The Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins renewed hostilities Thursday for the first time since opening night and once again the two players everyone was talking about after the game were Brad Marchand and Lars Eller.
Eller received a roughing minor midway through the second period of Washington’s 4-2 victory when he attempted to initiate a fight with Marchand, who was unwilling to engage in fisticuffs.
“He obviously didn’t want any part of it. Everybody saw,” Eller told reporters at TD Garden following the game. “I would’ve rather fought him, but you can’t fight a guy that doesn’t want to fight. I mean, everybody saw what he is. I don’t know what else to say. We got out of here with two points. We got what we wanted. I don’t think there’s a lot of integrity in his game.”
“He plays, you know, maybe 10, 12 minutes a night and I’m playing 20, so in a 1-0 game, to go on the power play, it doesn’t make a lot of sense, so that’s the way it is,” Marchand said Thursday in response to Eller. “I will not concern myself at all with his views or his opinions. I’m not even going to engage in this battle because it means absolutely nothing to me. So that’s Lars’ views and he’s entitled to that,” Marchand said.
It was supposed to be retribution for when Marchand jumped an unsuspecting Eller and began throwing punches before the Dane could even drop his gloves in their initial meeting in October.
Marchand’s actions at the time were a response to the way Eller celebrated Washington’s seventh goal of the night in a 7-0 drubbing—a game Capitals enforcer Tom Wilson wasn’t able to suit up for as he was serving a suspension at the time.
Eller wasn’t the only Capitals player disappointed that Marchand refused the would-be rematch.
“I was a little let down that Marchand didn’t drop his gloves since the other way Lars got jumped,” T.J. Oshie added. “But I don’t know the guy, so you can take away from that and speculate however you’d like.”
The Bruins and Capitals next play one another on Feb. 3 in a matinee in Washington.