My favorite player on the Boston Bruins is Brad Marchand. I love the fact that a guy my size (well, at least the size I was in college) can outplay and outskate so many players half a foot taller (or more) larger than him. I loved the swagger, the attitude and the way he got on the ice and played as if he was six years old again. That Brad Marchand inspired me to get my ‘Ball of Hate’ custom jersey.
This year’s Brad Marchand looks nothing like the Brad Marchand that topped the team in scoring last year. A lot of simple mistakes have dotted his performance so far this season. To date, # 63 has only four points and one goal this season. Carl Soderberg who has played in half the games Marchand has caught up to him last night in the 3-1 defeat by the Islanders.
Marchand’s game in the Islanders is symbolic for all the troubles he has had this season. Marchand led all Bruins with four turnovers last night. He was only able to fire a single shot on net during the game. In the face off circle, he was easily beaten in the defensive zone. That series led to a burst of offense from the Islanders led to Andrew MacDonald’s goal. His -2 performance tonight only makes his +/- score worse. At -3, he’s the only ‘top six’ forward on the team in the negative. As it is now, top six doesn’t even seem to apply to him anymore.
Loui Eriksson is starting to move forward in his concussion. He’ll likely be on the ice in the next week or so. When that occurs, it looks like it will be time for a change in Boston.
While I certainly don’t believe a Patrick Kaleta-type waiver is the answer here, I think it’s time that Coach Claude Julien hit Brad Marchand with a healthy scratch (or two). It’ll give Marchand a chance to take a step back from the game. It will allow him to take a night off and not overthink everything he is doing. It will also send a message to a Bruins team that seems to just be coasting so far in their 8-5 season.