When hockey fans outside of Boston talk about the Boston Bruins, Brad Marchand’s name is typically included in the conversation. More often than not, people only have flat-out negative things to say about him. It ranges from “Marchand is nothing more than a rat.” to “Holy shit, look at that nose!”. But at the end of the day, these comments are made to suppress the fact that, Marchand is actually very good at hockey.
Marchand is relatively consistent with how he manages himself over the course of a season. In 424 career games, he has tallied 140 goals and 124 assists for 264 points. That’s not bad for somebody who has spent 410 career minutes in the box- which brings up my next focus.
Is it just me, or is Marchand playing more disciplined? In retrospect, he did have that two-game suspension earlier this season after slew-footing Derrick Brassard – which admittedly infuriated me. But other than that, he’s taking less, as Tuukka Rask would say, stupid penalties. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still taking penalties, as this season he will likely surpass his highest-penalized season, which was last year with 95 penalty minutes. But it’s important to understand that Marchand is not ONLY the dirty, cheap pest that the public accredits him with.
Last season, Marchand produced 24 goals all season. Currently, he ranks 7th among all NHL forwards with 24 goals, and there’s a lot more where that came from. Additionally, he has 36 points this season, whereas last season he accumulated 42 points. With 30 games remaining this season, Marchand is on-pace to produce career-high points, at potentially be a top-10 goal scorer this season.
Not only that, but Marchand’s all-around game has improved, and it’s nothing short of impressive. He scored two highlight-reel goals last week, both of which essentially won the game for the Bruins. His most recent was on a penalty shot, which defeated the Buffalo Sabres in overtime. This was the first time in Bruins history a game was decided on a penalty shot in overtime.
So, to all of the anti-Marchand hockey fans, if I can admit that Marchand can be a total pain in the ass, can you AT LEAST admit that he is actually good at hockey? Please?
(Photo via Getty/Maddie Meyer)