B’s Beat: Brad Marchand Is Starting To Come Around
There have been a lot of story lines for the Boston Bruins this season. Whether it’s positive like Torey Krug’s excellent rookie showing and Tuukka Rask’s Vezina worth performance, or negative like Brad Marchand’s poor start. Marchand started the season in a bad rut, and it was clearly hurting the development of any chemistry. However, over the last few games, “Mar-Shand” has begun to turn it around.
I don’t mean to be the conspiracy theorist, but I think Tyler Seguin’s departure had a negative effect on Marchand in the offseason, and it carried over into the regular season.
This is of course based on literally nothing but my own thoughts; though I do think there is something behind it. I wonder if the trade caused some Marchand to step away from his game a little bit. I’m sure the partying aspects of his past have lessened since the famous (or infamous) shirtless pictures, but I think this trade took away his confidence in two areas.
One area I’m referring to is the edge he plays with. Marchand has developed a bit of reputation throughout the NHL as a “rat”. He’s the type of player you absolutely loathe unless he’s on your team. He plays with an edge, on a fine line, or whatever sports cliché you want to use. Over the last three seasons Marchand has learned how to walk on that fine.
The other area is his security. I may be off base here, but I’m pretty confident when I say that when Marshy watched his buddy get shipped out of town, it totally took away his job security. Seguin and Marchand, despite their small age difference, came up together, signed long term contracts together, then got split up by a trade. That has to be an eye-opening experience for a young player. Especially considering Seguin’s situation in which many thought he was an untouchable franchise player. For Marchand, I think it scared him straight, but it might’ve scared him a little to straight.
Fortunately for himself and the Boston Bruins; Marchand has begun to turn it around. It looks as if he has gotten better with every game over the past two weeks. In his last 5 games, Marchand has 1 goal, 3 assists, and a +4. Those aren’t earth shattering, but he is producing at a .80 point per game pace over that span. This is compared to the first 22 games where he was performing at a .36 point per game pace, which simply isn’t good enough for the player that led the team in scoring last season.
Marchand has also been getting his nose in every post whistle scrum over the last few game which is pretty good news, because the Bruins need their rat back. The first and the third line have been huge so far, the fourth line has begun to turn it around too, but once the Bergeron line starts clicking, the NHL isn’t going to know what hit them.
You can follow me on twitter here: @Mattjacob64