Brad Marchand still a big talker, even closing on 100 points
NEWARK, N.J. — With a career-high 87 points, Bruins left winger Brad Marchand could hit the 100-point mark if his stick stays hot for the club’s final nine regular-season games, including Thursday night’s match here vs. the Devils.
Pegged as potentially a career third- or fourth-liner upon entering the NHL 10 years ago, the crafty Marchand has turned into one of the game’s premier scoring threats on the left side.
“Compared to where I was to when I first came in the league, to where I am now,” said Marchand, “I never really thought I’d be in this position [for 100 points] and be part of some incredible teams.
“Part of it, obviously, is your ability and your work ethic and everything like that. But the opportunity, who you play with . . . getting power-play time, being in certain situations . . . that all plays into it, too. I’ve been put in a very good situation by the team and fortunate to play with great linemates. So that all plays a big part of it as well.”
Feeling so honored right now all those years of hard work has paid off!! Want to thank everyone who has supported me in this journey to best and worst trash talker and all my work colleagues around the NHL couldnt have done it without you! @NHLBruins @NHL @NHLPA pic.twitter.com/ofAj1DNFod— Brad Marchand (@Bmarch63) March 20, 2019
“Feeling so honored right now all those years of hard work has paid off!!” posted Marchand. “Want to thank everyone who has supported me in this journey ...”
Only last week, prior to a game in Columbus, Marchand made note that he has held down the rhetoric this season, all part of an on-ice personality makeover that has kept him free and clear of review by the league’s Department of Player Safety.
“Yeah, a lot less this year,” he said here, following a very brief off-day skate by the Bruins. “But it’s been a long time, so . . . nine or 10 years . . . so they’re not just going to forget in one year, right?”
Much of Marchand’s humor (if trash talking can be so labeled) of late has been directed not toward opponents but to teammate Torey Krug. With the aid of social media platforms, they’ve engaged in an ongoing exchange of barbs, taunting one another of their mutual lack of height. They both may be only 5-foot-9, but that hasn’t hindered their reach for the keyboard.
“I love the battle he has with Krug right now,” said coach Bruce Cassidy, sincerely amused by dueling barbs. “I’m waiting anxiously for Krug’s retort. And I’m not even on [social media], right? I’m probably the last one to find out . . . I probably have to watch NESN or the NHL Network to get it. But that’s been hilarious.”
The Bruins had only a 15-minute twirl here for their off-day skate. Veteran Patrice Bergeron took a maintenance day; Krug, working back from a concussion, also skipped the session. He is due to skate Thursday here . . . Cassidy reported that injured chargers Matt Grzelcyk, Marcus Johansson, and Kevan Miller all will join the club in Florida, but none are expected to jump right back into the lineup. They’ll skate Friday in Sunrise and be part of a team function later that day. Their individual availability will be assessed on a day-to-day basis beginning on Saturday, prior to the evening faceoff vs. the Panthers. The trip wraps Monday in Tampa . . . Tuukka Rask, who posted his fourth shutout of the season in Tuesday’s 5-0 whitewashing of the Islanders, is pegged to go Monday night. He and Jaro Halak will split the Devils and Panthers games. Cassidy on Wednesday did not name his starter for here.