Brad Marchand may not be the most well-liked person in the NHL, but he does have one fan in a Tampa Lightning great.
The Boston Bruins feisty left winger has had his fair share of fines for his on-ice antics, but Martin St. Louis had heaps of praise for the 30-year-old, saying his game improves with each season.
“He’s becoming smarter and smarter every year,” St. Louis said, per The Boston Globe’s Matt Porter. “Protecting the puck is an art. He’s got the skills to protect it in some weird situations. It’s so much fun to watch.
“… He knows the game in front of him, and the game behind him,” he added. “It’s an art. You evolve to that. When you come in the league, you’re trying to make your mark, and you’re mostly thinking about working hard, working hard, working hard.
“You’ve got to get over that hurdle. You have to prove you can play. You’re not getting all the best ice time. You have to figure it out a little bit. Eventually you get there. You craft it, you work on that craft.”
The two players are similar in height, with Marchand being listed at 5-foot-8 and St. Louis at 5-foot-9, it’s easy to see why he has such admiration for Marchand. But it’s the winger’s awareness on the ice that really has the attention of St. Louis.
“There’s not much room out there now,” St. Louis said. “He knows when it’s time to play fast. He knows when it’s time to slow it down. He knows where everyone is on the ice. He knows his exits out of the corners. And all that’s processed well before he touches the puck.”
Marchand will need to continue to utilize his skill and help Boston end the regular season on a high note before the Stanley Cup playoffs begin.