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Murphy: Time For Bruins’ Leaders To Move Forward



Boston Bruins

The time has come for Boston Bruins captain Brad Marchand and the team’s leadership core to finally move on from the recent core and put their own stamp on the current team and going forward.

There was no doubt when Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci retired last summer that there was going to be an adjustment period for the leadership core of the Boston Bruins this season, but with ten games remaining in the 2023-24 regular season, that period needs to end. The Bruins’ recent play and the multiple lapses in focus that are still occurring far too often indicate that the Bruins, and more specifically, the leadership core, are still not past the departures of Bergeron, Krejci, and, to an extent, Bergeron’s predecessor as captain of the team, Zdeno Chara.

After Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery reeled into his players and bag-skated them at practice on Monday, Brad Marchand once again indicated that the adjustment period for him and his alternate captains, Charlie McAvoy and David Pastrnak, is still a work in progress.

“Yeah, for sure. Especially with a lot of turnover this year and different leadership group and different structure of the team, it’s definitely something that we need to remind ourselves of within the leadership group,” Marchand replied when asked if he and the leadership core still need to be more vocal.

“That starts with myself and then passes it down. It definitely helps to have the coaches have our backs as well. It’s a little bit of a different feeling from last year and years past, but that’s just the situation we’re in, and the more we’re addressing those things on the bench and vocalize that, it just helps set reminders throughout the group, and makes it a little easier out there. So, just the little details, and we’ll be better.”

Marchand also acknowledged that he and his teammates deserved the tongue-lashing and grueling practice that Montgomery put them through on Monday.

“Every day, it’s our job to be sharp, to be on the ball, and we weren’t today,” Marchand acknowledged. “It was a great reminder from Monty that expectations are high here, completely warranted, and especially with the games we have coming up and where we’re at in the season. We need to be dialed in every day. We weren’t to start the practice, so great job by him to notice that, keep us accountable, and keep us dialed in.”

That’s great that Marchand realizes all that and understands where Montgomery was coming from, but at what point do he, McAvoy, Pastrnak, and Charlie Coyle consistently put their words into action? When do they finally move on from Chara’s and Bergeron’s dressing rooms and put their stamp on the current one?

There would be no better time than on Tuesday night in Sunrise, Florida, when the Bruins (41-16-15, 97 pts) battle the Florida Panthers (46-20-5, 97 pts) in a battle for first place in the Atlantic Division and potentially the Eastern Conference and the NHL. If they can’t do that Tuesday and in the ten remaining regular season games, they could be looking at another one and out in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.



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