Brad Marchand: The Cost Of Nastiness


Jan 13, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) skates past the bench after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

There may be no bigger polarizing figure on the Boston Bruins than Brad Marchand. When your nickname is the little ball of hate, you are going to face a fair share of scrutiny and unwanted attention. Marchand is a player who as a teammate you are grateful is on your side, but would want to rip apart if he was representing the opposite side.

Marchand has a checkered past when it comes to questionable decision making and once again it was on full display last Thursday night. Everyone has had several days to process Marchand’s decision to slew foot New York Rangers center Derick Brassard. The decision from the NHL’s department of player safety was swift in handing out Marchand a two game suspension.

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So where am I going with all this? Marchand has been with the Bruins for six seasons and approaching age 27 puts him entering the prime of his career; which makes his inability to toe the line as it relates to being an antagonist more concerning.

“Our team has been playing so well, and I don’t want a selfish act like that to impact how well the team can do. Hopefully they can without me, which I know they can.”~Brad Marchand

Although Marchand has commented on how his actions were selfish and how he has attempted to eliminate dirty play from his repertoire over the last few seasons. Although this was his first suspension in over three years, the timing of his most recent transgression is unsettling.

Building momentum has been one of the greatest areas of weakness and instead of focusing on extending their win streak to six games, the Bruins were focusing on how they were going to deal with Marchand being out at a very inopportune time.

The Bruins performance against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night was an abject failure and defeat should not solely be based on the loss of Marchand; they loss as a team. However, his absence altered the lineup that had stabilized over the previous five games and more importantly his ability to generate offense was missed.

There’s no question Marchand is playing at his best when his loud mouth and pugilistic antics combine with his offense to make him one of the more unique players on the Bruins. However, entering his prime should result in some maturity and greater ability to understand the moment and the impact his tactics can have on the Bruins as a whole.