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Islanders beat Bruins in preseason contest 09.30.14 at 9:42 pm ET
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The Bruins came back from a two-goal deficit in the third period of Tuesday’€™s preseason game against the Islanders but ultimately fell, 5-3.

Boston first got on the board in the first period with a goal from Patrice Bergeron putting in his own rebound, but three straight goals from the Islanders gave them a 3-1 lead heading into the third. After Brad Marchand took a cross-checking penalty, Matt Bartkowski scored a shorthanded goal and Marchand took a pass from Loui Eriksson upon exiting the penalty box for a breakaway on which he tied the game. Cal Clutterbuck beat projected Providence backup goaltender Jeremy Smith to make it 4-3 with 3:09 remaining in the game. The Islanders got an empty-netter from Scott Mayfield with 1:11 to seal the victory.

Niklas Svedberg started the game for the Bruins, allowing one goal on eight shots. Smith took over halfway through the second and allowed two goals late in the second before settling down in the third.

Torey Krug and Reilly Smith did not play, but are expected to this weekend. The Bruins’€™ lineup for the game was as follows:

Lucic – Krejci – Eriksson
Marchand – Bergeron – Cunningham
Gagne – Soderberg – Fraser
Caron – Kelly – Robins

Chara – Hamilton
Seidenberg – Boychuk
Bartkowski – McQuaid

The Bruins have two more preseason games remaining. They’€™ll play the Islanders in Connecticut on Friday before wrapping up the preseason Saturday evening against the Red Wings. The B’€™s will host the Flyers in their season-opener Oct. 8.

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Brad Marchand knows what Reilly Smith and Torey Krug are experiencing 09.09.14 at 5:15 pm ET
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WILMINGTON –€” If anyone knows what it feels like to be Torey Krug or Reilly Smith right now, it’€™s Brad Marchand.

The fall after the B’€™s won the Cup in 2011, Marchand, a restricted free agent, remained unsigned up until two days before training camp began. The sides avoided a holdout by striking a two-year, $5 million deal.

With training camp opening next week, both Krug and Smith remain without contracts. Marchand can remember the feeling of being days out of training camp and trying to agree to a new deal.

“It’€™s tough,”€ he said Tuesday. “€œThey want to be here and we’€™d love to have them here. I don’€™t know what’€™s happening with the negotiations, but it is a frustrating time for both sides.

“€œYou want to be with the guys and skating and have all that stuff behind you, because at the end of the day you love the game and you don’€™t want to be missing out on this stuff. Hopefully it will get done soon, and I’€™m sure it will.”

In the cases Krug and Smith, the circumstances are different than Marchand’€™s was. For one, Krug and Smith are entry level free agents and therefore don’€™t have any leverage. The biggest thing at play here, however, is the fact that cap space is tight.

Boston has only $3.218 million to sign both players for the coming season. A trade is expected at some point, but until the B’€™s do anything, forcing both players to take less than they’€™re worth is the team’€™s only move.

Training camp holdouts happen in the NHL (Drew Doughty in 2011 among them) and both P.K. Subban and Ryan O’€™Reilly were restricted free agents who missed games in the lockout-shortened 2013 season before eventually signing with their teams.

For his own sake, Marchand doesn’€™t want to see Smith, the right wing on Boston’€™s second line, sit out into the season. He’€™d rather have Smith in camp so prepare for the season with Marchand and Patrice Bergeron.

“It would be good,” Marchand said of Smith’€™s situation resolving itself sooner rather than later. “It’€™s always good to have as much time in training camp to play with your line, but that’€™s not something I can control.”

And if Smith remains unsigned for a long time?

“œMe and Bergy will just go out and have fun by ourselves, I guess.”

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Brad Marchand says he ‘hates’ Tomas Plekanec, but everyone already knew that 07.30.14 at 12:01 pm ET
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The biggest news surrounding Brad Marchand this offseason is that Peter Chiarelli said he wouldn’€™t trade him. The least surprising surrounding him came Tuesday night.

