Brad Marchand on Hart Trophy buzz: 'I'm not even paying attention to any of it'

Brad Marchand on Hart Trophy buzz: 'I'm not even paying attention to any of it'

BRIGHTON – While Brad Marchand might be gaining a great deal of momentum in the Hart Trophy conversation, the Bruins Little Ball of Hart isn’t going to let it enter into his thinking in the heat of a playoff race. 

Marchand is second in the NHL for the overall scoring lead just a point (79) behind Connor McDavid’s 80 points this season, and is tied with Sidney Crosby the goal-scoring title at 37 goals apiece with roughly a month to go in the season. That doesn’t even mention the team-leading seven game-winning goals, the three short-handed goals or the many different ways that an agitating, physical winger like Marchand can impact games on a night-to-night basis. 

All of that has combined to elevate his profile this season after starring for Team Canada in the World Cup and his first All-Star berth, but it remains to be seen if any voters will hold his past suspension-worthy transgressions against him. 

So whether or not he’s the squeaky clean, golden boy image of a Hart candidate that Crosby or McDavid are, Marchand is in the conversation with those two as well as Brent Burns, Evgeni Malkin, Erik Karlsson and perhaps even Patrick Kane. Clearly the Nose Face Killah will need to finish up strong to keep that conversation going, and that should be doable as the Bruins fight for their very lives in the final few weeks of the season. 

Just don’t expect Marchand to show much concern for the individual award when bigger teams are on the horizon, like the Bruins making the playoffs for the first time in three years. 

“I’m not even paying attention to any of it,” said Marchand, who was all business when chatting with the media following Sunday’s practice. “We’re at end of the season, and that’s so important. That’s the only thing that matters right now.”

Marchand has an astronomical 27 goals and 47 points in his last 30 games, so the 28-year-old is clearly playing the part of the Most Valuable Player in the league on the ice. Now it feels like in the last few weeks Marchand is getting the hang of the Hart-hype thing off the ice as well while working to finish up strong with just a couple of weeks to go and some very big numbers a real possibility for a guy playing the best hockey of his career. 

Talking points: Ryan Donato's goal helps Bruins clinch playoff berth

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Talking points: Ryan Donato's goal helps Bruins clinch playoff berth

GOLD STAR: Jaden Schwartz stepped up and won the game for the Blues with a couple of really good plays in the third period and overtime. He took advantage of a line change and a lax Bruins defense to snap a shot past Anton Khudobin from the face-off circle in the third period that tied up the game, and then went on a one-man rush in overtime before blasting a puck past Khudobin for the game-winner on a beautiful individual play. Schwartz finished with the two goals that represented all of the St. Louis offense, four shots on net, a hit and a takeaway in 20:02 of ice time while logging a plus-2 rating as well. The Blues clearly needed somebody to step up to the plate with Vladimir Tarasenko and the Schwartz was with St. Louis on Wednesday night.

BLACK EYE: The Bruins were quite literally black and blue after a physical, punishing game with the St. Louis Blues. A number of players took heavy hits against a St. Louis team that felt free to throw hits and take runs with Zdeno Chara and David Backes out of Boston’s lineup among other players, and that culminated with Brayden Schenn drilling David Krejci in the second period. It was a hit that earned Schenn a two minute penalty for charging midway through the period, but shouldn’t result in anything more for the Blues forward. The hit wasn’t late, his skates were on the ice when he made contact, and Krejci was crouched down when Schenn made impact on a heavy check with his elbows tucked in, so it looked like a relatively clean hit that isn’t going to be on the radar of the NHL’s Player Safety Department. That physicality for the Blues really seemed to slow down the Bruins a little bit as things went on over the 60 plus minutes of the overtime game.


TURNING POINT: The Bruins actually only got outshot by a 15-13 margin in the second period, third period and overtime, but it was clear that they slowed down in terms of attacking and creating chances as things moved on in the game. By the latter half of the game the Bruins were simply trying to hang on to their one-goal lead, and then after that simply trying to hang in there for the point earned by getting to overtime. They managed to do it, but it was a different wave of momentum in the game once the Blues tied things up in the third period on Schwartz’s first goal. After that the Bruins were scrambling and hanging on, and did just enough to hang in there for a single overtime point for the second game in a row.

HONORABLE MENTION: Ryan Donato made it two goals in two games when he stepped into a loose puck created by an Alex Pietrangelo turnover that bounced off referee Brad Watson after he attempted to throw a puck up the middle of the ice. Donato pounced on the fortuitous bounce and rocked a puck on edge past Jake Allen for the game’s first goal and another affirmation that the 21-year-old can both shoot and score. Donato was pretty quiet after that goal, of course, with a couple of shots on net, but it seemed like a big, heavy hit on him by Dmitri Jaskin in the second period kind of quieted the youngster down a little bit. Still, you’ve got to love the production from a player just getting his feet wet at the NHL level.

BY THE NUMBERS: 100 – The number of points for the Bruins after falling in overtime by a 2-1 score to the Blues, and in getting to the century mark the B’s clinched a playoff spot for the second season in a row.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “It’s step one. Going into the season we wanted to make the playoffs and be a Stanley Cup contender. Right now we got in and we’re going to be a contender, right? Now it’s about being in the best position possible going forward.” –Bruce Cassidy, to reporters in St. Louis about clinching the playoff spot on Wednesday night.


Bruins celebrate playoff berth with hilarious video about fans

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Bruins celebrate playoff berth with hilarious video about fans

With a playoff berth in-hand, the Boston Bruins celebrated on Instagram with a playful video about their fans.

The short video put their fans into categories: the hugger, the faithful, the screamer, the loose cannon, the comfortable commentator and the emotional trainwreck.

No matter how the devotees enjoy Bruins games, they can all unit over their hockey team. Here's the vide for your enjoyment.

It's playoff time. Diehards unite. #InOurBlood

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