On Monday, former Capital Marcus Johansson returned to Devils practice for the first time since being elbowed in the head by Brad Marchand. Johansson has missed the last 28 games due to injury while Marchand was suspended five games for his actions.
Johansson called the hit “stupid,” and hoped that Marchand would change his game before he ends someone’s career.
Tuesday, Marchand had to a chance to respond after practice and here’s what he had to say.
Brad Marchand responds to Marcus Johansson's comments about the hit, and says he's happy to see him back on the ice. pic.twitter.com/XZDBPf4bSY
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 27, 2018
Yesterday, Marcus Johansson made some comments after his first practice back since being injured. He said he doesn’t think there’s a place for someone being out there trying to hurt other guys.
Brad Marchand: “It’s great to see him back. He’s a great player. It’s very unfortunate what happened. I’m very happy to see him back on the ice and hopefully he’s in a game soon.”
Did it bother you hearing something like that?
Brad Marchand: “He’s entitled to his opinion. I understand that he’s frustrated with the situation. I would be as well. I feel really bad about how things played out, but again, [I’m] very happy to see him out on the ice and hopefully he’s playing soon.”
At no point does Marchand take responsibility for the elbow that took away more than a quarter of Johansson’s season. Marchand’s strongest words about the situation is that he feels “really bad about how things played out,” but that comment focuses on Johansson’s subsequent injury and not the action that landed the Swedish forward on the IR in the first place.
While it’s great Marchand is happy about Johansson’s health improving, I think he could have said more here. What do you think?