Like Him or Hate Him, Brad Marchand is an Asset to the Boston Bruins

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BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 05: Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins waits for a face off during a game at during a game with Edmonton Oilers at TD Garden on January 5, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts.(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Brad Marchand is by far the most controversial player on the Boston Bruins lineup, and the rest of the NHL’s fans are quick to tell Boston faithful so. Despite this controversy, he remains an asset to the Bruins offense. He was even named the league’s second star of the month for January.

Skill and Controversy

Marchand is currently in fourth place in the league for scoring, and leads the league in goals scored since the beginning of December (only the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby has more points). Through 54 games played, Marchand has 51 points. However, he is also third on the team for penalty minutes with 46. In 77 games last season, he had 61 points and 90 penalty minutes  played, with the latter being the most on the team.

He and goaltender Tuukka Rask represented the Bruins at the NHL All-Star Game just days after he faced the Department of Player Safety. The result of his phone hearing was a fine of $10,000 (the maximum allowed by the CBA) for what was deemed a “dangerous trip” on the Detroit Red Wings’ Niklas Kronwall. The trip was not called on the ice. There was also speculation that he would face supplemental discipline for a trip on Tampa Bay’s Anton Stralman on Tuesday night, but he did not face a hearing.

This is far from the first time Marchand has met with controversy. A suspension for clipping Ottawa Senator Mark Borowiecki caused him to miss Boston’s appearance in the 2016 Winter Classic against the Montreal Canadiens. Borowiecki was not injured on the play. He has also previously been suspended in the 2014-15 season for a slew foot and the 2011-12 season for another incident of clipping.

Brad Marchand is an Asset to Boston’s Offense

Despite his less-than-gentlemanly play style, there is a lot to say for Marchand’s offensive skill. In his rookie season, he tied Jeremy Roenick‘s second-place record for most playoff goals by a rookie with 11, 2 of which came in the Bruins’ game 7 win over the Vancouver Canucks to win the franchise’s sixth Stanley Cup. Together with David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron, he makes up one of the best first lines in the league at the moment, with his linemates having 20 and 13 goals, respectively. While representing team Canada at the World Cup of Hockey this summer, he and Crosby were responsible for the tournament-winning goal against Team Europe. Even though he is far from a Lady Byng nominee, Brad Marchand is an asset to Boston’s offensive force, and Bruins fans will continue to sing his praises despite what the rest of the league might say.

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