With all of the talk with Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins as the best players in the National Hockey League at the moment, a third player has gone about his business all season long and has jumped into the Art Ross Trophy consideration.
This past week, Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins had nine points (five goals and four assists) in only three games and his 79 points is only one point back of Crosby and McDavid for the lead league with 80 points.
However what sets Marchand apart from Crosby and McDavid are his penalty minute totals. Marchand has 62 penalty minutes, which is 38 penalty minutes more than Crosby and McDavid, who each only have 24 penalty minutes.
It should also be noted that Marchand’s 62 penalty minutes are the third most amongst players who are in the top 50 in NHL scoring when it comes to points. Of the top 50 scoring leaders, only Nazim Kadri of the Toronto Maple Leafs at 85 penalty minutes and Evgeni Malkin of the Penguins at 77 penalty minutes have more penalty minutes than Marchand.
Marchand’s fantastic season came before the 2016-17 National Hockey League regular season. At the 2016 World Cup in Toronto, Marchand showed a glimpse of the offensive skills he had to offer when he starred with Crosby and his Bruins’ teammate Patrice Bergeron in helping Canada win gold. Marchand led the tournament with five goals and was second behind Crosby in points with eight.
Marchand and Crosby also have an interesting link. They both hail from Nova Scotia. Marchand is from Halifax, while Crosby is from Cole Harbour (which every hockey fan in Canada should know by now unless they have been living under a rock).
Marchand would also be an excellent player to pick this week in weekly leagues as the Bruins play four times—the Maple Leafs on Monday, the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday and the New York Islanders on Saturday.
The Bruins are one of 14 teams in the NHL that play four games this week. The other are the Arizona Coyotes, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets. The other best players to choose are Crosby and McDavid.