By: Craig Eagles | Follow Me On Twitter @Eags37
Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia’s own Brad Marchand has set another milestone.
This accomplishment might not be worthy of front-page news, but it’s still noteworthy in Nova Scotia hockey lore. The province that has produced some amazing hockey players over the years sees that trend continue as Marchand, a proud Maritime NHLers for Kids alumnus, surpassed former Bruin Glen Murray last night by scoring two goals in the B’s dominant win over the Flyers.
Obviously, Marchand has accomplished great things in the game, and this provincial milestone might pale in comparison to those, but it’s special given his journey in the game.
The highly skilled diminutive gritty winger was never supposed to really make it. Marchand’s size was always called into question when projecting his path to the pros. He has certainly proved all the critics wrong, becoming one of the best left-wingers in the game. While some hockey aficionados just can’t get past #63’s antics, but it’s clear all those critics respect his journey to the NHL. The always quotable, sometimes misunderstood scoring winger continues to etch out an incredible career in the NHL.
The fierce competitor has certainly developed a reputation around the hockey world, but Brad Marchand has done a lot to grow the game at the grassroots level in the Maritimes and beyond, while his resiliency and work ethic is the stuff of legend around these parts.
Murray and Marchand are obviously completely different players who played in contrasting eras of the game. Some might say both players benefited greatly by playing with two of the best centers in the NHL has seen in the last three decades in Joe Thornton and Patrice Bergeron. The common denominator between Murray and Marchand is obviously scoring touch and their unrelenting drive and determination.
Adversity and constant criticism seemed to always fuel these proud Maritimer’s path in the game. Marchand was criticized for his size while Murray, who, ironically, carried the nickname “The Bridgewater Flash” throughout his career, always faced a backlash about his skating prowess.
Murray’s 1009 regular-season NHL games and 651 points speak for themselves. One of three Nova Scotians to eclipse the one thousand NHL game mark, he shares this achievement with former Minnesota and Montreal star and current Halifax Mooseheads Majority Owner Bobby Smith and Hockey Hall of Famer Al MacInnis, who remains the provinces’ all-time leading scorer, at least for now. MacInnis’ mark of 1274 regular-season points will soon surpass Sidney Crosby, who sits only six points back.
Unfortunately, Murray and Marchand never got the opportunity to play together with the Bruins. Murray’s departure from the game was controversial in nature, given the B’s bought out the final year of his contract.
Another rising star and native son of Nova Scotia Nathan MacKinnon will be the next to surpass Murray, but he’s still 149 points away. Given his current pace, that might be sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, Marchand is still now 384 points away from 3rd place all-time, Bobby Smith’s mark of 1036 points.
Nova Scotia’s all-time NHL scoring list reads more like a hockey honor role. And every era of the game is featured on that list.
From Al McNeil to Lowell MacDonald, to Parker MacDonald, to Mike MacPhee, to Matthew Highmore and Ryan Graves, Nova Scotia continues to prove that your postal code doesn’t matter, that anything is possible when it comes to the game of hockey when you work hard and are resilient.