Speaking at the 2014 Phoenix House Champs for Change in his home town of Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Boston left wing answered a question about which player irritates him the most by pointing to Tomas Plekanec, Montreal’€™s well-rounded-but-not-so-well-liked-by-opponents center.

“€œThere’€™s a few guys who really irritate me,”€ Marchand initially answered, but then he went into detail.

“Tomas Plekanec from Montreal, I hate him. I can’€™t stand him. No, I probably shouldn’€™t say that. I dislike him very much.”

The answer prompted a mixed reaction from the crowd, with plenty of laughter throughout. Marchand then quipped, ‘€œSomeone’€™s going to call and get mad at me for saying that tomorrow.’€

The fact that Marchand and Plekanec don’€™t like each other is not news. Don’€™t forget that Marchand clocked Plekanec in the head before a faceoff in Game 7 of the second round of playoffs last season, a shot that went uncalled.

Below is video of Marchand’€™s comments.

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Peter Chiarelli: Bruins not planning on trading Brad Marchand for Patrick Marleau or anyone else 06.13.14 at 9:39 am ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told Friday morning that he has no plans to trade forward Brad Marchand. He also refuted a rumor from Thursday that the team was discussing a trade of the pesky forward for Sharks veteran Patrick Marleau.

“€œI have had no discussions for Marchand and I have no plans to trade him,” Chiarelli said. “I don’€™t make it a practice to respond to reports in the social media, but occasionally it is necessary.”

A veteran of four seasons, Marchand has three years left on a four-year, $18 million extension that contains a modified no-trade clause. His $4.5 million cap hit is fourth among Bruins forwards and sixth among Bruins players.

Marleau is not a logical fit for the Bruins given that they are looking to shed salary going forward rather than add it. In addition to Marleau being 34 years of age, his deal carries two more years of a $6.66 million cap hit and contains a no-movement clause.

The upside of adding a player like Marleau is that he is still productive at his age, as he had 33 goals for the Sharks last season, but making that expensive of a minor upgrade (Marchand had more goals than Marleau’s 17 in the 2013 season) in one spot on the top-six would make it even harder for the Bruins to re-sign Jarome Iginla, who is a free agent and led the Bruins in goals in both the regular season, when his 30 goals matched Patrice Bergeron‘s, and postseason.

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Bruins report card: Forwards 06.10.14 at 4:15 pm ET
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As the Stanley Cup finals take place, the fact that the Bruins didn’t even reach the Eastern Conference finals after winning the Presidents’€™ Trophy further accentuates the failure that was their 2013-14 season. Here are the individual grades:


Patrice Bergeron: A
Regular season: 80 GP, 30 G, 32 A, 62 PTS, plus-38
Postseason: 12 GP, 3 G, 6 A, 9 PTS, plus-1

Bergeron had the type of season that led Twitter to be insufferable over his candidacy for a video game cover, so that’€™s a good thing, I guess. This was Bergeron’€™s second career 30-goal season, and the fact that he scored 30 goals given that he never, ever cheats offensively, was pretty insane. He likely would have had more points than his 62 points had his linemates been more consistent early on.

Bergeron had nine points (three goals, six assists) over the first eight games of the playoffs, but he failed to register a point in the last four games against the Canadiens.

Jarome Iginla: A-
Regular season: 78 GP, 30 G, 31 A, 61 PTS, plus-34
Postseason: 12 GP, 5 G, 2 A, 7 PTS, even rating

He hit 30 goals in the regular season, and while that thrilled Bruins fans, that’€™s what they should have expected from him. It took him a bit to start scoring regularly, but once he hit his stride, the Bruins’€™ first line had perhaps its most consistent regular season since David Krejci became the team’€™s No. 1 center. The Bruins will want to bring him back, but there’€™s no telling whether Iginla is willing to go year-to-year given that it’€™s the only way the Bruins can capitalize cap-wise on his status as a player over 35 years old.

