Bruins: Brad Marchand

Bruins' 10 biggest offseason questions

May, 15, 2014
BOSTON -- It will take a little while for the Boston Bruins to digest the abrupt end to their season after a 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in Game 7 of their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series Wednesday night at TD Garden.

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli and coach Claude Julien will hold their season-ending news conference Friday afternoon at TD Garden, after meeting with all the players and conducting annual exit meetings.

With the majority of this group remains under contract, Chiarelli should have a relatively quiet summer. Veteran forwards Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton are unrestricted free agents. Two trade-deadline acquisitions, defensemen Andrej Meszaros and Corey Potter, are also UFAs, as is backup goaltender Chad Johnson.

Restricted free agents include forwards Reilly Smith and Jordan Caron, along with defensemen Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski.

Here are 10 issues the Bruins must resolve during the offseason:

[+] EnlargeJarome Iginla
Brian Babineau/NHLI/Getty ImagesWill Jarome Iginla stick around for another title shot in Boston?
1. Bring back Iginla? The veteran forward and future Hall of Famer was an important part of the Bruins in his first season in Boston. It's no coincidence linemates David Krejci and Milan Lucic had the most consistent seasons of their careers with Iginla in the mix. However, the top line did not perform to expectations in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but Iginla had five goals and two assists for seven points in 12 postseason games. Iginla turns 37 on July 1 and said he would like to return to Boston in hopes of finally winning a Stanley Cup.

2. What happens with Thornton? The veteran pugilist has wants to remain in Boston and close out his career with the Bruins. Thornton turns 37 on July 23 and has been a mainstay on the team's energy line. His reputation took a hit this season when he was suspended for 15 games for an incident involving the Penguins' Brooks Orpik on Dec. 7. Then, during the second-round series against the Canadiens, Thornton was fined for spraying water on Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban. To remain with the Bruins, Thornton will probably have to settle for a one-year deal.

3. Trade for a top-four defenseman? When veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg tore both his ACL and MCL on Dec. 27, Chiarelli knew he would need to add to the team's blue line via trade. The GM attempted to pull off a couple of deals to acquire a veteran defenseman before the trade deadline, but nothing major came to fruition, other than claiming Potter off waivers from Edmonton and acquiring Meszaros in a minor trade with Philadelphia. It wasn't enough, and the Bruins' inexperience on defense was one of the reasons Boston lost to Montreal. The Bruins could package Bartkowski, prospect Ryan Spooner and a draft pick to acquire a veteran D-man. At the deadline, it was rumored Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alex Edler, 27, was atop the Bruins' wish list, but the deal imploded, according to reports. If the Bruins are that impressed with the blueliner's ability, it's possible Chiarelli could revisit that trade option this summer. Either way, the Bruins need another veteran presence on the blue line.

4. Can inexperienced blueliners improve? While Dougie Hamilton made strides in his first full season in the NHL, Bartkowski and Krug experienced more growing pains. Bartkowski began the season as the team's seventh D-man, but because of injuries, he finished as a top-four defenseman by default. He struggled in the playoffs, especially in the second round against the Canadiens. Chiarelli has attempted to trade Bartkowski in the past and it could happen this summer. Krug's presence on the power play was one reason why the Bruins finished with the No. 3-ranked unit in the league during the regular season. Defensively, his game ebbed and flowed.

[+] EnlargeBrad Marchand
AP Photo/Winslow TownsonWill Brad Marchand bounce back after his disappearing act in the playoffs?
5. Trade Marchand? Last summer, Chiarelli pulled off a blockbuster trade when he dealt forwards Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley and Ryan Button to the Dallas Stars in exchange for Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser and Joe Morrow. There were whispers Chiarelli would consider moving Marchand, too. The crafty forward had a strong regular season and finished with 25 goals and 28 assists for 53 points in 82 games. During the postseason, however, Marchand was held without a goal and did not produce. He plays well with linemate Patrice Bergeron, and the Bruins like Marchand's all-around game. It's likely Marchand's name will surface in rumors once again this summer, but it's unrealistic to assume Chiarelli would deal the Little Ball of Hate.

6. Where does McQuaid fit? When healthy, Adam McQuaid is a force. But he has been dealing with different issues the last couple of years and recently had surgery on his right ankle. He suffered what was described as a quad injury on Jan. 19 and missed the remainder of the season. He was limited to 30 games this season. McQuaid has one year left on his current deal worth $1.8 million. The emergence of defenseman Kevan Miller, who plays a similar game to McQuaid's, makes the veteran's status unclear if he remains injury-prone.

