Brad Marchand’s Report Card With the Boston Bruins for the 2016-17 Regular Season
Brad Marchand had his second-consecutive breakout season in 2016-17. After posting career-bests of 37 goals and 60 points in 77 games last season, Marchand was able to dig down deep and produce at a level that was worthy of Hart Trophy considerations. With 39 goals and 85 points through 80 games, Marchand proved that he is among the elite in the NHL offensively.
When the Bruins needed a spark, it was often Marchand who helped push the team into gear. Very few players in the world can play the same style of game that Marchand does. Whether it’s his impressive goal-scoring ability, his ability to get under the skin of his opponents or his elite possession numbers and two-way ability, Marchand is in a class of his own.
Stat Line – G -39 – A – 56 – P – 85 – CF% – 60.44%
Possession Numbers Through the Roof
When looking at Corsi-For percentages around the NHL, the Bruins are simply head and shoulders above the rest. Among players with at least 25 games played, Bruins players make up six of the top eight Corsi-For percentages. Right atop the list sits Patrice Bergeron with a 61.14 CF% with Marchand in second with a 60.44 CF%. Only four players recorded a CF% above 60 percent this season, three of whom were Bruins.
Marchand has proven throughout his career that he is a dominant possession player. When on the ice, it’s almost impossible to get the puck off of him despite his small stature at just 5 foot 9 and 181 pounds. Still, Marchand has made opposing teams’ lives nightmares for the better part of his career.
It would be easy to look at Marchand’s breakout season from 2015-16 and assume that those were going to be the benchmark numbers for the rest of his career. For Marchand, fresh off of a contract extension set to kick in for the 2017-18 season, those totals were not going to be gold-standard. Marchand finished the season tied for fifth in points with 85 and tied for fourth in goals with 39. He surpassed any expectations that anybody could have possibly set on him and then some.
Though the season was ultimately a disappointment following a six-game series loss to the Ottawa Senators, the Bruins have a lot to look forward to. With Marchand right in the prime of his career, he is easily one of the most fun players in the NHL to watch. Fresh off of two consecutive breakout seasons, Marchand will look to help bring the Bruins past the first-round of the postseason next year.
Final Grade – A+
Similarly to Bergeron, Marchand has earned an A-plus grade. When posting 39 goals and 85 points while also looking so good defensively, it’s impossible to not give Marchand a perfect grade. If he has anything to work on, it will be to completely eliminate the extra-curricular activity from his game. Being suspended for a spear against Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jake Dotchin was unacceptable. Moving forward, the hope is that he will continue to make smarter decisions and avoid ones like that.