The anger from hockey fans were felt on social media when Bruins forward Brad Marchand hip-checked Senators defenceman Mark Borowiecki from his knees last night (December 29th). The play was uncalled for as Borowiecki didn't even have the puck, and it seemed that the play was just Marchand playing like typical Marchand. In light of this incident, here are the top five pests in the NHL that we would all love to hate:
Honourable mentions: Leo Komarov, Cal Clutterbuck, Zack Rinaldo, Corey Perry, Matt Martin
5) Brendan Gallagher, Montreal Canadiens
A master at hacking and being annoying, Gallagher shows little to no fear at just 5 foot 9. He even once tripped Zdeno Chara at the face-off dot, and has dropped the gloves on numerous occasions with different players. He's probably the most skilled person on this list, which makes some fan bases hate him more knowing that he can be a pest against their team but also has the skill to put the puck in the net too. As a Leaf fan, I see way to much of this guy.
4) Antoine Roussel, Dallas Stars
If this name doesn't ring a bell then you live under a rock. Roussel is fast, hits hard, and always runs his mouth. Any team in the Central Division who has to play this guy various times in a season has the pity from many hockey fans. He's good at what he does, and he has some hockey instincts that he can bring to the game as well other than being a pest. Here's some of his best work when he taunted the Chicago crowd after a penalty shot:
3) Andrew Shaw, Chicago Blackhawks
Of course, Chicago being in the Central Division have their own pest to go toe to toe with Roussel, and Shaw has many enemies. He always takes runs at players, and his annoyance is even displayed on the Blackhawks powerplay when he plays in front of the net sometimes in a screening role. Here he never budges from his spot in front of the goalie no matter how hard defencemen try. To give credit where credit is due, he does answer the bell and drop the gloves when someone calls him out. Here's him taking on Roussel:
One thing that Shaw has that others don't on this list is two Stanley Cup rings, which definitely bugs his haters.
2) Steve Ott, St. Louis Blues
The fact that he was chosen as to be captain of the Sabres at one time just baffled most hockey fans as most people view him as a player who just crashes everywhere on the ice. He does have good vocal leadership qualities, but on the ice he's just a brute force. More like an ox on skates that just throws his weight around through hits and punches. I'll admit that he's very intimidating, and most players would wish to have him on their teams instead of having to play against him.
1) Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins
Before I say anything, I'll just let this video sum it up:
The intro kind of gave him away as the number one spot, but man does he ever deserve it. As I mentioned at the beginning, he took Boroweicki out at the knees last night when he didn't have the puck:
He continuously plays on the edge; often tormenting anyone he can find. Even in the image of him at the very beginning of the article he's mocking the Vancouver crowd by pretending to hoist the Stanley Cup (which Boston won in Vancouver in 2011). No one has ever really given him what he deserves (and thats a beating), and the most likely reason being all the tough guys the Bruins have on their roster. The likes of Chara, Miller, McQuaid, and Rinaldo all have a tough side to their game and are willing to drop the gloves in defence of their teammates. Marchand is protected, and it angers every hockey fan as we are just all waiting for him to get whats coming his way.
He's known for his flops, dives, chirps, and dirty plays. It's such an annoyance for every hockey fan to watch him do this stuff, meaning he's the ultimate pest in the NHL.