7. Figuring out a way to preserve Chara: Captain Zdeno Chara looks tired. At 37, it's understandable to wonder how much he has left in the tank. At the start of the season, Julien and Chiarelli explained they would try to find a way to keep the 6-foot-9, 255-pound defenseman fresh. Moving him from the point to the front of the net on the power play was one attempt to save his legs. He still averaged 25 minutes per game, but how much longer can he keep up that pace and still be effective? Chara still has three years remaining on his contract.


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8. Kelly's status: The past two seasons, Bruins assistant captain Chris Kelly has been plagued by injuries. He was limited to 57 games this season because of a broken right fibula. He returned to the lineup in late January, but suffered another undisclosed injury and missed the final three games of the regular season. It was described as back spasms, but the third-line winger never returned to the ice and missed the postseason. In his absence, the Bruins recalled, on separate occasions, forwards Justin Florek and Matt Fraser. Both played well in the playoffs, which were an important development experience for them. Kelly has two years left on his current deal, $3.5 million for next season and $2.5 million in 2015-16. Chiarelli has a strong relationship with Kelly, dating to their respective tenures with the Ottawa Senators, so it's unlikely the GM moves the veteran forward this summer.

9. Who backs up Tuukka? For the second consecutive offseason, Chiarelli will need to figure out whether to re-sign Tuukka Rask's backup. Chad Johnson accomplished exactly what the organization was looking for from its backup goaltender. He finished with a 17-4-3 record, a 2.10 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage in 27 games. Johnson is a UFA, and based on his success, he should receive a raise from his $600,000 deal with Boston. The Bruins also have prospects Malcolm Subban and Niklas Svedberg in Providence. Svedberg played one game for the Bruins this season and earned a victory. Johnson would be a solid choice to re-sign.

10. Time's up? Jordan Caron spent the majority of the season watching from press level as the team's 13th forward. When he did play, mostly on the third and fourth lines, he wasn't bad, but moving forward it doesn't appear there's room for him on the roster. Caron is a restricted free agent and Chiarelli could find a way to move him this summer. The 23-year-old former first-rounder has not lived up to expectations, but he's still young and could use a change of scenery.

Marchand feels relief after blown chances

April, 25, 2014
DETROIT -- No one was happier than Brad Marchand to see Jarome Iginla score the game-winning goal in overtime to give the Boston Bruins a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena.

The Bruins now lead the best-of-seven series, 3-1.

Twice in Game 4, Marchand had golden opportunities to score, but each time he missed a wide-open net, Glen Wesley style. Fortunately, the Bruins erased a two-goal deficit before Iginla's winner with 6:28 remaining in OT.

"I think I gave him a huge kiss," Marchand said.

Added Marchand, "I definitely wanted to bury it hard, the second one. The first one I kind of flicked it and missed. I really wanted to bury that second one. Maybe my shot's too hard and I've got to take a little off."

Marchand had a great scoring chance at the 15-minute mark of the first period, but his shot sailed wide. Boston defenseman Kevan Miller controlled the puck at the blue line and made a heads-up pass to Marchand, who was camped out on the back door. Gustavsson reached back with his stick, and even though he didn't get a piece of the puck, it forced Marchand to miss the net.

After Boston tied it at 2-2, Marchand should have given the Bruins the lead midway through the third period, but he missed a wide open net after Torey Krug faked the shot and passed Marchand the puck. Gustavsson was out of the net and Marchand simply shot it wide.

"If we would've lost I would've had a tough night of sleep," Marchand said. "We won and that's all that matters. It's obviously frustrating missing chances like that, we could've finished the game a lot earlier but you just have to stick with it and take the positives out of it. I'm still getting some opportunities so I just got to bear down a little better and bury the next one."

Bruins set to renew rivalry with Canucks

February, 3, 2014
WILMINGTON, Mass. -- The Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks are two totally different teams than they were in the spring of 2011 when the Stanley Cup was on the line.

But a major dislike has grown between the organizations since the Bruins won that series for their first championship in 39 years. Vancouver has won the last two games, beating Boston 4-3 on Jan. 7, 2012, at TD Garden, and 6-2 on Dec. 14 at Rogers Arena.

The Canucks have a new coaching staff led by former Tampa Bay and New York Rangers coach John Tortorella, who returned Monday night after serving a 15-day suspension. Vancouver went 2-4-0 during the coach's league-mandated absence.

