Breaking News: Panthers’ Sam Bennett Breaks Silence On Brad Marchand Gam 3 Incident…

In the aftermath of his impactful collision with Boston Bruins captain Brad Marchand in Game 3, Florida Panthers forward Sam Bennett has broken his silence regarding the incident that sent shockwaves through the hockey world.

Two days after the now-infamous hit, Bennett addressed the situation in an interview with TNT on May 12, just before the crucial Game 4 that would see Florida take a commanding 3-1 series lead over Boston.

“People are entitled to their opinions,” Bennett remarked. “I want to clarify, it was never my intention to strike him in the face. I was bracing myself for impact as he approached me. There simply wasn’t time to consciously aim a punch.”

Acknowledging the physical nature of playoff hockey, Bennett stressed that such hard plays are inherent to the game, though he expressed regret over Marchand’s injury.

Marchand’s absence from Game 4 due to an “upper-body injury” further underscored the impact of the incident. Despite denying any intentional harm, an alternate angle of the collision aired by TNT revealed a punch by Bennett to Marchand’s head.

Seeking to understand Bennett’s actions, TNT analyst Paul Bissonnette questioned whether he was attempting a defensive maneuver known as a “reverse hit,” which Bennett affirmed.

“That’s exactly it,” Bennett concurred. “He was coming at me. Normally, I’d defend with both hands. Given my recent injury, I did what I could to protect myself.”

Bennett’s injury reference pertained to his absence following a Game 2 injury against the Tampa Bay Lightning, underscoring the significance of self-preservation in a physically demanding sport.

As Bennett found himself at the center of playoff drama, he embraced his role, even amidst criticism. His actions drew comparisons to a previous controversial incident in last year’s playoffs, where he delivered a similar hit to Toronto’s Matthew Knies.

With a nod to his past experiences, Bennett expressed a willingness to embrace the scrutiny, suggesting he’s becoming accustomed to the role of a playoff antagonist, particularly in the hostile environment of Boston.

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