Patrice Bergeron has had a front row seat to Brad Marchand's ascension to one of the best forwards in the NHL, and the Boston Bruins center is extremely proud of his linemate's most recent accomplishment.
Marchand hit the 100-point mark with a goal and an assist in Tuesday's win over Columbus Blue Jackets. He's the first B's player to reach 100 points in a single season since Joe Thornton in 2002-03.
"It's been a pleasure to watch, to be honest, and fun to be alongside him this whole time," Bergeron said in a team interview. "His work ethic has been, bar none, the best I've seen. He's worked the hardest. It's all from his own doing. I couldn't be any happier and prouder for him. Everything he's put in and all the time and the effort has paid off. You could see over the last few years he was becoming really an elite player in this league, and one of the best left wingers. He's proven that again this year."
Marchand becoming one of the best left wingers in the league, perhaps second only to Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin, has largely flown under the radar in Boston and around the hockey world.
The 30-year-old veteran has tallied 270 points in 227 games over the last three seasons. That's good for three consecutive years of better than a point-per-game scoring.
Here's a look at the league's top scorers since the start of the 2016-17 campaign.
1. Connor McDavid, Oilers (323 points)
2. Nikita Kucherov, Lightning (310 points)
3. Sidney Crosby, Penguins (273 points)
4. Patrick Kane, Blackhawks (272 points)
5. Brad Marchand, Bruins (270 points)
Offense isn't Marchand's only strength, however. He's a very good defensive player, he helps drive puck possession at a high rate and excels on the penalty kill alongside Bergeron.
If the Bruins are going to make a deep run in the upcoming 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs they will need Marchand to play at this level on a consistent basis. Based on his previous playoff performances, he's more than capable of rising to the challenge.
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