PLYMOUTH – The bad news continues to be that Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand is going miss weeks, not days, of the regular season while returning from double hip surgery over the summer. The good news is that Marchand continues to be on a timetable for a late November return to the lineup fully healthy, and that he’s planning on hitting the ice on Friday after not being able to do much of anything for a few months after going under the knife.
“All I could do was walk around. I couldn’t do anything more than that. It was a slow couple of months. But after six weeks I was able to do a little bit of rehab and after two months I could do a little slight training with my upper body,” said Marchand, who had 32 goals and 80 points in 70 games last season while clearly playing through some discomfort. “I’ve never not skated for four months, even with the abdominal/groin surgery [that he had a couple of years ago].
“It’s going to be…it’s going to take a little bit [of time] to get back. It’s pretty much learning how to skate again and it’s going to be really light for the first little while. Hopefully we progress each week and get back feeling good.”
Will the target be Thanksgiving?
“Yeah, I think it’s around there. The end of the month,” said Marchand, while at the Pine Hills golf course in Plymouth for the Boston Bruins Foundation’s annual golf tournament. “The last few days of November is the target date. That would be about six months.”
Marchand was excited to start skating on Friday, but again it’s going to be a slow progression for him with a return date still more than two months away. Until then, Pavel Zacha will be the first guy to get a chance to jump into his left wing spot with Patrice Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk, and Marchand is hopeful that the rest of the Boston Bruins can hold the fort until he, Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk start filtering back into the lineup over the first few months of the season.
His advice to Zacha was particularly hilarious.
Brad Marchand on what advice he has for Pavel Zacha as Patrice Bergeron’s new linemate:
“Just get open. And you don’t have to backcheck.” pic.twitter.com/U4GOON1b8v
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) September 15, 2022
“It’ll be tough. I think we’re in a good spot as a team. The toughest part would be if the team isn’t winning or doing well. That would be pretty crappy,” said Marchand. “But I don’t think that’s going to be the case. I think we’re going to have a really good start and the guys look really good right now.
“That’s typically the way we look at it. If you’re in a playoff spot by Thanksgiving typically you’re going to be able to hold it for the rest of the year. Things can happen, but having a good start is very important. You want to be a part of that, so it’s going to be tough. But it’s about the long game, and hopefully I’ll feel good at the end of the year and really be able to push it.”
Marchand clearly felt good enough to cut loose at Tuukka Rask’s wedding in Italy over the summer and had a busy offseason going to the Bahamas, the Greek Islands and Italy among other places.
Pretty soon he’ll be back cutting loose in a Boston Bruins uniform as well, and that will be good news for Black and Gold fans.