The feisty Bruins winger has been far too quiet so far this postseason, so Claude Julien is sending him back to where he first learned what it takes to be successful in the NHL.
Marchand was dropped to the fourth line in practice on Friday, reuniting with the linemates he began last season with as he donned the maroon jersey of the Merlot Line alongside Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton once again.
Being back on the fourth line isn't what Marchand expected after a breakthrough campaign with 28-27-55 totals in 76 games during the regular season, but he took the change in stride on Friday. Showing some maturity, he is viewing the move as an opportunity to get his game back on track by rekindling some chemistry with his old linemates.
"I think our styles fit each other pretty well," Marchand said. "I think this time of year you have to be prepared to switch up and play with anyone. We're excited about it. I think we can create some offense out there."
Marchand created plenty of offense last year. He was an integral part of Boston's Cup run, collecting 11 goals and 19 points in 25 games in the postseason. But Marchand hasn't been able to duplicate that success in this year's playoffs. He doesn't have a point through four games and is a minus-1 while showing little of his trademark energy and agitating skills.
"I got to be better and I know that," Marchand said. "It's on me to step up and bring the game that I can."
And playing with guys like Campbell and Thornton who always bring that energy and enthusiasm might just reignite the fire in the President's favorite Little Ball of Hate.
"That's what I got to do, get back to just competing and working hard and the rest of the game will come," Marchand said.
Campbell and Thornton are more than happy to welcome Marchand back and help him find his game again, but don't expect the veterans to pass up a chance to have a little fun with him first.
"Just playing with two great players usually builds your confidence up," Campbell joked of Thornton and Campbell's knack for getting their linemates going.
"No, I mean we keep it simple," Campbell added. "Lots of times if you're struggling to score or struggling in any area of your game, anybody will tell you to go back to basics and keep it simple. That's what Thorty and I always do. We try to play high energy and be physical, and in playoff hockey physicality is key. Sometimes the best recipe for a change or for offense or just to get your game going is just to keep it simple."
When informed of Campbell's playful boast, Marchand didn't take the opportunity to fire any barbs back. Instead he pumped his new linemates tires a bit, knowing he will need their help to get his game back on track.
"Soupy's up there in points right now on the team and Thorty's making good plays out there, so it will be fun to play with them," Marchand said. "They're playing great right now and they're real high-energy players, and I think that's why we mesh so well together."
Campbell has a pair of assists in the series, one of just six Bruins with multiple points through four games. Thornton's contributions show up less often on the scoresheet, but the leadership, energy and physical presence he brings are recognized and appreciated by everyone in the Bruins locker room.
Now Marchand will once again get an up-close look at what Campbell and Thornton can do as the Bruins hope to finally spark some consistent offense with all four of their forward lines reconfigured.
"I think it's something that we as players are used to," Campbell said. "Throughout our careers we've had to adapt and play with different players. If you look at the changes, they look drastic, but they're really not. Marchy and Thorty and I played together for almost half a season last year and at one point or another everybody has played with everybody in this room. We look at it as a change and hopefully it jump-starts some offense."
With just seven goals in four games, the Bruins will take offense from anywhere they can get it. And Marchand will go anywhere to try to find his old scoring touch, even back to his fourth-line roots.