Heading into the 2020-21 NHL season, Brad Marchand spoke to the media and discussed his recent Hernia surgery and recovery. The 32 year-old admitted the injury forced him to play at ‘80%,’ and that it had been bothering him for a couple of seasons now. Marchand said the injury impacted him both on and off the ice, to the point where he couldn’t even run. He’s now saying the difference is “Night and Day.” That’s a big warning to everyone around the league.
80% Marchand is Better Than 95% of the NHL
Brad Marchand, at 80% health, was able to have back to back point per game seasons, racking up 187 points the last two seasons, 6th most in the entire league in that span (2018-19 + 2019-20). Marchand also ranked 18th in goals (64) and 3rd in assists (123). It’s incredible to think what he might be capable of doing now that he’s healthy.
Not only was Brad Marchand amassing incredible amounts of points, he was also continuing his trend of being a stellar penalty killer. Patrice Bergeron and 80% health Brad Marchand led the B’s to a 7th-best penalty kill in the league, at 82.0% from 2018 until 2020. Marchand and Bergeron are also an incredible offensive threat while shorthanded. Is there anything Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand can’t do?
Just as important as his 200 foot game, Marchand has been able to stay out of trouble with the league. He’s knocked off the nonsensical, dirty, and just plain stupid decisions he’s made that had caused him to be suspended a total of six times in his first eight seasons in the NHL. It’s been three years since he was last suspended, when he elbowed future teammate Marcus Johansson and was suspended for 5 games. This was probably one of Marchand’s worst hits. It was completely unnecessary. The elbow caused Marcus Johansson to miss the remainder of the 2017-18 NHL regular season. Marcus was able to return to play three games for the Devils in their 2018 playoff matchup against the Lightning. Marchand has only been fined once since that suspension.
Keeping Marchand on the ice and out of trouble with the Department of Player Safety is important for Marchand’s legacy as an NHL player. His dirty antics will always be the first thing people think of when his name is brought up. However, if he’s able to continue to produce as he has been, and he’s able to extend his career into his late thirties, there’s a chance his legacy transitions a tiny bit from being a ‘rat.’
The Halifax, Nova Scotia native has hit the ground running this season, putting up 9 points in the team’s first 6 games. That’s an 84 point pace for the 56 game season. If this was a full 82 game season, he’d be on pace for 123 points. He’ll obviously drop off a little from that pace.
He showed off his full health and sheer elite 200 foot game with an amazing individual effort to open the scoring against the Penguins on Tuesday night. Adding a primary assist on Nick Ritchie’s third of the season, Marchand recorded his 2nd multi-point night of the young season.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 27, 2021
I predict that if he stays healthy (knock on wood about thousand times), he’ll finish with 30 goals, and somewhere between 35-45 assists. He could be in the conversation for The Hart Trophy,
-Bradley Whitesell (@Bradiey98)
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