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Brad Marchand thinks Sam Bennett "got away with one" but says that's part of playoff hockey

Brad Marchand on Sam Bennett's controversial hit: "He got away with one"
Brad Marchand on Sam Bennett's controversial hit: "He got away with one" 03:50

BOSTON -- It certainly looks like Brad Marchand is nearing a return for the Boston Bruins. But hurdles remain before the Bruins captain can return to game action, leaving his status for Friday night's Game 6 against the Florida Panthers in question.

Marchand has missed the last two games of the Boston-Florida semifinal series after Sam Bennett delivered a controversial hit on the B's winger early in Game 3 last Friday night. Bennett not only checked Marchand, but hit him with a right hook to his head in the process. A dazed Marchand made his way to the Boston bench and remained in the game through the second period, but hasn't played since. 

Marchand practiced with the Bruins on Thursday in Brighton, skating alongside Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederick on Boston's second line. He was also out there with the first power-play unit with Coyle, David Pastrnak, Jake DeBrusk, and Charlie McAvoy.

After practice, Marchand said that he was hopeful he could return to the lineup Friday night. But Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said that his captain still has boxes to check, so we likely won't know if he'll be back in the lineup until shortly before the puck drops for Game 6.

As for the hit from Bennett, Marchand believes that the Florida forward got away with one. Had the angle that clearly showed Bennett delivered a punch to Marchand's head been released on Saturday and not prior to Sunday's Game 4, Marchand believes Bennett likely would have received some form of punishment from the NHL.

But as someone who has delivered his share of heavy (and occasionally questionable) hits over his career, Marchand isn't going to complain about it. Especially when the hit in question came during the NHL playoffs. 

"He plays hard. He's an extremely physical player and a great player for that group. I think he got away with a shot, but I'm not gonna complain. [Stuff] happens," said Marchand. "I've been on the other side of a lot of plays. I think he got away with one but that's part of the game and definitely part of playoff hockey. It sucks to be on the other side of it, but that stuff happens. So I'm not going to sit here and complain about it.  

"People don't want to say it, but part of playoffs is trying to hurt every player on the other team," Marchand added. "The more guys you take out, the more advantage your team has. People don't say that but that's just a fact of the game.

"Every time you step on the ice, someone is trying to hurt someone," he continued. "That's just how it goes in the playoffs."

When it comes to playoff hockey, Marchand said everyone has to be ready to do whatever it takes to beat the team on the other side.

"It's not soccer. It's not basketball. It's the hardest trophy to win. You're willing to sacrifice your body and willing to hurt other guys and do whatever it takes to win," he said. "If you don't like it, don't play in playoffs. 

"If I have to get hurt to win, or hurt someone to win, I don't care," said Marchand. "That's part of it. I'm not going to complain because if I'm him, I'm doing the same thing. That's the game, and that's how you win."

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