Carl Soderberg: A-
Regular season: 73 GP, 16 G, 32 A, 48 P, plus-4
Postseason: 12 GP, 1 G, 5 A, 6 PTS, plus-4

It’€™s probably too early take positives from the season and apply them going forward, but Soderberg showed he can be one of the league’€™s better third-liners since he was moved to center. Considering Bergeron and David Krejci aren’t going anywhere, that’s where Soderberg will remain. He has one year left on his deal with a $1.083 million cap hit. If the 28-year-old takes another step forward in his second full NHL season, he’ll be due a sizable raise.

Reilly Smith: A-
Regular season: 82 GP, 20 G, 31 A, 51 PTS, plus-28
Postseason: 12 GP, 4 G, 1 A, 5 PTS, plus-5

Don’€™t confuse his midseason slump with a complete collapse; Smith was one of the Bruins’€™ best players in the postseason. With even a little consistency down the stretch in the regular season, this would be an A+.

The Bruins coveted Smith when it came time to talk trade with the Stars, and they planned on him being a steady third-liner for them this season, but he claimed the second-line right wing job and raced out to a team-leading 18 goals in his first 52 games. Of course, scoring just two goals over the final 30 games wasn’t exactly top-six material. How much of that can be attributed to his midseason illness that caused him to lose weight is unknown, but with more consistency Smith can expect to push for 30 goals going forward.

Milan Lucic: B-
Regular season: 80 GP, 24 G, 35 A, 59 PTS, plus-30
Postseason: 12 GP, 4 G, 3 A, 7 PTS, plus-3

Lucic hit a goal-scoring rut in the middle of the season and he hit some of his opponents in the you-know-whats late in the season. That scoring slump saw Lucic score one goal over an 18-game stretch from Dec. 5 to Jan. 14, and without such a stretch Lucic could have pushed for 30 goals.

Daniel Paille: B-/C+
Regular season: 72 GP, 9 G, 9 A, 18 PTS, plus-9
Postseason: 7 GP, 1 G, 0 A, 1 PT, minus-1

He had three concussions this season, but he still played in 72 regular-season games. Paille’s the type of player who could figure to stick around if the Bruins decide to revamp their fourth line, as he has the speed that’€™s allowed the B’s to move him up in the lineup at points in addition to his penalty-killing duties.

Gregory Campbell: C
Regular season: 82 GP, 8 G, 13 S, 21 PTS, plus-1
Postseason: 12 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 PTS, even rating

The Bruins’ bottom-six –€“ particularly their fourth line — is supposed to be better than that of other teams, and it was a bad year for the Merlot Line. Campbell was a minus-3 in the Montreal series, with his line on the ice for the disastrous shift against Montreal’s fourth line in Game 7 that resulted in Dale Weise‘s first-period goal. The positive is that Campbell played all 82 games and 12 postseason games coming off a broken leg that ended last season in the Eastern Conference finals for him.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Brad Marchand knows he’s underperformed, hopes Bruins don’t trade him 05.17.14 at 3:30 pm ET
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When teams win, every player is appreciated in some way, shape or form. Even Tomas Kaberle ended up positively impacting Boston’s Stanley Cup run with a big assist on Michael Ryder‘s first goal of Game 4 against the Canadiens, and when the Cup was raised, all was forgiven.

When teams lose, it’s a different animal, and underperforming players might have reason to worry about their future.

Of the Bruins’ biggest names under contract, Brad Marchand might be most likely to hear his name pop up in trade chatter. He’s relatively young (26) and on a pretty good contract (three more years with a $4.5 million cap hit in each), but after an up-and-down regular season and a goose-egg in the goal column for the entire postseason, his future with the Bruins is no sure thing. If there is a bigger move for Peter Chiarelli to make, Marchand would be a logical candidate to be moved.

