Apr 18, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) looks on during the third period against the Detroit Red Wings in game one of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Bruins report card: Brad Marchand

Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand possesses all sorts of offensive skill. He can snipe it, finish out front and blow my defenders using his great speed. Marchand does tend to disappear for long stretches though. It’s a major knock on his game. The “Little Ball of Hate” was indeed quite inconsistent with his play during the 2013-2014 season.

Marchand did not miss a game this past season, but his fluctuating performance drove Bruins fans mad.

He scuffled out of the gate. Through the first 31 games of the year, Marchand tallied a measly four goals. His brutal play sparked all sorts of trade rumors. General Manager Peter Chiarelli defended the slumping winger before Marchand finally woke up.

In the following 31 games, Marchand exploded for 17 goals. His play was encouraging and it seemed as if the player the Bruins had been hoping for was back. It was too good to be true. Marchand was essentially non-existant down the stretch and into the playoffs.

He faltered over the final 20 regular season games, scoring just four goals. Additionally, Marchand was held scoreless in 12 playoff games.

Even after a roller coaster ride of a year, Marchand still tallied a respectable 25 goals. He added 28 assists and was a remarkable plus-36. It’s important to remember he played alongside Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron carried the line while Marchand was stuck in a rut.

While Marchand is a valuable piece to the puzzle when he’s producing, at this point in his career, he should be doing so with more regularity. The talent is there. We’ve seen how great he can be. It’s about time Marchand brings it all together for a monster outburst.

I personally believe we’ve yet to see the best of Marchand. The sky’s the limit when you’re playing alongside Bergeron. I grade him harshly because he left a lot to be desired.

Final Grade: C-

Tags: Boston Bruins Brad Marchand

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