If you look up the word “ambush” in the Oxford dictionary, its definition reads as follows: “A surprise attack by people lying in wait.”
However, despite the covert nature of Marchand’s attack on Eller, there are those among the hockey world who believe he did the right thing as Eller broke an unwritten rule with the way he celebrated his goal – the seventh of the Capitals’ night – and then chirped the Bruins’ bench afterwards.
Don Cherry, at the very least, agrees with the way Marchand did things.
“Lars Eller, seventh goal and makes this [little gesture to the crowd],” Cherry said during Hockey Night in Canada Saturday as a replay of the Eller goal is shown. “He goes by the bench because he think he’s getting away with this on the seventh goal and then he yaps about it after.
“Watch Marchand from Halifax – a great guy – does he ever give him the shot. Five-foot-nine, the other guy’s six-foot-three. You notice the linesmen are letting it go a little bit because they don’t like it, either. Got him a good one. I love that Marchand, I’ll tell you that.”
Thus far, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety has agreed with Cherry’s assessment as there’s been no extra discipline given to Marchand in the wake of his attack on Eller on opening night.