By: Michael Rudd | Follow me on Twitter @Bosmike808.
Before the season started, this story didn’t seem like it would be possible. Going over potential career milestones and all-time leader lists, Brad Marchand sat just 93 points behind the legend Bobby Orr. Like Alexander Ovechkin and his goal chase, the season-long stories would write themselves. However, Marchand was coming off double hip surgery in May and wouldn’t be back until December. Even a return date of December 1st would have meant 22 games without the star winger. 94 points in 60 games is something only Connor McDavid or prime Sidney Crosby would have a hope of doing, especially coming off double hip surgery.
Any hope this fun season-long chase had seemed doomed from the start. But as we got closer to the beginning of the season, the glimmers of hope started. First, the return date was moved up to around Thanksgiving. Then the season started, and Marchand wasn’t even placed on LTIR. Then, before we knew it, it was October 27th, and Marchand was putting up three points in his debut after missing just seven games.
So far this season, Marchand has missed eight games missing the second half of the back-to-back after his debut. In his 23 games played, Brad has scored 26 points, including nine goals. That is a pace of 84 points, a bit off the 94 he would need to pass Bobby Orr on the Bruins’ all-time list. However, before his recent four-game point drought, Marchand was on pace for 97 points. Marchand is currently on a three-game point streak with a goal and four assists. That four-game drought was just the second skid since Marchand signed his current contract in 2016.
The only cause for concern would be the lack of five-on-five scoring. Of Marchand’s 26 points, only eight have come at even strength. The Bruins have the third-best power play in the league, and Marchand is a large part of that with 18 powerplay points. Some rust was always expected, so look for those even-strength numbers to improve as the season progresses.
The Supporting Cast
If Marchand is going to catch and pass Bobby Orr, it’s going to be a team accomplishment. David Pastrnak is the team’s leading scorer, with 43 points in just 31 games. Pastrnak is on pace for a career season with 113 points. Having two lethal scoring options on separate lines should ease the defensive pressure on both. The Bruins currently rank second in offense, scoring 3.90 goals a game. Only the Buffalo Sabres are scoring more per game than Boston. As mentioned earlier, the Bruins also have the third-best powerplay at 29.7%.
Boston has seven skaters with over 20 points. Taylor Hall, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Hampus Lindholm, and Jake Debrusk join Marchand and Pastrnak in that group. Just behind is Pavel Zacha with 19 points and Charlie McAvoy with 17 points in 18 games. Having such balanced scoring throughout the lineup means teams can’t just shut down the “Perfection Line” anymore. That line isn’t even together, and all three members are still scoring. What do you think? Will Marchand pass Orr on the Bruins’ all-time scoring list?
On Thursday, Marchand and the Bruins will be in action against the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets could be without star goalie Connor Hellebuyck who is out with a non-Covid illness. An early Christmas gift for Boston and Marchand if he can take advantage. Until next time happy holidays; stay safe out there, and let’s go, Bruins.
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