Brad Marchand Not Feeling Pressure From New Contract, Plans to Play Same Style and Work to Improve Game


September 18, 2011

Brad Marchand Not Feeling Pressure From New Contract, Plans to Play Same Style and Work to Improve Game BOSTON — Brad Marchand entered a new tax bracket when he signed a two-year, $5-million extension on Wednesday, but the scrappy Bruins winger doesn't plan on changing his game.

"I just want to do what I did last year and improve on that," Marchand said after the club's first day of training camp practices. "I think if I can do that then they'll be happy. As long as I'm consistent every game and bringing that energy, then I'm doing my job."

That's exactly what Bruins coach Claude Julien is looking for from the second-year winger, who enjoyed a breakthrough season last year when he posted 21-20-41 totals in the regular season, then added 11-8-19 totals in 25 playoff games.

"He's had one full season in the NHL and has done extremely well," Julien said. "We obviously anticipate he'll continue to do well and that's why we extended him for a couple of years and that's why he got the kind of money he got. But at the same time he needs to show that and he needs to play as desperate as he did last year."

As much as Marchand will be counted on to continue his offensive development, the Bruins also need him to continue to play the agitating style that so effectively disrupts the opposition.

"Last year the whole season was about proving he belonged and that he could have an impact," Julien said. "You hope that players in that situation continue to think that way and don't get comfortable. Getting comfortable for him, or for anybody, is certainly a dangerous thing. He's an agitator. He's always been an agitator. I don't think that part of his game will go away. I think he'll be smarter at how he agitates and when he agitates, but it's part of his makeup that we like and we know it's helped our team in a lot of situations."

Away from the ice, Marchand made some waves with his celebrating in the weeks after the club's Cup victory, and admitted he may have gotten a little too caught up in the partying.

"I went overboard there," Marchand said. "I overreacted to all the success, let it get the best of me there."

Despite that, Marchand still buckled down and got in excellent shape for the season.

"I was very happy with my [fitness] testing," Marchand said. "I improved on pretty much everything from last year. I had a very short summer to get in that shape, so I was very happy with what I did in that short period of time."

He took just two weeks off after the playoffs before returning to his workouts, and noted that he was more mentally tired than physically after the long postseason grind. Still, he has no complaints about how his first full season in the NHL went.

"It's been a blast," Marchand said. "I couldn't be happier. I couldn't imagine anything better. It's been a great ride."

And not a ride he plans on seeing come to an end anytime soon, as Marchand feels the Bruins are even more driven to repeat than they were in their quest for last year's Cup.

"The feeling of winning last year, how amazing that was, that will very easily persuade us to push harder than we've ever pushed before to win it again," Marchand said.

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