When Brad Marchand was named captain of the Boston Bruins simply earlier than the season started, it was clear to see how a lot it meant to the proud son of Nova Scotia to put on the “C” for the Original Six membership for which he’s performed his complete profession.
But as a lot as he wished the accountability that went with the title, it was a frightening activity. He was following two legendary, future Hall of Fame leaders in Patrice Bergeron and, earlier than him, Zdeno Chara.
With these two big shadows forged over him, Marchand admitted it took him a while to seek out his footing in his new position.
“There’s a lot that comes with it. I think the biggest thing is the eyes that are on you at all times,” mentioned Marchand. “I was really overthinking it early on. I was trying to do a little too much. I think the biggest thing is everyone leads in their own way. The way I saw Z lead and Bergy lead, they kind of did it their own way and I was trying to be a little too much like both of them. I’ve been on this team and learned from some of the best and throughout that process I’ve been my own type of leader and own type of player. It’s tough when you deviate from that. I think it’s just trying to be true to yourself, trying to show what I’ve learned and what I’ve respected from the older guys and try to live up to that standard. But it’s fun. I love it. The responsibility that comes with it, I take a lot of pride in that. I’m still learning every single day. There’s a lot to learn. I’m still reaching out to guys and pick their brain and learning from them. It’s a process.”
The course of is working. As the B’s embark on their last 33-game stretch drive, beginning with the Calgary Flames on Tuesday on the Garden, they sit tied for first place total. They don’t have the identical lead that they did final yr, however nobody thought they’d be wherever near their present station within the standings.
Marchand has been pivotal in that.
“We’re not in first place without Brad Marchand being our captain,” mentioned coach Jim Montgomery.
Montgomery mentioned he’s spoken with Marchand about find out how to lead, however there’s solely a lot that may be mentioned.
“He and I talked about it, that you have to lead in your own way. But you have to go through it,” mentioned Montgomery. “Someone that’s as hard-working and a perfectionist as he is, just like the way he is with his play and the way he practices and how he trains, he wants to do that as captain. And he had two great examples. But you have to grow into who you are in your comfort level as a captain. I think it’s been very noticeable that he’s very direct and right to the point now, on the bench and I think in the room. I don’t think he’s as worried about being friends as much as he is about holding people accountable. Bergeron had an incredible ability to be empathetic and hold people accountable at the same time. It’s rare when someone has that ability. Not everyone has that ability to be empathetic toward everyone else. But you’ve got to be who you are. That’s why I think when Brad walks in the room now, it’s clear that that’s our captain, that’s our leader.. In the beginning of the year, it was growing to where it is now.”
Marchand has a particular persona outdoors the Bruin bubble. Across the league, and particularly with followers, he’s nonetheless the oft-suspended pest with the punchable mug.
But to the blokes who play and observe with him day by day – and typically wind up on their backsides courtesy of well-executed Marchand shoulder to the chest throughout a 3-on-3 drill – the very first thing that involves thoughts with the captain is his work ethic. While it’s clear that Marchand has great talent, it’s that doggedness that separates him from the gang and makes him, in Charlie McAvoy’s eyes, a future Hall of Famer himself. Marchand has set a template for McAvoy, in work ethic in addition to in his personal burgeoning management qualities.
“For someone like me, you want to chase that. You want to be remembered in the same way…How? Well, he works harder than everybody else, so I have to work as hard as him. And someone who can lead by example like that, it’s an extremely special trait,” mentioned McAvoy, an alternate captain.
“ He leads by example and that’s the biggest thing. But I think something that comes with (the captaincy) is wanting to be a vocal leader and wanting to say the right things at the right time. I try to take off some of that burden and (fellow alternate captain David Pastrnak) does, too. We have a lot of guys in this room that are able to do that so you don’t feel like it just has to be you. But he’s found his voice and he says the right thing at the right time. I think that in itself is a skill that you learn by trial and error. I’m trying to find out when to say things and when they’re going to get acknowledged in the right way and in the way you mean to say them.”
Pastrnak additionally factors to Marchand’s refusal to be snug or glad in serving to him discover his means.
“He’s spent every day learning, which is amazing after all these years being around those leaders. But he’s definitely trying to learn every day,” mentioned Pastrnak. “And that’s classic Marchy.”…
While Pastrnak was thrilled that the Olympics are again on the desk for NHLers, he wasn’t so tickled that the brand new Four Nations match between the US, Canada, Sweden and Finland subsequent season won’t embrace Czechia. Boston and Montreal are anticipated to be named as the 2 websites.
“Of course, it’s a huge disappointment,” he mentioned. “There’s not much I can say. I’m definitely not happy about it. I understand it’s a quick turnaround. It’s next year. They probably didn’t have much time to make a bigger tournament. But Czechia isn’t there so there are a lot of players that are left out. I’m not going going to watch the tournament to be honest. I’m just happy that the Olympics (are back for NHL players). But it definitely stings a little bit.”…
Montgomery mentioned the three gamers that missed the final sport in Philadelphia – Derek Forbort, Jake DeBrusk and Matt Poitras – are all progressing although stay query marks. It sounded as if Forbort and DeBrusk are just a little forward of Poitras.