By: Mark Allred | Follow me on Twitter / X @BlackAndGold277
Few players in the world of hockey command as much respect and admiration as Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand. Known for his tenacity, skill, and commitment to the game, Marchand has been a cornerstone of the Boston Bruins organization for over a decade. On Saturday, November 18th, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, Marchand added another significant milestone to his illustrious career: his 500th career assist in a 5-2 victory over Atlantic Division foes, the Montreal Canadiens.
Marchand’s journey to becoming one of the NHL’s elite players is nothing short of remarkable as a smaller player in the National Hockey League. Drafted in the third round (71st Overall) by the Bruins in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Marchand has since developed into a key player for the organization and the last member since Boston’s 2011 Stanley Cup Championship. Over the years, he has consistently demonstrated his ability to perform at an elite level, delivering crucial goals and helpers that have often tipped the balance in favor of the Bruins as one of the better NHL clubs. His talent, coupled with his relentless work ethic, has earned him a reputation as a formidable forward in the league and, not only that, Bruins team captain.
The game on November 18th was not just another match in the NHL calendar, but it was a bit of redemption. A week prior, the B’s were on the road in Montreal at the Bell Centre for the first of four scheduled meetings in this 2023-24 regular season. The Bruins and Canadiens played a tight game, with neither club giving an inch, but the Habs were ultimately the victors, securing the 3-2 victory in overtime courtesy of Montreal defenseman Kaiden Guhle.
Fast forward a week to last night at the TD Garden, it was a different story, and It was this night Bruins forward Marchand had the last laugh, achieving his 500th career assist, a testament to his exceptional playmaking abilities as an aging veteran in this league. Marchand’s milestone achievement came in the first period at TD Garden last night when he got the primary helper on Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy’s third goal of the season.
From the first whistle, the Bruins dominated the game, eventually securing a convincing 5-2 victory in front of a sold-out Garden crowd that was ready for redemption as well from last week’s overtime loss. However, last night’s highlight of the match was undoubtedly a 60-minute team effort beating Montreal on home ice as the Bruins organization did a tremendous job honoring the members of the Big Bad Bruins from 1960-1976.
Throughout Saturday’s game, Marchand was a dominant force on the ice and an absolute pest around the net, getting several scoring opportunities that were unfortunately mishandled. His speed, agility, and hockey IQ were on full display as he orchestrated the Bruins’ attack alongside first-line members of center Pavel Zacha and right winger David Pastrnak. Marchand’s 500th assist came on the man advantage when he threaded a pass to defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who blasted a shot from the top of the right circle, breaking the ice for the game’s first goal at the 7:11 mark of the opening frame.
Marchand’s performance was not just about that one assist, though, as he added another helper for career assist 501 when the 35-year-old got the primary on James van Riemsdyks’ fifth goal of the season at the 5:39 mark of the final frame at the TD. He was a constant threat to the Canadiens, disrupting their plays and creating offensive opportunities for his Bruins team, and if he could have some of those chances back from the weekend game over the weekend, he could’ve easily had four goals. His contributions were instrumental in the Bruins’ victory, further proving his importance to the team not only as an elite offensive threat but a leader to so many of his teammates.
Reaching 500 assists is no small feat, as he currently holds sole possession of eighth place, trailing Wayne Cashman by 15 helpers for seventh in the organization’s all-time assist ranking. with 379 goals under Marchand’s belt, he now has 880 points in 963 career NHL games. Marchand also has a career plus/minus of +295 while averaging 17:56 time on ice in the 963 game duration. So far this season, Marchand has posted 7-11-18 numbers in 16 games.
The Bruins have consistently proven themselves to be a formidable team this season, with other key players also stepping up and delivering standout performances. As the 2023-24 regular season progresses and Boston maintains its outstanding record, which currently stands at 13-1-2, the team will undoubtedly continue to build on its successes, aiming to make its centennial season one to remember.
Captain Marchand and the Bruins are back in action tonight for game one of the Bruins’ father’s road trip down south to two locations in Florida. The first stop for the B’s is tonight at 7pm at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay to face the Lightning, who currently sit in the fourth position in the Atlantic Division with an 8-6-4 record in 18 games. On Wednesday night, the dads and players travel further south to the end of the panhandle with a stop in beautiful Miami to take on the 11-5-1 Florida Panthers, who are behind the Bruins in the Atlantic in second place and five points behind leading Boston.