Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand has been the most consistent player all season. Does Marchand have enough in the tank to have his first 80-point season?
It’s been a great season so far for Brad Marchand. The 28-year old forward is in the middle of his best NHL season. In 64 games, he has put up 67 points (29 goals). In the NHL, elite scoring players are often defined by scoring a point or more per game.
Marchand started in the league as a feisty scrapper. He did his time on the fourth line before working his way up to his current position. While he still knows how to be a pest (and occasional slew-footer) at times, he’s developed into a three-zone, two-way scoring machine that has given other teams in the league headaches.
Marchand has work hard to develop his game in a manner similar to linemate Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron is regarded by many as being the best two-way forward in hockey right now. The Bergeron-Marchand tandem are one of the reasons why the Black and Gold have the best penalty kill in the league (currently at 86%).
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Bergeron is at the top of the two-way forward pantheon, but Marchand isn’t that far behind. The Halifax native’s skills aren’t just coming from five-on-five play. 22 of Marchand’s 67 points have come from work on Boston’s special teams. He’s currently tied for first for the most shorthanded goals (three).
Currently, Brad Marchand is tied with Sidney Crosby and Brent Burns for third in overall scoring. He’s just one point behind Patrice Kane. He’s tied for fourth in goal scoring, and tied for sixth in assists. For the first time in a long time, there have been discussions regarding the one-time rat as being a serious contender for the Art Ross Trophy.
While I’d love to see Marchand get the Art Ross, it’s unlikely. While he’s having a phenomenal season, he doesn’t have the league’s designation as a superstar (Sidney Crosby) or isn’t a hockey wunderkind (Connor McDavid). He’s also got the tendency to drop the occasional dirty play that has earned him the enmity of hockey fans all over the world.
There are 18 games left in the regular season. Barring serious injury, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that Marchand will hit the 70-point mark in the next week or two. A 70-point season is certainly impressive. But does Marchand have enough in the tank to put up his first 80-point season?
Can Marchand put up 13 points in 18 games? He can certainly put up five in one.
The Bruins are currently enjoying an upswing under interim head coach Bruce Cassidy. Cassidy’s strategy is more offensive-minded than Claude Julien‘s was. This allows players like Marchand to use his creativity to put up big numbers for Boston. All he needs is a little space and he can put up several points in a game.
The remaining schedule has a lot of tough teams for Boston. Still, Brad Marchand is the kind of player that hasn’t backed down from a challenge. A wide-open Marchand is a dangerous thing on the ice.