[+] EnlargeBruins-Canucks
Jeff Vinnick/NHLI/Getty ImagesBrad Marchand (63) says "there's definitely some hatred" for the Canucks.
Since many of the same players remain on the respective rosters, Tuesday's game between the Bruins and Canucks at TD Garden will not disappoint.

"I think there's definitely some hatred for that team," said Bruins forward Brad Marchand. "And they have it for us. I think anytime you're playing a team and you're on the ice I think you've got to have that feeling. You've got to hate the other team. That's what makes you want to push so hard to win that game. I think it's safe to say that you kind of hate every team when you're on the ice."

No doubt this rivalry has grown between the Bruins and the Canucks. Even though it's been nearly three years, the remaining players feel the hatred that Marchand described. Fans feel it, too.

Prior to the Bruins' 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens Thursday at TD Garden, coach Claude Julien and his players were talking about how important it was not to focus on the storied rivalry, but instead concentrate and continue to play the way Boston had been playing leading up to that game. But Montreal outplayed the Bruins in every aspect, and Boston showed no emotion during its worst loss of the season.

It will be different against the Canucks.

"It's there just because of the bad blood and all the emotion that was in that final," said Bruins forward Milan Lucic. "There's still guys that were big parts of that final that are still on the same team. I think that's what makes this rivalry continue, but we don't want to make too, too much of it like we did going into the Montreal game and then play the way we did, so I think we're just focusing more on our game and how we need to play more so than on the rivalry."

It's going to be difficult to ignore the Canucks as just another opponent. If the previous two games against Vancouver are any indication, the Bruins will be faced with a challenge. This rivalry is legit.

"Well, there's just so much emotion that came out of the Cup finals that year. Obviously it was very intense, it was a very hard-fought battle," Marchand said. "So that's not something you just kind of let go and especially with both teams having a lot of guys who played, or a few guys who played in the finals. It makes this interesting."

Caught up in all the emotion of this rivalry, Marchand thought he was embarrassing the Canucks by mockingly kissing his championship ring, and pretending to lift the Stanley Cup in the air during Boston's loss in December. However, he embarrassed himself, and afterward the Bruins addressed the situation with him. It was the first time the Bruins returned to Vancouver since winning the Stanley Cup, so emotions were running high for both teams.

[+] EnlargeBrad Marchand
Jeff Vinnick/Getty ImagesMarchand's pretend Cup-lifting antics didn't go over so well in December.
"If I go back, probably not something I'd do again. But I've just got to move on," Marchand said.

The Bruins hoisted the Cup on June 15, 2011, at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, and the first regular-season rematch between the teams was played on Jan. 7, 2012, at TD Garden. It was a game filled with fights, ejections and total resentment for one another.

Of course, Marchand was right in the middle of it.

With that game tied at 2-2, Marchand was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for clipping the Canucks' Sami Salo at 18:47 of the second period. Vancouver scored twice during that man advantage for a 4-2 lead and finished with a 4-3 victory over the Bruins. Marchand was suspended for five games for his hit on Salo.

"It was a crazy game. It was a lot of fun to be part of that game as well, for a couple periods, but yeah it's fun being part of those games," Marchand said. "There's a lot of emotion. Those are the games that people want to see, the games you want to be part of. I'm sure it's going to be a hard-fought game [Tuesday]. They're a really good team and they play really hard, and they've got a few guys in there who are playing a little more physical too. It's going to be a little more of a fun game."

The Bruins returned to the Stanley Cup finals in June and eventually lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games. The teams played the regular-season rematch on Jan. 19 at United Center in Chicago. It was an entertaining game and finished with the Blackhawks winning 3-2 in a shootout. That game was played similarly to the finals and proved how much respect the Bruins and Blackhawks had for one another, which is completely different than the Bruins and Canucks.

When the puck drops Tuesday night, it will be an intense game. Players on both teams will be into it and fans will be ready, too.

"Yeah, I think so," Marchand said. "I think the fans are going to be really excited about it. Obviously they were not happy with how we played last game against them. So we're going to want to have a big game and they're big points for our team. We've got to make sure we go after them hard."

Marchand leads Bruins' offense

January, 19, 2014
CHICAGO -- Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand appeared to be in a terrible mood prior to the team’s practice on Saturday in Chicago.

Or maybe he was just focused on the Chicago Blackhawks.

