Brad Marchand is ... a complicated player. On and off the ice.
His ability to score goals is rivaled only by his willingness to employ less than savory tactics (licking, slapping, biting, etc.) in order to get under the skin of his opponents.
The winger netted a game-winning goal that provided the Bruins a 2-1 overtime win when the Stars were in Boston earlier this month.
During the Stars; 1-0 overtime win on Friday night, he was mostly just a pest recorded only 15 minutes of ice time, which is odd for a top-line player. Of course, he also took five penalties that forced him to spend 18 minutes in the box.
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In such an unexpectedly low-scoring game, the most entertaining moment of the night might’ve been this exchange between Marchand and a few fans that took place while the forward was in the penalty box.
For as furious as he was on the ice, his demeanor after the game was almost the polar opposite. Marchand, along with Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t agree with some of the calls made by officials.
But and his coach also were accountable and expressed frustration over his team’s short-handed loss.
Marchand also has a strong bond with Stars assistant captain Tyler Seguin. The pair with both rookies on a 2010 Bruins team that won the Stanley Cup.
That year, Marchand produced 41 points (21 goals, 20 assists in 77 games), while Seguin posted 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists in 74 games).
The latter’s coming out party came during the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning, where he notched four points in his postseason debut.
The two then anchored a strong Boston core that went to the 2013 Cup Finals, only to be eliminated in six games.
Then, after much speculation and discussion by the team, Seguin, along with Rich Peverley and Ryan Button, were traded to Dallas in exchange for Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Matt Fraser, Joe Morrow.
The trade was a blockbuster and one that made the then-21-year-old the unquestioned face of the franchise alongside captain Jamie Benn.
“We’ve stayed in-touch because we built a pretty good friendship during our time together” Marchand told the Star-Telegram. “It was tough to see him go because we were close.”
“We had a lot of fun in Boston as a couple of young guys just enjoying the dream. It’s been great to see him grow and develop, and to get the big deal he just received. He’s deserves every bit of it.”
In the years since, both players have put up almost identical point totals. In the past three seasons, Marchand has posted 231 points, including 110 goals.
Over that same time span, Seguin has recorded 223, including 109 goals.
The two have also been teammates on Team Canada during the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. They, along with Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (who was unavailable to the media on Friday night), even reunited during an exhibition game against Team USA in preparation for that tournament.
Even though the two now live halfway across the country and play in different conferences, their conversations these days strike a balance between their personal and professional lives.
But when Marchand spoke about what he’s seen from his former in the five-plus seasons since the trade, he gave a surprising response.
“It (his game) has definitely become more defensively responsible,” Marchand told the Star-Telegram. “That’s the biggest thing. He battles hard both ways and down low in the defensive zone, he wants to be that No. 1 center.”