Justin Williams Owes Us All Amends for the Unforgivable Crime of Making Brad Marchand Seem Like He Might Actually Have a Point
First and foremost, let me state that, albeit very mildly, the NHL was complicit in that unrelenting display of undisciplined idiocy. With their continued failure to do so much as stick it in the box for two minutes, the league and its officials basically left it up to those whose legs it kept gnawing at to exterminate the irredeemable rat on the Bruins' roster. Of course, encouraging vigilante justice counterproductively plays right into said rat's trap, because...get this...the same type of shit that Brad Marchand somehow continues to scurry away from scot-free is actually illegal and enforced as such when done to him or his teammates in retaliation.
I promise you that the last thing I am trying to do is justify Justin Williams' mentally unstable transition from consummate captain to unhinged asshole, as repeatedly targeting Torey Krug of all people wasn't even aesthetically satisfying in its abject stupidity. However, the truth of the matter is that what we saw was an indisputable reminder that it's impossible for the players to police themselves in the playoffs without potentially pissing away games when they are of their upmost importance.
Now, that being said, far and away the most guilty party here is the veteran presence who served as the worst possible example to a young team when they needed his leadership the most. As much as I want to point the finger at the referees and scoldingly state "look what you've done" for giving a mile's worth inches to an unsubtle antagonist, Justin Williams deserves to pay the entirety of the security deposit after letting Boston bully their way into his head and under his skin to make an absolute mess of an otherwise experienced hockey mind. There is absolute no excuse for doing what was previously thought impossible by making Brad Marchand look somewhat smart in actively and repeatedly becoming the perfect manifestation of his mockery...
From swallowing a "poop sandwich" during Game 2 (his words) to being left with egg over his damn face during Game 3, Justin Williams has...::chokes back vomit taste::...proved positive the impact of a pest with his inability to feed into anything other than Brad Marchand's bullshit. As much as it pains me to say it, the latter should feel self-satisfied, because he got a high character player to act entirely out of character in focusing on everything other than hockey while his season was slowly being salted away.
I'll wait until his impending offseason for an apology, but - regardless of his team controlling the damage of his repetitive recklessness - Justin Williams owes the entire sport an extensive one after providing the NHL's resident rodent the exact type of power he so shamelessly, dangerously, and incessantly seeks.