Time and seemingly endless patience are starting to run out for Brad Marchand when it comes to the Bruins. A breakup between the B’s and their agitator isn’t imminent by any means, of course. Still, things continue to grow strained between the pesky winger and the team as a disappointing season rolls on for the 25-year-old. The boarding penalty he drew for hitting Sean Monahan Tuesday night was just a minor blip on the Black and Gold radar screen for Marchand, and surprisingly the league took it easy on him. But last weekend’s Marchand misadventure in Vancouver was a big-time problem for both his coach and his general manager. Does Peter Chiarelli give Marchand any leeway because of the hatred Bruins players still admittedly harbor 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.” The “kissing the ring” pantomime to Henrik Sedin was one thing in the second period of a close game against a hated rival, the Vancouver Canucks. That could have been chalked up to spur of the moment for the B’s troublemaker upon the team’s first return to the Game 7 scene of three years ago. Marchand then followed it up in the third period with a mock lifting – and kissing – of the Stanley Cup while passing by the front of the Vancouver bench with the B’s trailing 4-1, and with Tuukka Rask already pulled from a game that had quickly spun out of control. It was definitely creative and pretty funny on its own merits, but also looked bush league and juvenile in the context of the third period scoreboard tilted in Vancouver’s direction. It betrayed an attitude of resting on the accomplishments of three years ago when the NHL is constructed as a “what have you done for me lately?” kind of world. It was clear Chiarelli wasn’t pleased to have that kind of a conversation with one of his core players. This isn’t shocking when one listens to Chiarelli and Julien speak glowingly of the Detroit Red Wings, and the way they’ve propped themselves up as a first-class organization and playoff participant in each of the past 22 seasons. That’s the model for a Bruins franchise that wants to be among the NHL’s best each and every season, and part of being a first class hockey organization is a certain level of decorum on the ice. Clearly, Marchand’s agitating ways are welcomed by the Bruins, and served as a key part of the B’s getting to the Cup Finals two of the past three years. They couldn’t have done it without Marchand turning himself into a 25-goal, 50-point player that lives under the skin of his opponents. Nobody wants hand-holding and mild-mannered meekness on the ice either, but there’s a line there that Marchand needs to stay on the right side of. The NHL world has also taken notice of Marchand’s effectiveness. That should have been obvious to everyone when the Nose Face Killah was invited to the Canadian Olympic orientation camp last summer. Now, he’s a long way from that happy place. Instead Marchand is completely off the radar for Team Canada, and is off to the worst start of his NHL career with sluggish legs, uneven emotional commitment and a bevy of mental mistakes on the ice. A couple of times he’s really seemed on the verge of bursting out of the slump with a prolonged span of productive games, but then Marchand fell back into being a shell of himself.
B's patience thinning for Marchand's antics
NBC Sports Boston | Dec 19