Even if you haven't been paying attention to the Bruins over the last few weeks, it's difficult to ignore the string of games that Marchand has put together. The Bruins' left winger was suspended 3 games back in December for a late hit on Senators' defesenman Mark Borowiecki. He was forced to miss the Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium, and recently stated he disappointed his team by getting suspended.
After serving the suspension, Marchand returned to the Bruins on January 9th, ironically enough, to face the Senators. After missing 3 straight games, Marchand was unable to put up any goals in the next few games, but that pattern would soon change.
Marchand has put up 13 goals in his last 13 games, scoring in the last 7 straight. This streak has lifted Marchand to 28 goals on the season, tied for his career high, and still 26 games to go. Marchand is now in sole possession of 5th in the league in goals scored. He is 1 goal behind Stars' Jamie Benn(29) for 4th, and 2 behind the infamous Tyler Seguin(30) for 3rd.
It will be near impossible for Marchand to continue this streak for much longer, but there is a possibility that he finishes top 10 in goals scored. If he is able to hang on and finish inside the top 10, it will be the first for a Bruins player since Glen Murray scored 44 goals in the '02-'03 season. Murray finished in 5th place, 1 goal behind Marian Hossa (45).
Marchand's latest goal was scored just 8 second into the 1st period in Detroit against the Red Wings. With the way things have been going for 63, it only makes sense that it was the fastest ever scored in Bruins history. For reference, the record for fastest goal scored to open a game was scored by Doug Smail in 1981 just 5 seconds after puck drop.
In the last 2 games, Marchand scored a short-handed goal in the first period against the Wild, and completed a short-handed assist to Joonas Kemppainen against the Red Wings. The goal was Marchand's 4th short-handed of the season, moving him into 2nd place behind the Senators' Jean Gabriel Pagaeu(5). The assist to Kemppainen gave Marchand his 6th short-handed point moving him into 1st among all player this season, 1 ahead of Jonathan Toews (5).
With the addition of the 4 shorties he's buried this season, Marchand is now at 19 for his career, the most of any player since he entered the league in the 2009-2010 season. Even more impressively, Marchand ties Ed Westfall for 5th all-time among Bruins. He is just 2 shy of tying Don Marcotte and Phil Esposito at 20, for 3rd all-time. Being just 27-years-old, Marchand has a definitive chance to pass Rick Middleton (25) and become 1st among all Bruins.
Marchand is signed through the 2016-2017 season with a $4.5 million cap hit. After next season, he becomes an unrestricted free agent, and with the way he has been playing lately, he's going to get paid. The highest paid player on the Bruins is currently David Krejci, who earns $7.25 million a year, but Krejci has never scored more than 25 goals in a season. Marchand is now on pace to score more than 40 goals.
Marchand has publicly stated that he loves Boston and hopes to end his career with the team that drafted him; good news for Bruins fans. With Marchand's current AAV, a 40 goal season would prove his contract to be a bargain. Now that Loui Eriksson is also set to get a big payday, I like to believe that the Bruins would rather invest that money in Marchand's future.
By Matt Watts