BradMarchand


A deeper look at Brad Marchand's early season struggles.

 

Brad Marchand is having a disappointing year in Boston this season, and that’s putting it mildly. The 25-year-old shift disturber has seen his points decrease tremendously this year, netting only two goals and three assists in 15 games. In the previous few seasons, Marchand has put up 41, 55 and a pro-rated 66 points. This year, he’s on pace for just 27 points.

 

What are the reasons for the steep decline? There are a number of factors to consider, but the main one points to the man wearing #91 with the Dallas Stars.

 

Here are Marchand’s top linemates this year:

 

Frequency

Strength

Line Combination

30.16%

EV

37 BERGERON,PATRICE - 21 ERIKSSON,LOUI - 63 MARCHAND,BRAD

25.56%

EV

37 BERGERON,PATRICE - 63 MARCHAND,BRAD - 18 SMITH,REILLY

10.05%

EV

38 CARON,JORDAN - 23 KELLY,CHRIS - 63 MARCHAND,BRAD

6.1%

EV

23 KELLY,CHRIS - 63 MARCHAND,BRAD - 34 SODERBERG,CARL

4.81%

SH

37 BERGERON,PATRICE - 63 MARCHAND,BRAD

1.71%

EV

23 KELLY,CHRIS - 63 MARCHAND,BRAD - 20 PAILLE,DANIEL

1.6%

EV

37 BERGERON,PATRICE - 23 KELLY,CHRIS - 63 MARCHAND,BRAD

1.6%

EV

23 KELLY,CHRIS - 63 MARCHAND,BRAD - 18 SMITH,REILLY

1.6%

PP

37 BERGERON,PATRICE - 21 ERIKSSON,LOUI - 63 MARCHAND,BRAD

 

Compare it to last year:

 

Frequency

Strength

Line Combination

59.7%

EV

37 BERGERON,PATRICE - 63 MARCHAND,BRAD - 19 SEGUIN,TYLER

4.69%

SH

37 BERGERON,PATRICE - 63 MARCHAND,BRAD

2.95%

PP

37 BERGERON,PATRICE - 48 BOURQUE,CHRISTOPHER - 63 MARCHAND,BRAD - 49 PEVERLEY,RICH

2.74%

EV

11 CAMPBELL,GREGORY - 68 JAGR,JAROMIR - 63 MARCHAND,BRAD

2.5%

EV

63 MARCHAND,BRAD - 49 PEVERLEY,RICH - 19 SEGUIN,TYLER

2.28%

EV

68 JAGR,JAROMIR - 63 MARCHAND,BRAD - 19 SEGUIN,TYLER

2.22%

EV

37 BERGERON,PATRICE - 18 HORTON,NATHAN - 63 MARCHAND,BRAD

2.07%

EV

18 HORTON,NATHAN - 46 KREJCI,DAVID - 63 MARCHAND,BRAD

 

Just for fun, let’s look at his top linemates for 2011-12:

 

Frequency

Strength

Line Combination

47.75%

EV

37 BERGERON,PATRICE - 63 MARCHAND,BRAD - 19 SEGUIN,TYLER

 

Marchand clearly had some chemistry with Tyler Seguin. The coach realized it, and made sure they were together pretty frequently.

 

Sure, he’s still playing plenty with Patrice Bergeron (who is also having a bad season points-wise), but that doesn’t seem to be helping. It looks like Seguin may have been the perfect fit for Marchand and Bergeron.

Did all-that ice time translate into points? 

 

Looking at the line production of Marchand will answer that:

 

Total Points for Brad Marchand : 35

Str

On Ice Line Combination

Points

%Total
Points

EV

BERGERON,PATRICE - MARCHAND,BRAD - SEGUIN,TYLER

22

62.86%

EV

CAMPBELL,GREGORY - JAGR,JAROMIR - MARCHAND,BRAD

3

8.57%

PP

BERGERON,PATRICE - BOURQUE,CHRISTOPHER - MARCHAND,BRAD - PEVERLEY,RICH

2

5.71%

SH

BERGERON,PATRICE - MARCHAND,BRAD

1

2.86%

PP

HORTON,NATHAN - JAGR,JAROMIR - KREJCI,DAVID - MARCHAND,BRAD

1

2.86%

EV

JAGR,JAROMIR - MARCHAND,BRAD - SEGUIN,TYLER

1

2.86%

EV

HAMILTON,DOUGIE - JOHNSON,AARON

1

2.86%

EV

BERGERON,PATRICE - MARCHAND,BRAD

1

2.86%

PP

BERGERON,PATRICE - MARCHAND,BRAD - PEVERLEY,RICH

1

2.86%

EV

BERGERON,PATRICE - CAMPBELL,GREGORY - MARCHAND,BRAD - SEGUIN,TYLER

1

2.86%

EV

BERGERON,PATRICE - HORTON,NATHAN - MARCHAND,BRAD

1

2.86%

 

Twenty-four of Marchand’s 35 points last year came with Seguin on the ice. The year before, Marchand scored 55 points. Seguin was on the ice for 41 of those points. In the past two years, Seguin was on the ice for 72.2% of Marchand’s points.

