WILMINGTON -- Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed that Brad Marchand was free and clear of any supplemental discipline stemming from Tuesday night’s boarding hit on Sean Monahan. But the B’s general manager also confirmed he had to have a chat with his underperforming forward after the ring- and cup-kissing antics in the second and third periods of last weekend’s loss to the Canucks.
Marchand pantomimed kissing his Stanley Cup ring in the second period while engaged in an argument with Henrik Sedin, and then mocked hoisting a Stanley Cup over his head and kissing it as he skated by the Vancouver bench in the third period with the B’s trailing, 4-1.
Claude Julien didn’t like it in the moments immediately following the loss to the Canucks, and Chiarelli said he had a chat with Marchand following the incident. Chiarelli and coach Claude Julien have long held the classy, professional Detroit Red Wings as the ideal NHL model for their own franchise, and clearly Marchand's gestures -- while losing by three goals to an arch-rival, no less -- didn’t reek of either one of those.
Does Chiarelli give Marchand any leeway because of the hatred that Bruins players have for the Canucks?
“I don’t throw any of it out (because it was Vancouver). I talked to Brad, and that’s all I’ll say,” said Chiarelli. “I wasn’t happy with it. But he understands.”
Marchand has five goals and 14 points in 34 games this season, and finds himself way off the 25-goal, 50-point pace that he’s set for himself over the last three seasons. This season he’s on a pace for 12 goals and 32 points over 82 games, which is not even close to good enough for a top-six forward that led the team in scoring last season.
Combine that with some of the poor decisions made while he’s on the ice, and Chiarelli sees a player battling his own frustrations.
“He’s a young player still, and sometimes you have those seasons,” said Chiarelli. “He’s fought the puck a little bit, and he’s been at wits end a little bit. You can see he’s frustrated with the situation. I go back over his last six or seven games, and he’s getting his legs back and his hands back.
“It’s just about looking at it over an 82-game schedule, and figuring it out and being patient. Maybe he showed little signs of impatience in his game, but I think he’s coming around.”
Marchand has only one goal and two points in seven games during the month of December, and has managed only 11 shots on net over that time. The one real sign of hope for the struggling Marchand: Milan Lucic was able to turn things around after similar struggles last season.