Whatever it was worked as Marchand scored the Bruins’ only two goals of the game and their lone goal in a shootout loss to the Blackhawks.

[+] EnlargeBrad Marchand
Bill Smith/NHLI/Getty ImagesBrad Marchand led the Bruins on offense with two goals.
“To me, he was a real good player tonight,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “He’s been good now for the last little while, so it’s nice to have him back.”

Marchand now has four goals and five points in the last three games. The way he played on Sunday, he could have easily scored more. He was skating well, working hard along the wall and going to the net with a purpose.

Even his linemates are noticing a bit more from him.

“His jump, I think he has that step in his legs right now and obviously it creates a lot of things by doing that, by getting himself open and we’re trying to feed off of him right now,” said teammate Patrice Bergeron.

The pair of goals on Sunday were Marchand’s 13th and 14th goals of the season. Prior to his recent success, he only scored one goal and added one assist in a span of seven games, but he’s turned it around.

“I think you want to try to build every game when things aren't going right and you want to continue to try to improve,” Marchand said. “It took a long time for it to come around, but it just seems like the confidence is back a bit and I'm getting some lucky bounces here and there. It's definitely nice to be playing better.”

During the Stanley Cup finals last spring, Marchand did not register a point.

"It's always nice when you get a couple, but I wasn't really worried about trying to redeem myself for the finals or anything like that," Marchand said. "It was big game for our team and we need these ppoints right now."

Is Marchand finally coming around?

January, 3, 2014
BOSTON -- Bruins forward Brad Marchand and coach Claude Julien could both laugh about the game-winning goal that helped Boston to a 3-2 overtime victory against the Nashville Predators on Thursday night at TD Garden.

Just 54 seconds into the extra period, linemate Patrice Bergeron fed Marchand with a pass at the Nashville blue line, as Boston gained control of the offensive zone. The Predators’ Mike Fisher attempted to steal the puck, but Marchand made a nifty toe drag around the defender and was surprised when he still had control.

Marchand skated to the top of the left faceoff circle and his wrist shot beat Nashville goaltender Marek Mazanec for the game-winning goal. Julien was pleasantly surprised that the puck went in on that play.

“That’s because most of the time he’s lost those pucks,” Julien said of Marchand’s move just inside the blue line. “And it worked, so I give him credit for that. He was smart enough just to throw it at the net.
“You know it was one of those things that if it hits Fisher’s skates it’s a different ballgame and he had to be ready to backcheck, but maybe I was surprised a little bit too that he still had the puck.”

The play surprised just about everybody in the building and left Fisher feeling embarrassed.

“It was just a bad play by me, but you know I don’t think [Mazanec] saw it in the screen and no one else plays it,” Fisher said. “I’d like that back, but what do you do.”

Marchand has experienced too many inconsistencies this season, but he believes his game is coming around. He has just 10 goals through 41 games (he was at 18 at this point last season), but five of them have come in his past seven games.

“A little bit, but I think at the same time it’s a little bit of the bounces too,” he said. “Earlier in the year that probably would have been a turnover and a goal the other way so a little bit of luck there, getting that through, and that’s just how it goes sometimes.”

Julien: Everything Marchand does isn't bad

December, 17, 2013
BOSTON -- Bruins forward Brad Marchand was called for boarding at 15:28 of the second period during Boston’s 2-0 win over the Calgary Flames Tuesday night at TD Garden.

Marchand, who’s had a difficult few days after his on-ice antics Saturday night in Vancouver, hit the Flames’ Sean Monahan from behind and was penalized. After the game, Bruins coach Claude Julien thought it deserved only a two-minute penalty.

“I look at that hit and it’s a two-minute penalty. And I don’t think he was going in there looking to injure the guy,” Julien said. “He was going to hit and the guy turned and how he got him deserved a two-minute penalty but that’s as much as it is.

“I don’t want us to start thinking that everything Brad does is bad. It’s a two-minute [penalty] like a lot of other two minutes. Not any worse than all the high sticks our guys took to the face tonight. So he took the two minutes, went to the box and served it.”

During Boston’s 6-2 loss to the Canucks Saturday night at Rogers Arena, Marchand mockingly kissed and hoisted an imaginary Stanley Cup, and kissed his phantom Stanley Cup ring during the game, which did not go over well with the Canucks players and fans, or Boston’s coach. The Bruins defeated the Canucks in the Cup finals in Vancouver in 2011.

