Evans Clinchy
Monday January 9th, 2012

All signs point to an impending suspension for Bruins center Brad Marchand, who leveled Vancouver Canucks defenseman Sami Salo into the boards and gave him a concussion yesterday in the second period of the B's 4-3 loss. But Marchand has come prepared with an alibi -- it was self-defense, he says.

"In a game like last night when there's a lot of emotions and guys are running around a bit, you're definitely watching over your shoulder a little bit more and you want to try and protect yourself as much as you can," Marchand said in a TV interview. "When you have a guy coming in on you, you have no idea what his intentions are and what the outcome's going to be. You're just trying to protect yourself in that situation."

Marchand was given a five-minute major for clipping and a game misconduct for the incident, which occurred at the 18:47 mark of the second period. Given his prior history -- Marchand has a $2,500 fine from last month and a two-game suspension from last season already under his belt -- a suspension looks very likely.

Bruins coach Claude Julien, however, stands by his player, defending the right of the 5-foot-9 Marchand to protect himself against the 6-foot-3 Salo. "We all have our opinions on what is going on with the game and the hits and everything else," Julien told the Bruins Blog. "All I'm going to tell you is that I always told my players that they need to protect themselves."

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