Just a couple weeks ago, Brad Marchand returned to his hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia to celebrate with the Stanley Cup.
Last night he had reason to celebrate their again, as he scored a goal in the Bruins’ 7-3 destruction of the Montreal Canadiens at his old junior rink.
Zdeno Chara, Daniel Paille, Jordan Caron, Gregory Campbell, Joe Corvo and Tyler Seguin also scored for the Bruins. Anton Khudobin stopped 30 shots while playing the entire game in his preseason debut.
Marchand is certainly off on the right foot in terms of avoiding the “sophomore slump.” He’s scored a goal in each of his first two preseason games and has been working hard in practices, according to head coach Claude Julien. Marchand recently talked about avoiding a second-year jinx, and here’s my story on that topic from the Boston Herald.
Part of the “sophomore slump” is the fact that opponents key on you and you can no longer fly under the radar. Marchand also discussed that, and here’s a quote I couldn’t get into the story:
“Obviously every hockey player in the world watches the Stanley Cup and the finals, and if you’re able to have your game or two and get a goal or two, people can remember it,” he said. “And it’s nice too. It can help you, but it can hurt you at the same time because now other teams may try to watch you a little more, focus in on you more. I’m not saying that’s going to happen, but goalies might try to read you a little more and watch a little more tape. So it can have impact against you for sure.”
Marchand proved last spring that no amount of pressure really fazes him. So he should be able to produce while under more scrutiny. If he can avoid the extracurricular stuff that will be turned up a notch as opponents try to get under his skin, you’ll never know that he’s just a second-year NHLer.