April 21, 2017 by foleyb33
Brad Marchand has totaled one point in four games this postseason. (Courtesy of James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports)
Written by Brian Foley
Brad Marchand has been called many different things throughout his career. The “Nose Face Killah” and “Little Ball of Hate” nicknames have been popular ones here in New England. Marchand is also called things like talented, MVP-caliber, annoying and a rat.
Marchand has a knack for playing a little dirty and a little cheap and excels at getting underneath the skin of his opponents. He also scores a lot and has so much offensive power he can be tough to play against. With all of his talent where has he been through four games against the Ottawa Senators?
According to NHL.com he has played over 20 minutes a game and only has one point to show for it; one goal and zero assists. He carries a +/- of zero throughout the four games and has only taken 11 shots. For the Bruins to stay in this series they need more from him. I would not care about the lack of goal scoring if his line was being productive, but that is not the case. His career numbers for the playoffs are 17 goals, 23 assists on 174 shots with a 9.8 shooting percentage. So it’s time for him to kick it into gear.
“The big thing is just try and push through it,” said Marchand. “I would say I have to be better; I haven’t been at my best so far.”
Watching these playoff games Marchand does not jump off the screen like he did during the regular season. The only player who has (to this writer at least) Is Charlie McAvoy. He also doesn’t seem to be getting on the nerves of the Senators either. Maybe it is because of his recent two-game suspension to end the season, but Marchand has not been the same player who does not mind getting a little dirty.
The Bruins need him to be getting under the skin of the Senators and start forcing them to make mistakes. If Marchand can come out tonight on fire and show us the “Little Ball of Hate” is ready to play, Boston has a significantly better shot at making this a longer series. Game five tonight starts at 7:30pm and I will be watching closely to see if Marchand and the Bruins show up or if they are just going to pack it in.