When the word consistency is used in regards to the Boston Bruins, the first player that might come to the minds of many would be Patrice Bergeron. There’s good reason for this as the Bruins’ captain has consistently been consistently good at just about everything for nearly two decades. Another name that should immediately pop up when it comes to goal-scoring, however, is Brad Marchand.
The 33-year-old has consistently been among the best goal-scorers in the NHL since his rookie year in the 2010-11 season. How consistent? Well, the veteran winger has scored at least 20 goals in every single season of his career with the exception of the 2012-13 season. For context, that season was shortened due to the lockout; Marchand would score 18 goals in 45 games that season, good for nearly a 33-goal pace.
He has been so consistent, in fact, that following the Bruins’ game against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday, Marchand now sits tied for second in franchise history in 25-goal seasons with Rick Middleton. The only player to have more of such seasons is Johnny Bucyk who stands alone at the top with 11.
Marchand is also now tied with Cam Neely for sixth place in Bruins’ franchise goal-scoring history with 351 goals in his career.
Though he may have earned himself a reputation for other, less reputable things over the course of his career, the Nova Scotia-native has also earned a reputation around the league as one of the best players on the planet. Whether it’s at even strength, the power play or on the penalty kill, Marchand has earned his reputation as a superstar.
His play has also been a huge reason for the Bruins’ consistent success over the course of his career. Outside of Bergeron, nobody has been as integral to the Bruins’ continued stay near the top of the NHL standings for the majority over the last decade.
Funnily enough, Marchand has actually struggled to score goals at the same rate as he has in years past. Prior to scoring goals in consecutive games against the Minnesota Wild at the Jets, Marchand hadn’t scored a goal in eight games – making his goal Wednesday just his first in the month of March. This also came after he would score just two goals in February – with both coming in the same game. This, however, can be attributed to the fact that he missed six games in the month of February due to a six-game suspension. Unfortunately, the good does come with bad sometimes.
The good news for the Bruins, though, is that the 5-foot-9 winger seems to be hitting a hot streak. How long it may last is anyone’s guess, but given the topic of discussion here being Marchand’s consistent ways, it would be surprising to see him get cold any time soon.
Despite this, No. 63 has still been able to be a major contributor for the Bruins and has been impactful with and without the puck. As mentioned, Marchand’s importance to the team doesn’t come strictly from his goal-scoring ability. His ability to open up opportunities for his teammates and his play away from the puck makes him one of the most complete players in the NHL.
Marchand Will Need to Keep Temper in Check
For this reason, Marchand will need to continue playing on a straight and narrow road and avoid any sort of suspendable actions. The Bruins rely too heavily on him and what he brings to the team to be without him for an extended period of time. He may be monitored under a microscope by the league and though there may be a reason to be upset about the length of his recent suspension, the fact of the matter remains that he hasn’t done himself any favors when it comes to earning the benefit of the doubt.
Marchand himself has made it clear that he knows that his reputation will precede him when it comes to things like this and has stated that he’ll need to do his best to avoid any sort of extra-curricular shenanigans that could wind up in his absence from game action.
When speaking on his suspension, Marchand had the following to say:
“I know the player I am in this league and for this team,” Marchand said. “The last thing I want to do is let my team down the way I did in this situation. I lost my cool, there’s no question about it. I’ve been pretty good at doing that the last number of years. … So I’ve got to continue to work on being better.”
The awareness shown here is promising. As Marchand mentioned, he has done a fairly good job in recent years at limiting that part of his game as well. Unfortunately, old habits do die hard sometimes and there are often emotional actions that take over. With Marchand’s reputation, though, keeping those emotions in check is of the utmost importance.
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One of the best players in the league and arguably the best player on the Bruins’ roster, Marchand is an integral part of what looks to be another playoff team in Boston. He’ll look to continue his scoring trend this season and hit the 30-goal mark for the fifth time in his career. That would make him just the ninth Bruins player in history to do so, putting him in a tie with David Pastrnak and Bruins’ legend and NHL-great Bobby Orr.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for seven years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.