Julien said he would deal with Marchand’s antics internally.

Julien on Marchand: An internal issue

December, 16, 2013
WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Bruins coach Claude Julien would not confirm whether or not he spoke with forward Brad Marchand about his antics during Saturday’s 6-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena.

“If I did, I think it’s for us to keep internally,” Julien said. “I don’t think it’s for anyone else to know about. I was pretty clear in my comments. It’s not something that we want and we’ll deal with it internally in those situations.”

Marchand mockingly kissed and hoisted the Stanley Cup, and kissed his phantom Stanley Cup ring during the game, which did not go over well with the Canuck players, their fans, or Boston’s coach. The Bruins defeated the Canucks in the Cup finals in Vancouver in 2011.

After Saturday’s game, Julien said those antics would not be accepted. Marchand said he was reacting after the Canucks’ Ryan Kesler gouged him in the eye during the game. Marchand did not speak after Monday's practice.

Marchand OK after getting kneed in head

December, 8, 2013
BOSTON -- Forward Brad Marchand was all smiles after the Boston Bruins' 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday night at TD Garden.

When asked if he had an opinion on being kneed in the head by the Penguins' James Neal at 11:06 of the first period, all Marchand said was: "No."

[+] EnlargeBrad Marchand
Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesBrad Marchand got kneed in the head by James Neal.
After the game it was announced that Neal will have a discipline hearing for the incident.

Marchand was asked if he saw the replay.


Did he think it was intentional?

"I don't know, it happened quick."

Marchand remained on the ice after the knee to the head, was tended to by a trainer, exited the ice and went to the room. He was back on the bench shortly.

When ask if he was injured on the play, he said: "I can't comment on this, guys; I know you guys were already told, I can't comment. You know I want to, but I can't."

Neal had his take on the situation.

"I was skating by him, I haven't like seen the replay or anything, so I mean I hit him in the head with my leg or my foot or my knee or shin area, I don't know," Neal said. "But I mean he's already going down and I guess I need to try to avoid him, but I have to look at it again. I haven't gotten a chance to look at it."

Neal was pressed further.

"I mean, what do you want me to say? That I was trying to hit him? No. I'm going by him; I don't get out of the way, like I said. I need to be more careful and I guess get my knee out of the way, but I'm not trying to hit him in the head or injure him or anything like that."

Julien sends message to Marchand

November, 19, 2013
NEW YORK -- Bruins coach Claude Julien is trying to help forward Brad Marchand find a consistent level of play.

During the team’s 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., Julien moved Marchand to the fourth line and replaced him with Jordan Caron. It wasn’t a permanent move, but Julien was trying to send a message.

Marchand had a terrible turnover early in the third period and that’s something Julien wants the forward to fix.

“[Monday night] he had a hard time along the wall under pressure but that’s something he’s capable of correcting,” Julien said after the team’s optional skate Tuesday morning at Madison Square Garden.

Marchand’s play has been inconsistent this season, but prior to Monday’s game he had played well the previous few games.

“He’s improved his game. His skating and making plays is coming along,” Julien said. “He struggled a bit in his own end getting pucks out and that’s just a part of his game, but his game definitely has been getting better. When you compare him to the beginning of the year, he’s heading in the right direction. It’s like anything else; you can’t fix everything all at once and he seems to be a little more in sync with his teammates.”

Marchand lauds new Sabres coach Nolan

November, 13, 2013
WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Bruins forward Brad Marchand has been in a good mood of late because of the team’s three-game winning streak.

He was in an even better mood after Wednesday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena when he learned one of his former mentors was named head coach of the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres fired general manager Darcy Regier and coach Ron Rolston and named Pat LaFontaine GM and Ted Nolan as coach.

“Good for him. That’s awesome,” Marchand said of Nolan’s new post.

Prior to Marchand’s second year with the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, that team hired Nolan as coach. They worked together for only one season, but it was a big one for Marchand.

“He was very important in my development,” Marchand said. “I loved him as a coach, he was a great guy and very down to earth. He really knew how to deal with guys and get the best out of them. He’s definitely one of the most influential people I’ve had and I’m very happy to hear that he got the job in Buffalo.”

The Bruins and the Sabres play a home-and-home series on Dec. 19 and 21. Marchand says he plans on keeping his mouth shut with Nolan on the opposing bench.

“No, I don’t think I’ll be chirping,” Marchand said with a laugh. “He’s probably got more dirt on me than I do on him. I might say hi and keep quiet that game.”

