A Boston Bruins Bromance for the ages: Bergeron and Marchand

MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 13: Brad Marchand
MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 13: Brad Marchand /

There are very few duos in the NHL that have same level of chemistry as #37 and #63 of the Boston Bruins.  What exactly makes the combination so special?

When two hockey players who play on a line together have chemistry, the on-ice product can be something really special to watch.  Boston Bruins forwards Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron are one of those pairs of players that give fans quite a show when on the ice together.  At this point in their careers, it is undeniable that the two are one of the best 1-2 punches in the entire NHL.

Since Marchand’s first full season in the NHL in 2010-2011, when the Bruins ended a 29 year Stanley Cup drought, the pair have been a formidable duo.  Tell me the last time you watched a Bruins game when both guys were playing and didn’t see Marchy on Bergy’s left wing.  Unless one of the players is injured (or in Marchand’s case, suspended), 37 and 63 take the ice together.

Boston Bruins
VANCOUVER, BC – JUNE 15: Brad Marchand /

It’s no coincidence that their numbers add up to 100, because when on the ice, 100% effort is what the team gets from them.  Whether it be even strength, on the penalty kill, or on the power play; Bergeron and Marchand can shut down the top line of their opponents, while at the same time being the best offensive threat on the Bruins.

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By the numbers

In the years they’ve been playing together, here are their respective stat lines for the seasons:

  • 2010-2011
    • Bergeron:  22 goals, 35 assists, +20, 211 SOG
    • Marchand:  21 goals, 20 assists, +25, 149 SOG
  • 2011-2012
    • Bergeron:  22 goals, 42 assists, +36, 191 SOG
    • Marchand:  28 goals, 27 assists, +31, 167 SOG
  • 2012-2013 (lockout season, 48 games played)
    • Bergeron:  10 goals, 22 assists, +24, 125 SOG
    • Marchand:  18 goals, 18 assists, +23, 91 SOG
  • 2013-2014
    • Bergeron:  30 goals, 32 assists, +38, 243 SOG
    • Marchand:  25 goals, 28 assists, +36, 149 SOG
  • 2014-2015
    • Bergeron:  23 goals, 32 assists, +2 234 SOG
    • Marchand:  24 goals, 18 assists, +5, 180 SOG
  • 2015-2016
    • Bergeron:  32 goals, 36 assists, +12, 282 SOG
    • Marchand:  37 goals, 24 assists, +21, 250 SOG
  • 2016-2017
    • Bergeron:  21 goals, 32 assists, +12, 302 SOG
    • Marchand:  39 goals, 46 assists, +18, 226 SOG
  • 2017-2018
    • Bergeron:  22 goals, 22 assists, +24, 163 SOG
    • Marchand:  21 goals, 29 assists, +24, 104 SOG

These numbers are just crazy to look at.  Notice that since together, the pair has never had a year with a negative plus/minus rating.  In this time, Bergeron has won FOUR Selke Trophies, and Brad Marchand has amassed an incredible 16.2 shooting percentage.  In terms of regular NHL players during that period (300+ games), Marchy only sits behind Paul Byron (18.2%), Alex Tanguay (17.9%), Steven Stamkos (17.2%), Brenden Morrow (16.5%), and he is tied with Jiri Hudler (16.2%).

Who do fans have to thank for the Marchand-Bergeron relationship?  That would be former Bruins coach Claude Julien, who decided to pair the young rookie Marchand with the veteran leader Bergeron.  In fact the last time the Bruins laid the wood to the Canadiens this season, which they did 3 times in an 8 day period in January, Julien had this to say:

For those who think that the Marchand-Bergeron love fest only takes place on the ice, take a look at episode 10 of this season’s “Behind the B” series.  Marchand really took some time when it came to his Valentine’s Day card for his linemate.  And Bergeron gave to his winger a heart shaped box of chocolates.

When it comes to tandems in the NHL, there is arguably no better combination than Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron.  Throw in young phenom sharpshooter David Pastrnak, and that trio has become one of the most dangerous top lines in all of hockey.  They will beat you in the defensive zone line they’re a fourth line of grinders, and then score goals like a top line.  They are a top line that plays 200-foot hockey, which is a unique commodity in the NHL today.

Next: Boston Bruins Week 18: Bergeron for Hart Trophy

With Marchand being 29 and Bergeron being 32, here’s hoping we can see this combination in black and gold for many years to come.  It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see one of these two win a Hart Trophy in the future if they maintain their current level of play.