This isn’t the first time Marchand’s had to wonder about whether his time with the B’s was coming to an end. When Tyler Seguin was traded last summer, Marchand wondered if he might be on the move too. On Friday, he reiterated that point and said he hopes to stay in Boston.

“A guy as talented as Segs gets traded at such an early age and it’s an eye-opener for everyone,” Marchand said. “I don’t know. Hopefully I’m not going anywhere, but that’s up to management and the coaching staff. I guess we’ll see.”

Though Marchand is viewed universally as a pest, he’s one of Boston’s best players when at the top of his game. A plus two-way player, Marchand is fast, has underrated hands and kills penalties.

Yet when factoring in Marchand’s quiet end to the last postseason, the pesky forward has now gone 20 playoff games without a goal. That’s not good enough for a player who should be expected to score 25 to 30 goals a season (he scored 25 this season after recovering from a dreadful start that saw him score just three goals in the first 25 games of the season).

“It’s very tough,” Marchand said of his postseason shortcomings. “You really want to perform and help the team. Playoff time is when you need to be big and you need to produce. I wasn’t able to accomplish that this year. I’ll have to focus even harder for next year.”

Marchand was the victim of a horrendous call in Game 7 of the second round of the Canadiens, as he was called for goaltender interference when Andrei Markov cross-checked him in the head, sending him into Carey Price.

As frustrating as that “reputation call” may have been, Marchand — admittedly, to his credit — has earned the reputation to get those bad calls. Reputation calls aren’t given to players who take a lot of penalties; they’re given to players who get away with a lot of stuff that refs don’t always see, such as his punch to the head of Tomas Plekanec before a faceoff that went uncalled.

“It’€™s frustrating, but I dug that hole for myself and I’€™ve got to live with it,” Marchand said after Game 7.

If the Bruins were to move Marchand, it would be interesting to see what kind of return he would yield. After being eliminated by the speedier Canadiens and assuming they’ll have to face them at some point most years in the playoffs with the new playoff format, Boston should be in no hurry to remove more speed from its top two lines.

Still, depending on what the B’s could get back and whether it could save them some money against the cap (re-signing Jarome Iginla to anything but a one-year, bonus-laden deal seems to be their only bet at retaining Iginla unless they shed salary), anything might be worth exploring for Chiarelli.

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Claude Julien calls out Habs for late-game antics, says he expects Bruins to win Game 7 05.12.14 at 11:08 pm ET
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MONTREAL — Claude Julien had a field day with officials in the final minute of the Bruins’ 4-0 Game 6 loss to the Canadiens Monday night, and that frustration carried over into his postgame press conference.

Julien was angry that the Canadiens were taking liberties and not getting called for dangerous plays. Julien was angry that what he believed to be a David Desharnais slew-foot on Brad Marchand went uncalled in the third period, with emotions boiling over after Andrei Markov put his stick between Zdeno Chara‘s legs and whacked the Boston captain in the groin.

Scrums ensued from there, and Julien said such things will happen when dirty plays go unpunished.

“Although we’re perceived as the bad guys and they’re the good guys, when Markov trips Chara and then he puts his stick between his legs and nothing’s going to be called, eventually somebody’s going to react,” Julien said. “Whether it’s right or wrong, Zdeno reacted and then everything else started.

“There was a slew-foot before — Desharnais on Marchand. It’s a slew foot. Those are things that we keep talking about that are dangerous in our game. It’s a rivalry and there are some things going on on both sides.”

The Bruins are considered to be the aggressors in pretty much any series they play given their physicality and a tendency to cross the line. Julien said that the Bruins have pulled their share of stunts as well this series, but that Game 6 should show that it isn’t one-sided.

“I’m not portraying ourselves as innocent here,” Julien said. “I’m just saying it takes two teams to [tango].”

Julien was asked one more question after that, with a reporter asking what he expects from the seventh game.

“I expect us to win,” Julien said.

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