Marchand scores, gets monkey off his back

November, 7, 2013
Brad MarchandBrian Babineau/NHLI/Getty ImagesBrad Marchand's second goal of the season proved to be the game winner versus Florida.
BOSTON -- Bruins forward Brad Marchand has produced some interesting goal celebrations during his NHL career, but the one he pulled off Thursday night against the Florida Panthers illustrated what he has been going through in the first month of the 2013-14 season.

After Marchand knocked in a loose puck at 4:09 of the third period, which proved to be the game-winning tally as Boston defeated the Panthers 4-1 at TD Garden, he peeled off into the corner and made a unique gesture, reaching behind his back and motioning like he was throwing something onto the ice.

"Just getting the monkey off the back, pretty much," explained Marchand. "It's been a while."

He added that the celebration wasn't something he already had planned.

"No, not really. It just kind of came to my mind and I figured I would do it," he said.

It was only his second goal of the season and first since Oct. 5 against the Detroit Red Wings.

"It's really nice to finally get one; it's been a while, and forgot what it felt like," Marchand said. "It's normally a lucky goal like that, and it's nice to get the monkey off the back."

The goal was the end result of his doing exactly what Bruins coach Claude Julien has been preaching all season: crashing the net and moving his feet.

[+] EnlargeBrad Marchand
AP Photo/Charles KrupaBrad Marchand was aggressive in his pursuit of the puck Thursday.
"He scored the goal the way we know he scores," Julien said. "He made a great play at the blue line and then just skated to the net and was able to jump on the loose puck. We talked about moving his feet, and when he moves his feet, he creates things and scores some goals, too."

Marchand's initial play that set up the goal was a risky one at the Florida blue line, but he was able to move the puck to linemate Patrice Bergeron, who quickly passed it to defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. The blueliner took a shot before the Bruins' Loui Eriksson tipped the puck as it slipped by Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen. The puck was just sitting there as Marchand easily knocked it in.

Marchand has only two goals and three assists for five points in the first 15 games of the season. Through the first 15 games of last season, he had 10 goals and three assists for 13 points. When asked how to describe what it's like when a goal scorer isn't scoring, Marchand was quick to make a joke.

"I know you're not talking about me, because I'm not a good goal scorer," Marchand said with a smile. "It's frustrating. You want to contribute and you know you can. When you see the games go by and not only are you not scoring, I wasn't playing well, and it's very frustrating. You want to pull your own weight, especially with the team we have, everyone is expected to play up to par. It was nice to get a win, and we just gotta keep trying to build."

When Marchand is at his best, he's chirping and aggravating opponents. That's something the Bruins haven't seen much of from the Little Ball of Hate this season, but he made it a point to get more involved in that area Thursday night against the Panthers.

"It gets me more into the game, and I felt more into the game out there because of that," he said. "It gets my emotions up a bit and that's when I'm playing better, so I tried to do that a little bit more and I felt a little bit better by doing that."

At the start of this season, management and the coaching staff explained to Marchand that it was important to the team's success that he became more of a leader. His production has suffered in the early part of the season, but he's been relying on his coaches and teammates to help him through these struggles.

"The coaches have been really good with me," he said. "They know I haven't been playing my best, and they've been trying to work with me in all areas -- videos, meetings and whatnot," he said. "Then you really have to take it upon yourself at some point and figure out what's going on. It's been a bit of a struggle, there's no question about that, but the coaches, management and my teammates, especially have been really good to me. The guys have been trying to give me some good motivation and make sure I stick with it."

When the game ended and the Bruins finished with a much-needed victory, Marchand was doing something in the locker room he hasn't done much of this season: smile and chirp. It was evident he felt more like himself. Now, it needs to continue for the Bruins.

"I thought Marchy played real well tonight," said Bruins veteran Chris Kelly. "He was moving his feet. He played well in all three zones. He was in on the forecheck, and it was nice to see a guy get rewarded like that with a goal, and with his celebration there it showed."

Marchand trying to find himself

November, 6, 2013
BOSTON -- When Bruins forward Brad Marchand is playing at his best, he’s chirping on and off the ice. He’s aggravating opponents and pleasantly annoying his teammates.

Following Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars, Marchand sat at his locker in the Bruins’ dressing room at TD Garden and appeared distraught, which is unlike him win or lose. Sure, he hates losing, but when he’s not contributing it makes it worse.