 

His linemates for his four points this year:

 

Total Points for Brad Marchand : 5

Str

On Ice Line Combination

Points

%Total
Points

EV

KELLY,CHRIS - MARCHAND,BRAD - SODERBERG,CARL

2

40%

EV

BERGERON,PATRICE - ERIKSSON,LOUI - MARCHAND,BRAD

2

40%

EV

BERGERON,PATRICE - MARCHAND,BRAD - SMITH,REILLY

1

20%

 

For whatever reason, Marchand has had trouble finding chemistry with other Bruins players. And until he does, his production will continue to suffer.

 

 

It’s not like the Bruins are a worse offensive team and everyone is suffering. Last year, Boston averaged 2.61 goals a game. This year, they’re 2.74 goals a game.

 

But it’s not just the loss of Seguin that hurts Marchand. There are a bevy of other reasons he’s having his worst NHL season to date.


Shooting percentage

 

Marchand has always had a high shooting percentage. In the last three years prior to this one, Marchand has had seasons of 14.1%, 16.8% and 19.8%. This year, Marchand is shooting 10 per cent, quite a way off from his career average of 14.9%. By comparison, in his first 10 games last season, Marchand was shooting a crazy high 43.8%.

 

One of Marchand’s problems may be he doesn’t shoot enough. In the last three seasons, Marchand has averaged 2.05 shots a game. This year, he’s averaging 1.33 shots, as Marchand has only had 20 shots in his first 15 games.

 

So while Marchand’s shooting percentage has always been on the high side, this is too far of a regression. As he starts to shoot more and the bounces go his way, you’ll see Marchand’s points rebound as well.


Time on ice

 

In his first five games of the season, Marchand averaged 15:36 of ice time. In his next five games, he averaged 14:25. And in his last five games, Marchand averaged 15:47.

 

Despite Marchand bouncing around the lineup and being demoted to the third line, his ice time has been consistent this season.                                                                                                                                                                                       

So clearly, Bruins coach Claude Julien likes something about the way Marchand is playing, or believes he can turn it around.

 

In total, Marchand is averaging 15:17 minutes of ice time a game, sixth on the Bruins amongst forwards. Last year, Marchand averaged 16:57, so his ice time, while consistent this year, is down from last season.

 

And there’s a good reason for that decrease: Marchand’s power play time on ice is down more than a minute than last season.

Last year, Marchand averaged 1:44 of power play ice time a game. The year before was 2:09. This year, it’s only 30 seconds a game. Ouch.

 

Why the less ice time?


More competition

 

A lot of Marchand’s problems may simply rely on the fact that the Bruins are deeper at the forward position this year than they have been in the last few seasons. Although the team traded away Seguin, they brought in Loui Eriksson and Jarome Iginla. (Note: they also lost Nathan Horton to free agency, but he was averaging less ice time than Marchand). The new Bruins had to have knocked a forward out of the top-six, and it looks like Marchand is the odd man out.

 

Iginla leads Bruins forwards with 2:51 of power play ice time a game, while Eriksson is fourth with 2:21. Iginla is the second highest forward in overall ice time at 18:46, while Eriksson is fifth at 16:55.

 

As it is difficult to take ice time away from Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci or Milan Lucic, Marchand ended up taking the fall.


Intangibles

 

Although he’s still owned in 55% of Yahoo pools, one of the problems with Marchand is that except for points, he doesn’t contribute a lot to other fantasy categories. As mentioned above, Marchand doesn’t put up a lot of shots. 

 

Despite his agitating style, Marchand surprisingly doesn’t get a lot of penalty minutes (only 12 so far this year). He doesn’t take faceoffs (he’s 0-for-four this season), doesn’t block shots (just four), and doesn’t hit (12 so far).

 

If you go a bit deeper, Marchand has never been a great power play option (just 11 goals and two assists in the last three-plus years combined despite plenty of power play ice time until this season).

 

The only positives Marchand has been able to bring to your fantasy team in previous seasons are plus/minus and shorthanded points. But so far this year, he’s a minus-three and has no shorthanded points.

 

The lone bright side for this year would be the fact that both his goal have turned out to be game-winners.

 

Conclusions

 

While there’s no doubt he has the talent to succeed, there’s just too many factors going against Marchand to expect a turnaround this season. Marchand would need to count on enough injuries to get more ice time (especially on the powerplay), find some chemistry with new linemates, and drastically improve his shooting percentage.

 

Look for Marchand to keep struggling, unless a major shakeup occurs.


Previously in Frozen Pool Forensics:


Mike Santorelli

Steen Engine


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Comments (2)add comment

4horsemen said:

4horsemen
... Say it aint so. Good article but I have to disagree that Marchand won't turn it around this season. He may not approach or pass 60 points but I'm confident he'll hit 50 and that's a big improvement from the pace he's on.
November 09, 2013
Votes: +0

The Comish said:

The Comish
... What a great breakdown! Very impressed by your presentation of the numbers, thanks.
November 08, 2013
Votes: +1
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