What a week it was for Brad Marchand.
The Boston Bruins winger on Monday was named the NHL’s third star of the week. Marchand notched his fourth career hat trick in a win over Pittsburgh on Saturday as part of a five-goal, two-assist week in which the Bruins won two of three.
Just as importantly, Marchand continued to set the tone for the playoff-hopeful Black and Gold in his return to the lineup after a false-positive COVID-19 test.
Winning third star of the week is a relatively small and trivial honor, especially for a player like Marchand, who has been around the league for a long time and strives to be one of the NHL’s best. But it’s also the latest reminder as to just how far he has come as a player since breaking into the league as a fourth-liner.
“He knows he’s got talent and he’s got talent, (and) he’s worked hard on that talent, but he also knows he needs the work ethic,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said Monday morning in a video conference with reporters. “He’s not a natural that maybe some of the other guys are, so he’s come in and now he looks like one of those guys.”
Marchand’s ability to add to his toolbox and refine his game has made him one of the top players in the league, no matter his linemates or team or even his past.
“He can beat you with speed, skill, tenacity, smack-talk — he can get on some guys — so there’s a lot of different elements to Brad,” Cassidy added. “A lot of layers there. He plays in all situations. Has a good mind in terms of getting right back up if he gets knocked down, so he doesn’t lose his confidence, and if he does, it’s only for a short period of time.”
New York Islanders center Mathew Barzel and San Jose Sharks goalie Martin Jones won first and second stars, respectively.