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Brad Marchand is called a pest. That’s the polite way of saying he’s a miserable player of middling ability who’s mostly known for being a scuba-certified diving instructor and an insufferabe troll. He made that second part clear in Saturday’s 4-2 win over the Bruins, when Marchand attempted to emasculate Joel Ward.

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What is Pierre McGuire Doing? (GIF)

The play happens at the 38-second mark.

During Friday’s series-sweeping Boston win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, Brad Marchand did his thing. But I’m not here to chronicle another Louganisian dive or a infuriating cheap shot, instead I want to take a look at what happened when he tried to steal Sidney Crosby‘s stick during a line-change.

As Crosby dumps the puck into the Bruins zone, Marchand, loading up to make a big hit, instead softly shoves the Penguins captain in the left shoulder. Crosby skates away, but Marchand isn’t finished chatting. He grabs Crosby’s stick and refuses to let go.

Marchand is a toddler, sure, but the interesting part is Pierre McGuire and his reaction. Pierre, with a look of concern, raises his right hand twice and then, after flinching backwards from the players, lunges forward, and smiles. It’s creepy.

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Brad Marchand is a great hockey player. He has a big heart too. His gutless diving, however, has to stop.

In the third period of the Capitals’ 3-2 overtime win over Boston on Saturday, Marchand dropped to the ice like a piano falling off the top story of the Empire State Building after Alex Ovechkin gave him a friendly slash in the ribs.

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Har har. Bruins fan taunts Ribs. (Photo credit: Emily C.)

The Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins have developed an intense rivalry since their back-and-forth seven-game series in the first round of the playoffs last year. From the Olympic-quality dives from Brad Marchand to Nicky Backstrom’s cross-check to the face, it’s apparent these teams hate each other.

That’s why on Saturday, as they played each other for the second time in 16 days, all hell broke loose. First, Mike Ribeiro fought Brad Marchand, and Matt Hendricks laid down the law with Nathan Horton. Then, in the third period, as Shawn Thornton tried to get Hendricks to drop the gloves, Hendy bloodied his fists in a fight with Adam McQuaid.

Let’s recap all the crazy.

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The Bold and the Bloody: Bruins beat Caps 4-1

Brian Babineau

Photo credit: Brian Babineau

The Boston Bruins are the best team in the East. I think they’re the East’s best chance at winning the Cup this year, but that doesn’t mean I’m rooting for them or that I didn’t want the Washington Capitals to crush them on Saturday afternoon. That didn’t happen though. The Caps struggled on defense, and their offense needed help to get the puck behind Anton Khudobin. The game got a little wild in the second and third periods, which is just how the Bruins like it.

Bruins beat Caps 4-1.

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There are some facts in the world that are undeniable: the earth is round, the sky is blue, and Brad Marchand is a diver.

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Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

With 42 seconds left in the second period, the Capitals tied Game Six up with a bizarre play that resulted in both Brad Marchand getting bloodied and Norris Trophy winner Zdeno Chara being faked out of his jock. Let’s review, shall we?

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Though we often take shots at NBC coverage of Caps games, it’s playful ribbing of a shared suffering that all hockey fans endure sometimes. We are fully aware that there are worse fates, like being stuck watching on NESN with Jack Edwards commenting.

While Bruins fans seem to like him well enough, that’s not as much the case among fans of other teams, or those who value commentating that reflects what is actually happening on the ice. Case in point: Edwards’ radio appearance with WEEI after Game 3, wherein he describes a game and a series clearly occupying a reality separate from our own.

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Boston and the Bruins: Wicked Awful

This is what Swedish revenge looks like. (Photo credit: Mark Baer, US Presswire)

The playoff series gives Caps fans a chance to learn all about our rivals and the exotic places they come from. For the first of their Stanley Cup travelogue series, the PuckBuddys offer “How To Spot A Bruins Fan” and helpfully explain why living in Boston is worse than gargling with cat litter.  

The Geography of Bad: Let’s just put a few things on the table. Some cities are horrible because of where they are. Tampa comes to mind. Not quite poor enough to be swamp trash, not quite rich enough to be coastal, it’s the worst of Florida compressed into one atomically fetid spot. Or take Winnipeg. God help anyone who has to go to Winnipeg.

Other places aren’t so much insufferable because of where they are, but because of who lives there. Philadelphia, for example, where entire generations have refined the art of being over-privileged and grating. Dallas, which is just about all we need to say about that hole. Or pretty much the entire state of Arizona.

That said, there’s a whole special category of wretched for cities that, were the Lord truly merciful, He would just dump into the ocean and pretend it never happened. Can you guess which blighted dung pile is featured in this week’s list of awful?

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