There is no denying the skill of Brad Marchand. He is the offensive leader of the Boston Bruins and arguably the best player on the Black and Gold’s roster.
Marchand had a career year during the 2016-2017 season with 39 goals and 46 assists. He was tied for the fourth most goals in the NHL.
However, despite all his accolades, Marchand still lacks a major quality that All-Star players should embody, leadership.
When he has been on the ice during the regular, he has been an elite player. The key parts of that being “when he has been on the ice” and “during the regular season”.
Marchand has a history of committing bad penalties that lead to suspension at the worst possible time. In 2015, during his first game with the “A” on his jersey, he was suspended three games for clipping Mark Borowiecki. This caused him to miss the Winter Classic in Foxboro against the Montreal Canadiens.
Most recently, he speared Jake Dotchin of the Lightning, which forced a two-game suspension. The time off couldn’t have come at a worse time. The Bruins lost their last two games without their offensive leader and it cost them a chance at home ice in the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Marchand had the opportunity to atone for the suspension, but like recent years, he was near invisible in the playoffs. He had one goal in the Bruins six-game series against Ottawa.
He has registered one goal is his last 18 playoff games.
If the Bruins want to breakthrough with a deep playoff run, they need their best player to stay on the ice and show up in the playoffs.