November 18, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand (63) skates with the puck against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Center. The Boston Bruins defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Bruins: It's time to scratch Brad Marchand.

For a lot of the early part of this season, it has been one step forward, one step back for Brad Marchand.  The man playing in the #63 uniform for Boston is just a shadow of the maneuverable, chirping little annoyance that drew the ire of opponents and the occasional penalty from them. This year’s Brad Marchand seems to be missing something. I don’t know if it’s a matter of over thinking plays, or just not seeing the forest for the trees, but for every solid shift he seems to have he seems to follow it up with a bad turnover or a misread on a play.

Coach Claude Julien, it’s pretty clear to me (and a lot of other Bruins fans out there) that it’s time you gave Marchand a healthy scratch. He needs to be out for a game or two. Now, I’m not saying we ship him off to a Western Conference team that will let him go and be the kind of superstar he wants to be, (although it certainly worked for a certain Tyler Seguin) but I think it’s time the coach gives him a game in the press box to take a step back and relax.

Marchand has had a rough quarter season. He’s put up eight points (with only three goals) and it took him to the end of last week to finally get his plus/minus out of the negatives. He’s had games with one or no shots on goal. The Little Ball of Hate has given up some bad turnovers for the Bruins, including a couple in the last minute of tonight’s game against the St. Louis Blues. Claude Julien has bumped him down to the third line a few times, and even down to the fourth once. While I’m happy to see the Bruins keeping faith in Marchand, it’s time for a little tough love. Give him a night off, and hopefully that will get his train back on the Black and Gold tracks.

 

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