the crap out of the little puke. Is the 2 min instigator penatly that much of a threat that a team like the Canucks or the Canadians with a top penalty kill can’t kill it off? I’m a Canucks fan and I was totally pissed off that none of the Canucks went after Marchand right away when Salo was injured.

    • bruins33 - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:26 PM

      Bruins always back each other up #OldTimeHockey

      • elvispocomo - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:37 PM

        And you can see evidence of that every time Marchand makes a stupid play, Chara (as in the Salo check) or someone like him is always first there to make sure no one gets a shot at him.

        You’d think it’d be easier to just have Marchand stop doing stupid things, no?

      • bruins33 - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:58 PM

        As a Bruins fan I love seeing our teammates stand up for each other, so no I prefer for Marchand to continue to play hard and aggressive and for every Bruin to have his back and to support his style of play (which tends to make a lot of people upset).

      • jdubs21 - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:48 PM

        You do realize that your definition of old time hockey, was close to 40 years ago. The Bruins are nothing more than a cheap shot team. If you think that’s how hockey is supposed to be played, then you are in the minority.

        There’s a reason that there is a rulebook in the NHL, no one wants to see the players we cheer for getting hurt. Players are bigger, stronger and faster than they used to be when you think of “old time hockey”. If everyone played like that nowadays, someone would be killed.

        It’s no wonder that the Bruins are now the most hated team in the league.

      • bruins33 - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:54 AM

        Bruins are nothing more than a cheap shot team? That’s how they won the Stanley Cup last year and how they’re second in the east? — Just cheap shotting their way to the top.

        I think what you mean by “cheap shotting” is fore-checking hard, keeping the pressure on, and playing physical, defensive hockey.

        When I say Old Time Hockey I’m referring to how the Bruins aren’t a bunch of sell out pre-madonna’s, who play one side of the ice, and dive all over the ice looking for call’s like Subban, the Sedin sisters, and Lapierre.

        My impression of what you are trying to say is that it’s not possible to play “Old Time Hockey” any more within modern day NHL rules which to some extent is true, but this is Ice Hockey, a contact sport, something that hasn’t changed. One of the Bruins strengths is their teamwork and physical, defensive play which I like to refer to as old time hockey.

        Marchand makes a lot of people mad, to some extent that is part of his game, but there are players like that on every time in the NHL, so don’t single out the Bruins and call them a “cheap shot team” when that just isn’t true.

        I don’t understand why one wouldn’t like the B’s, they are a classy, hard working hockey team.
        If the Bruins are the most hated team in the league because Chara is a 6’9” beast who uses his strengths to his advantage and because Marchand agitates some people, I don’t care, so be it. Love watching the Bruins play the type of the hockey they do.

        And I think it’s an actual fact that Vancouver is the most hated team in the league.

      • elvispocomo - Feb 17, 2012 at 11:55 AM

        The Bruins certainly have a style that tends towards an ‘enforcement’ type of physicality, since they aren’t really a team that hits a lot. You have to agree with that.

        It’s also telling in your response how little you actually know about other teams and players when you start putting statements out like, “the Bruins aren’t a bunch of sell out pre-madonna’s, who play one side of the ice, and dive all over the ice looking for call’s like Subban, the Sedin sisters, and Lapierre.” Or maybe something like, “I don’t understand why one wouldn’t like the B’s, they are a classy, hard working hockey team. If the Bruins are the most hated team in the league … because Marchand agitates some people,” or, “I think it’s an actual fact that Vancouver is the most hated team in the league.”

        All those statements do is prove you have blinders on when it comes to what your own team does yet you see the worst (even if it’s not true) in others. Calling the Sedin’s ‘sisters’, or disliking Lapierre for agitating but lauding Marchand for the same thing, or claiming factual knowledge (any proof of that?) of a situation you only see from your perspective is why Boston has a healthy following of people that hate them. It’s a shame since I used to have them as my second favourite team back when they had the very classy Ray Bourque running the show.

        If you don’t believe the Bruins are just as guilty of all the things you claim other teams do, then feel free to let us know. We’d be happy to share youtube videos of all the things your pristine Bruins never do. On that note, I’ll remind you of Thornton – possibly the best tough guy in the league who can actually play – diving like a prima donna (although I guess comparing him to a pop singer from before Madonna’s time works too) in last night’s game. Here’s a video of your beloved Marchand doing the same thing as well:

      • bruins33 - Feb 17, 2012 at 6:03 PM

        Agree to disagree, I don’t think the Bruins style of play has changed sense Ray Bourque was in office.

        Side note – If you think that was a dive from Thornton you are further proving that you’re delusional. So now when someone falls down from a hard hit it’s a dive? We have different idea’s of what a dive is if you think that was one.

      • bruins33 - Feb 17, 2012 at 9:01 PM

        and seriously though. everyone hates Vancouver, it is a fact. (Canada included)

    • elvispocomo - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:33 PM

      Clipping can certainly include hip checks if you get low enough. It doesn’t matter what obdy part you use if the primary contact is at or below the knees. Same idea with headshots, it doesn’t matter if it was your shoulder that hit him instead of your elbow, since it’s still primary contact to the head.

      • jdubs21 - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:36 PM

        Ya, but generally if you get low enough with the hip to take out the knees your face is going to be dragging on the ice. Pretty tough to bend down and get low enough (under 2.5 – 3 feet) for a hip check to be a clip.

      • elvispocomo - Feb 17, 2012 at 12:01 PM

        Well, if you’re leading with your hip, you don’t have to have your shoulders lower. When a clip does happen on an actual hip check, it’s usually because the hitter’s knees are way too bent and their hips drop too far below their shoulders.

  13. elvispocomo - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    For anyone interested (or perhaps anyone still confused about when it’s clipping versus not) I wrote a guide comparing Marchand’s hit on Salo with Hamhuis’ hit on Lucic from the SCF. After Marchand’s Salo hit, people were saying a lot how they felt it wouldn’t be an issue since Ballard and Hamhuis do the same thing. If you still think that, then you might need to read this:

  14. itsallniceonice - Feb 16, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    What I want to know is where the hell the fine is for Eller blatantly smashing Krejci in the face with his stick?

    • bruins33 - Feb 16, 2012 at 6:02 PM

      That was messed up. I have no idea what Eller was attempting there; he wasn’t even attempting to lift Krejci’s stick, just a straight slash to the face. Forget about Marchand’s “clip” suspend Eller.

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