Marchand/By S. Bradley

Apparently winger Brad Marchand’s ascension from a player with few expectations on him at the start of training camp to a fixture among the Bruins’ top nine forwards is too impressive for readers of to ignore.

After a 24-hour vote, my readers selected Marchand as a landslide winner of the Seventh Player Award after four months of the 2010-11 regular season. The Seventh Player Award, which will be voted on by a wider group of fans before the end of the regular season, goes to the player who “exceeds expectations.”

Who's the early favorite for the Seventh Player Award?

  • Brad Marchand (63%, 136 Votes)
  • Shawn Thornton (23%, 50 Votes)
  • Tim Thomas (9%, 19 Votes)
  • Steven Kampfer (5%, 10 Votes)

Total Voters: 215

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In 44 games with Boston this season, Marchand has posted 10-10-20 totals and a plus-17 rating.While most of his points were registered skating on Boston’s “Merlot Line” with Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell, he graduated to a higher line with Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi earlier this month and seems on the cusp of making that trio a permanent part of Boston’s lineup.

He has accumulated 22 PIM, but has drawn more penalty minutes from the opposition that he has been handed. And if not for a bone-rattling hit from P.K. Subban in Montreal, Marchand might’ve skated in every game this season.

There’s no doubt that as his career continues, Marchand’s agitating, physical style of play will continue to endear him to the Bruins’ fan base. His amazing showing in an unofficial early Seventh Player election shows he’s already capturing a number of hearts.