The phrase “the Ides of March” refers to the 15th of March, and is infamous as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44BC. Historians believe the Ides of March was a turning point in Roman history, as one of the events that helped transition in the Roman Empire. June 24, 2006 can be referred to as the “Ides of Marchand” for the Boston Bruins when they drafted forward Brad Marchand in the third round, 71st overall.
Marchand is an integral part of Boston’s game. He plays on the power play, annoys the opposition at even strength, and frustrates people on the penalty kill. He is also having an incredible season this year. He has scored 30 goals, a career high, in only 54 games. He has 4 shorthanded goals this season, giving him 15 for his career, which has him tied for 6th on the Bruins’ all-time shorthanded goals list (Rick Middleton who played from 1976-1988 is the leader with 25).
In his last 5 games, Marchand has 4 goals and 2 assists for 6 points and was awarded the NHL’s Third Star of the Week on February 15th. Marchand is a spark plug for the Bruins, usually firing up his teammates with his antics, both legal and illegal. He was suspended for three games in early January for clipping Ottawa Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki. He ended up missing the Winter Classic due to his suspension. The Bruins are 2-3 in games played without Marchand this season.
In the 2nd period of last night’s loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Marchand had a great play on the penalty kill just 5 minutes into the period. He had an offensive burst and twisted and snaked his way into the Columbus zone, killing off 15 seconds of the penalty by himself.
Unfortunately, for his teammates and Boston fans, Marchand’s antics got the better of him in the 3rd period when he received a 10 minute misconduct at the 15:44 mark for firing a puck at the end boards in frustration after the whistle had blown.
When Bruins coach Claude Julien was asked about trying to mount a comeback without Marchand, he replied, “He’s an important guy to our team so – we managed to score a goal without him, but you know we got other players who have to step up in those situations.”
Marchand was not very talkative after the game, giving mostly one or two word answers to many of the questions he was asked.
“No.” said Marchand when asked about whether or not he was given an explanation for his game misconduct. He replied “very” when asked how surprised he was to have received the penalty.
The Bruins look to get back on track against the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow night.