[Ed. note: As part of the build-up to the first round playoff series between the Capitals and the Bruins, Japers' Rink will be looking at some of the important but perhaps lesser-known players on the Bruins and how they might impact the series.]
#63 / Center / Boston Bruins
May 11, 1988
Birthplace: Hellifax, N.S.
Drafted: 71st overall, 2006 by Boston
|Assets||Sparkplug-type of forward plays bigger than his 5-9 frame would indicate. Has excellent two-way instincts and agitating qualities. Is effective on the penalty kill. Confident with the puck, he produces in the clutch.|
|Flaws||Size will always be an issue at the National Hockey League level, especially because of his annoying style of play. Isn't a natural goal-scorer.|
|Career Potential||Quality agitating winger with scoring upside. (Assets, Flaws and Career Potential via SB Nation player page)|
Why you should know who he is - Marchand led the Bruins in goals (3) and tied for the lead in points (5) in the four games against the Caps this year. And while he can certainly play, he's known more for his
beak misspelled tat reputation as one of the League's premiere pests than his skills. Marchand will toe the line (and then some), but draws more penalties than he takes and will work his way under the Caps' collective skin at every turn. Oh, and if the Caps get preoccupied with his antics, linemates Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin could torch 'em.
How the Caps can stop him - The Caps have to be careful here - they can't be goaded into taking bad retaliatory penalties, but at the same time, they can't be dummied like Daniel Sedin was (and, in a more general sense, this is one of the keys to the series - the Caps have to pass the Bruins "punk test"). On the plus side, if there's one man in the hockey universe who should know everything there is to know about being an agitator with skill, it's the boss behind the Caps bench. So we'll defer to Dale Hunter on how best to deal with Marchand.