Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand has been suspended for three games by the NHL Department of Player Safety after a dirty hit against Ottawa Senators defenceman Matt Borowiecki.

The play happened Tuesday night, with the Bruins up 1-0 with just nine minutes gone in the first period. Marchand bent down and hip checked Borowiecki, who didn’t have possession of the puck.

“It was a simple play,” Marchand told ESPN.com “I was trying to get to the puck-carrier and I turned up ice and he was kind of standing there; I just turned up and tried to get the puck-carrier.”

It’s getting harder and harder to defend Marchand’s reputation. In 2011-12, he was suspended five games for clipping Vancouver Canucks defenceman Sami Salo, and he was suspended two games in 2014-15 for slew-footing Derrick Brassard of the New York Rangers. The reason why Marchand wasn’t suspended longer for this incident? The NHL decided to have a phone hearing, which means the maximum penalty he could have faced would have been five games.

If the Department of Player Safety determines that any Supplemental Discipline from an infraction will result in five games or less or a fine of more than $5,000, the hearing is conducted by phone.

With the suspension, Marchand will miss the Bridgestone Winter Classic. If he continues to be reckless on the ice, he’ll miss a lot more time than that.

About Liam McGuire

Social +Staff writer for The Comeback & Awful Announcing. Liammcguirejournalism@gmail.com