Marchand drowning out MVP buzz amid torrid stretch

Posted: 20/03/2017 in NHL, Sports
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
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Before maturing into one of the NHL’s finest producers, Brad Marchand‘s name was in headlines among the hockey community generally for the wrong reasons.

Now in the midst of his best professional campaign, the Boston Bruins super pest-turned-offensive dynamo has caught the attention of the NHL world for crafting a flat-out incredible season.

On Sunday afternoon, Marchand sits in second place in the ever-changing NHL scoring race, one point behind Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid. His 37 goals trail only Crosby, and since the calendar flipped to 2017, no player has been more productive.

In 32 games since Jan. 1, Marchand leads the league with 27 goals and 48 points, naturally thrusting his name into the mix for the “Rocket” Richard, Art Ross and perhaps even the Hart Trophy.

However, an MVP award isn’t on Marchand’s mind.

“I’m not even paying attention to any of it,” Marchand told CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty. “We’re at the end of the season, and that’s so important. That’s the only thing that matters right now.”

Marchand and the Bruins are looking to snap a two-year absence from the postseason, and currently hold a three-point cushion for third place in the Atlantic Division heading into Monday’s pivotal clash with the pressing Toronto Maple Leafs.

Toronto coach Mike Babcock, who slotted Marchand alongside Crosby and Patrice Bergeron at the World Cup in September to galvanize No. 63’s coming-out party, believes Marchand deserves to be recognized as one of the game’s top forwards.

“No one’s driving his team harder,” Babcock told Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston. “Marchy’s a great guy and he’s a real good player, plays hard. He’s competitive. He’s all-in every day and he does a good job for his team.”

Marchand might be in tough to outshine Crosby and McDavid in the eyes of voters, but he can no longer be ignored. Whatever he amounts to over the course of Boston’s next 11 games, his presence among the NHL’s elite forwards is now firmly cemented.

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