Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand had a fantastic rookie season, racking up 21 goals, 20 assists and ending the 2010-2011 regular season with a plus-25 rating. He continued to be a key contributor in the Bruins’ Stanley Cup run, with 19 points in the playoffs, 11 of which were goals.
Marchand may have pressure to live up to his previous season success but he has another added pressure; being named one of Boston.com’s “Most Stylish Bostonians.”
“The boys have been giving it to me pretty bad,” said Marchand with a laugh. “I might have to take group shopping trips just to get them on my side.”
Most stylish or not, Bruins fans only cared that Marchand would wear a Bruins sweater this season. Fortunately for Bruins fans, that is exactly what they are going to get. Earlier in the month the 5’9 center signed a two year contract extension worth $5 million.
“I love it here and it’s such a great city,” said Marchand, “especially right now after winning and everyone’s crazy and the fans are very excited about a new year. I just wanted to be back here and a two year deal fit both parties.”
With an entire season of NHL games under his belt, the Bruins are expecting him to build on the success he had during his rookie season.
“We obviously are anticipating that he’ll continue to do well,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien on Marchand’s extension. “That’s why we extended him for a couple of years and that’s why he got the kind of money he got. But at the same time I think he needs to show that and he needs to come and play as hard and as desperate as he did last year.”
Marchand certainly is making strides to start right back where he finished last season. During Friday’s first home preseason game, Marchand had a goal and an assist in the Bruins’ 6-3 victory over the New York Islanders. Right winger Rich Peverley and center Patrice Bergeron fit nicely on the line with Marchand.
“It’s always fun to get back and get that first win out of the way,” said Marchand. “It was nice to get a goal there and build some team chemistry back up with Bergy (Patrice Bergeron) and Pevs (Rich Peverley).”
With the season fast approaching, Marchand knows there is still much he can build on to improve his game this year.
“I just want to continue to get faster and stronger. I think this year I’m going to take more pucks to the net and try to create more havoc around the net.”
Marchand will look to continue his preseason success in his hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia where the Bruins will face off in the first of two preseason games against the Montreal Canadiens.