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After Off Night For Brad Marchand, Cassidy Not Worried

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Brad Marchand

Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand has become a strong contender to be named a candidate for the 2021 Hart Trophy. Edmonton Oilers superstar captain Connor McDavid is already a lock to win the award for a second time but after finishing third in points (69) behind McDavid’s 105 points and his teammate Leon Draisaitl’s 84 points, as well as sixth in goals with 29 lamplighters, there is plenty of momentum for the Bruins MVP this season to slide into second or third place in votes.

That’s why it seemed so odd that Brad Marchand seemed so lost in the Bruins’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of their first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series. The Bruins leader in goals, assists (40), and points was forcing plays that he’d normally be patient on and dictate himself. He didn’t have his usual burst of speed and powerful stride, as well as his trademark tenacity.

After Marchand finished Game 1 with no points and one shot in 26 shifts for 23:07 TOI, plenty of media and fans wondered aloud on social media if the potential Hart Trophy and Selke Trophy candidate is playing hurt?

On Sunday, Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy was asked if he was worried about his best player this season?

“No, I don’t worry about Brad too often unless there’s a lingering issue and there’s none of that that I’m aware of in terms of an injury,” Cassidy said. “At the end of the day, he didn’t have his best last night, he’s still a factor in the game. You could tell early on that he wasn’t quite there in terms of his legs. He had that 2-on-1 early on, tried to get it to ‘Pasta’ [David Pastrnak] and I think he had more time. Normally he’d attack more and force that D to commit and then he’d make the play.”

Still, it was only eleven days before Game 1 that Brad Marchand crashed hard into the end boards in a 4-3 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils on May 4.

But Cassidy went on to make it point to let the media know just how bad the ice was and how it created plenty of bad bounces for both the Bruins and Capitals. This is why he’s not too worried about Brad Marchand just yet.

So, right then it’s just like, ‘oh, maybe he doesn’t have the jump he needs.’ …at the end of the day, I thought that if – I don’t know how it is to watch on TV – but there’s a lot of bouncing pucks for both teams so the ice wasn’t terrific either so you really had to work to get up and down the ice,” he said. “Now you got a heavy team so hopefully tomorrow, that’s behind us. That sort of first game get into it mentality, now let’s get going cause as I said, I think both teams had some pucks that weren’t bouncing and clean on situations they could’ve been in. With ‘March’ like I said, I’m not worried, he’ll be better and he’ll get that line going and he should be fine.”

 

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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Rick W Murray

Not only Brad, David P Taylor and his missed chances everybody’s got to calm down and play their game & bear down I would like to see Trent in Monday’s lineup and Swayman in goal not confident in Rask! Not in the playoffs.

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