Boston Bruins add Marcus Johansson Despite 2018 Incident

NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 16: Marcus Johansson #90 of the New Jersey Devils warms up before a game against the Dallas Stars at Prudential Center on October 16, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Stars 3-0. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The Boston Bruins have announced that Marcus Johansson has been acquired from the New Jersey Devils. Johansson has 12 goals and 15 assists this season and will fit in well for their playoff push. But his arrival to Boston sparks the memory of what took place on Jan. 23 in TD Garden.

In that game, Brad Marchand made his way down the ice late in the third period of a 3-2 game in which the Bruins were winning and eventually won. He ripped a shot that was stopped and covered, but Marchand continued to drive to the net. He cut in front of Johansson, elbowing his head in the process. The hit sidelined the New Jersey Devil for around two months and earned Marchand a five-game suspension.

Boston Bruins add Marcus Johansson Despite 2018 Incident

Johansson Traded

When the news broke today, Johansson was questioned on whether that hit would carry over as the two become teammates. The Athletic writer Joe McDonald tweeted about how the two might interact on the same team:

Shortly after that game last year, Johansson had some words to describe Marchand’s hit. He said that it was “stupid” and that he doesn’t like that players are intentionally hurting others. Whether Marchand truly did it on purpose or not, Johansson’s assessment isn’t totally wrong. The play that resulted in a concussion for him was unnecessary.

Moving forward, it seems that Marcus Johansson isn’t going to hold that over Marchand in order to mesh with his new team. It’s doubtful that he’ll bring it up in a serious tone since the two now play each other, but his comments last March don’t just go away.

Johansson This Season

Johansson doesn’t have fantastic numbers this year. He’s on pace for an average season, but could perhaps help a team in a playoff spot. The Devils sit in third to last in the Eastern Conference, while the Bruins are in second. And with David Pastrnak missing for now, he can fit in as a veteran forward as the Bruins finish the season.

The Bruins gave up a 2019 second-round pick and a 2020 fourth-rounder for Johansson, so if he ends up not making much of an impact, it won’t be a huge loss for Boston.

What’s Next for Boston

The Bruins, with the additions of Johansson and Charlie Coyle, have a good chance at taking the second spot in the Atlantic into the post-season. It seems as though the Tampa Bay Lightning will not be caught in the regular season, but the third-seeded Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t far behind, and with the Leafs not acquiring anyone other than Nic Petan this deadline and Jake Muzzin earlier in the month they seem to have a good look at the second seed. The Bruins are looking like they may have the same opponent in the first round and, if they and the Lightning win, the same second-round matchup too.

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