He’s been in this slump for the majority of the season and has only one goal and three assists for four points, while sporting a minus-3 rating. In the first 14 games last season, he already had nine goals.

[+] EnlargeBrad Marchand
Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesMarchand said that even though the Bruins lost to Dallas on Tuesday night, he took a step in the right direction. "I just have to build off of it," he said.
Bruins coach Claude Julien has spoken with Marchand about ways he can find his game, but it’s just taking a while for that to happen.

"Everything’s not just going to go right in one night,” Marchand said. “It’s a slow process and you’ve got to make sure you stay positive through it all, but hopefully I can get it back on track here soon.”

Midway through the second period of Tuesday’s game was a perfect example of Marchand’s struggles. He had the puck all alone in front of Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen with a pointblank scoring opportunity. Marchand had time and space, which is normally dangerous because of his skill around the net. This time, however, he wasn’t strong on his stick or quick with his hands and Dallas forward Valeri Nichushkin was able to create just enough of a poke check to interrupt Marchand’s scoring bid.

Other than the one play, it was evident Marchand was trying to be more engaged around the net, at the corners and in the slot area.

“I was trying to be,” he said. “I just thought a lot about past years and a lot of my success has come around the net, so I’m trying to be around there more, move my feet a little bit more because that’s one thing Claude’s talked to me about is moving my feet down low and keep moving. I’m trying to do that a bit and I definitely felt a little better.

“I saw a couple of turnovers I wish we could have back and a few opportunities I missed that normally I’d finish, but I think it’s a step in the right direction and I just have to build off of it.”

Boston produced 26 shots on net and Marchand had three of them, while linemates Patrice Bergeron had seven and Loui Eriksson managed three. It was Eriksson’s first game back in the lineup since missing the previous five due to a concussion. At the time of his head injury, the Bruins’ second line seemed to be hitting its stride. With Eriksson back and feeling healthy, that line will get a chance to recover with each player finding his role.

“Yeah I definitely felt a little more confident making plays down [in the corners and around the net],” Marchand said. “I felt back in sync with Bergy and felt good with Loui there. So, definitely like I said, a step in the right direction but still got to clean up a few areas.”

Marchand is only 25. He’s already played in two Stanley Cup finals and was a key member of the team’s 2011 championship. At the start of training camp in September, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli explained he was looking for Marchand to inherit more responsibility on and off the ice.

As Marchand tries to live up to those expectations, it seems like he’s working to regain the edge that has made him so successful. Good thing, because the Bruins -- who have a 1-3-1 record in the last five games -- are going to need the old Marchand in order to rise from their current funk.

What's wrong with Marchand?

October, 22, 2013

Barry Melrose looks at Brad Marchand's early-season struggles that has the forward on the third line for the Bruins. Through seven games played, Marchand has just one goal, one assist, and a plus/minus rating of -1.

"This guy has to play on an edge," says Melrose. "He has to be just a little ball of hate, he has to make people mad to play against him, he's got to be yapping, he's got to be chirping, he's got to be slashing... that's not the case right now."

Bergy, Lucic, Marchy are Olympic hopefuls

July, 22, 2013
Now that NHL players are officially participating in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the national federations can move forward with preparations. Hockey Canada announced the list of 47 players invited to a summer orientation camp Aug. 25-28 in Calgary. The camp begins the process of selecting the 23 players who will make the Olympic team.

Three Bruins have been invited: center Patrice Bergeron and wingers Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand.

Bergeron is the only Bruin with Olympic experience. He is among 15 invitees who helped Canada win gold in Vancouver in 2010. Lucic
participated in the Vancouver selection camp but was not chosen to play in the 2010 Games. He and Marchand, a newcomer to the senior team, will compete for spots this time around.

Veteran forward Jarome Iginla, who signed with the Bruins during free agency this summer, was not invited to camp. The full list of Canadian national team staff and player hopefuls can be found HERE.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Blackhawks challenging Bruins' Chara

June, 21, 2013
Chara/ToewsBill Smith/NHLI/Getty ImagesJonathan Toews said the Hawks need to use their speed to deal with Zdeno Chara.
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks haven't lost their respect for Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, but they have ceased to fear him.

The Blackhawks stopped trying to avoid the 6-foot-9, 255-pound Chara in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals on Wednesday and discovered they could have success against him as they scored five of their six goals with Chara on the ice. Chara finished Game 4 with a minus-3 rating, which was his worst rating of the playoffs.

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