(Photo Credit: Matt Stone/Boston Herald)

By: Andrew Bluestein | Follow Me On Twitter / X @adbblue

Brad Marchand played his 1,000th NHL game and recorded two assists Tuesday night in the Boston Bruins 3-2 shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. It’s an impressive milestone for the Bruins captain, who is having yet another impactful season. At 35 years old and coming off double hip surgery, it would make sense that the pesky winger would start to regress. But that hasn’t been the case. 

In his 15th NHL season, Marchand is on pace to have one of the most productive seasons of his career. He shows no signs of slowing down and looks as quick and sharp as ever. His maturity and leadership are also highly noticeable, translating to his teammates. It’s safe to say the team wouldn’t be in the same position without his productivity. 

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Marchand’s performance this season is he’s doing it without Patrice Bergeron. The two played with each other for almost Marchand’s entire career up until this year. So, there were questions if he could produce the same without the six-time Selke Trophy playing next to him. Up to this point, Marchand has answered that question and then some. 

Through 53 games, the former Bruins third-round pick has a line of 25-25-50 and a +10 rating. His 50 points are second on the team only to David Pastrnak. Head coach Jim Montgomery has juggled up the lines frequently this season, but Marchand has developed great chemistry with Charlie Coyle. The two have fed off each other well, and Coyle is on pace to have the most productive season of his career. Marchand deserves some credit for that, as he’s helped raise his linemates’ game. 

The man known as “The Little Ball of Hate” has also been racking up accomplishments during the Bruins Centennial season. He has reached the 20-goal mark for the 11th straight year, which is a club record. Furthermore, Marchand has moved into a tie for the ninth most shorthanded goals in NHL history with 35 and is now fifth for total goals in Bruins history with 397. He has already leapfrogged Ray Bourque and is now only six away from moving into fourth, passing Rick Middleton. If he continues to play like he is for several more seasons, it’s possible he could move into the top three for goals in Bruins history. 

Marchand has come a long way since his first NHL game and has put together a career that not many saw coming. He’s become arguably a top-three left winger in the league year in and year out and is regarded as one of the most versatile players. It’s scary that he’s on pace to have one of the best seasons he’s ever had this far into his career. His longevity has proved to be a big factor in his success, and it appears it will only help him more going forward.