Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand has been the hottest and most consistent player for the team. It couldn’t have happened at a better time for the point-starved Bruins.
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The Boston Bruins are in trouble. The Bruins were able to claw their way back into a playoff position going into the All-Star break. But that position is frightfully tenuous. The Toronto Maple Leafs are just one point behind with five games in hand on the Black and Gold. (Sure, Toronto is known for having a good late-season collapse, but they’re not that bad.)
There have been some bright spots for the Bruins. David Pastrnak has hit the 20 goal mark. The Bruins, after an ugly four-game losing streak have picked up the pace and are starting to play more complete games. Even Adam McQuaid, Jimmy Hayes, and Kevan Miller have picked up their games (Yes, I’m serious.)
But of all the players on the Bruins roster, forward Brad Marchand has been the hottest player on the team. Marchand has had the hot hand as of late, tallying 17 points (11 goals) in the first 11 games of the second half of the season. He’s the clear leader in points (49) and leads the team in goals (21). He’s on the verge of his fourth 50 point season, and is on track to eclipse his previous career best 61-point season.
The 28-year old Marchand was recently rewarded with his first selection to the NHL’s All-Star team. He and Tuukka Rask (also his first-time selection) will spend the weekend in Los Angeles representing the Bruins and their fan base.
Marchand was extremely lucky not to be suspended for his trip of Niklas Kronwall earlier in the week. It allowed him to put in another two-goal performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins, giving the B’s a 4-3 win. That win helped give the B’s their first multi-game winning streak in nearly a month.
Marchand’s third short-handed goal (now tied with the league lead with JT Miller) gave the B’s some life early in the second period. It helped changed the tempo of the game, and allowed the Bruins to come charging back into the game.
“Marchy’s goal really gave us momentum that we needed and kind of made us relax a bit and play our game,” said Bruins forward (and perennial line mate) Patrice Bergeron.
The Bruins are starting to show signs of life again. While they’re not playing full sixty minute games consistently, they’re finding ways to get themselves out of the holes they dig themselves in. (Hey, it’s a start.) They’re finding line cohesion, and a lot of that starts with Marchand on the Bergeron line.
“We’re working together well, we’re finding that groove of where we have to play and how we have to play,” said Marchand of the teams recent turnaround(according to the Boston Bruins website). “You know, we’re getting some bounces too, which helps, and it’s great that guys are stepping up at the right times and helping the team.
“That’s what we need. We need guys and our line to produce, and we did a decent job of that.”
Marchand gets the weekend off to enjoy the All-Star experience. With any luck, he’ll help spur the team on so they’ll make the playoffs this year.