Claude Julien  was rather honest when asked what Brad Marchand  needs to do to snap out of an early season funk that would likely still have him on the third line if not for Loui Eriksson‘s injury.
Marchand was demoted to the third line in favor of Reilly Smith in the third period of the Bruins’ fourth game of the season, but he’s back on Patrice Bergeron ‘s line with Eriksson out. Julien said he spoke to Marchand and that skating and work ethic are the two things he needs to improve.
“Yeah, skating,” Julien said Monday. “We talked about that, and we had a real good practice today. He seemed to have a little bit more jump. I think when Brad skates the way Brad can skate, he’s quick. He’s a real fast skater and stuff like that. If he can start using his speed and put a real good work ethic along with that, like a compete level that we know he can, just those two things alone will make a huge difference for him. Today I think he responded well to that.
“I thought he had a real good practice. He was skating better than I’ve seen him skate in a while, so hopefully he continues to work on that part of it and he’s going to be fine.”
Marchand finished second on the Bruins with 28 goals in the 2011-12 season and figured to be in line for a big season as he enters his prime with the addition of Eriksson to his line. It hasn’t been pretty so far, however, as Marchand has one goal, a minus-1 rating and has committed numerous turnovers.