|Brad Marchand talks Mike Napoli shirtless celebration, early season struggles||11.04.13 at 1:17 pm ET|
“Yeah, I did,” Marchand said when asked if he saw how Napoli had celebrated. “I did it first, though.”
That was the lightest moment in a conversation that centered mostly on Marchand’s underwhelming start to the season.
Playing between the second and third lines, Marchand has just one goal and three assists with a minus-3 rating through 13 games, hasn’t been his usual aggressive self and has been a turnover machine. He certainly spoke Monday like a player whose confidence has taken a hit.
“I thought I trained as hard this summer as I did any summer,” Marchand said. “I came in and things aren’t going right. It’s definitely frustrating when you can’t pinpoint exactly what’s going wrong. It just seems like everything’s going wrong right now.
“I think it’s more about effort right now and working hard. Normally when you do that and you work harder than you ever have, it will come together.”
When asked about Marchand’s game, Claude Julien was rather blunt.
“He’s not playing the way he should,” the coach said. “There’s nothing coming out of his game right now. ‘¦ He’s really struggling to find his game, and sometimes you’ve just got to work your way through it.
“Brad is a good skater, and I don’t think he’s skating as well as he can. He’s obviously much better with the puck at managing it, and he hasn’t been great at that either. I think a lot of that is a result of frustration and putting a lot of pressure on himself. It’s not making it any easier.”
Asked if Marchand’s struggles have gotten to the point where a healthy scratch could be in order, a la Milan Lucic last season, Julien laughed and was noncommittal.
“That’s something I’ll address when the time comes,” Julien said., adding: “I go day by day, and if I feel it’s necessary, trust me, I’ll do it.”