That mentality has served Marchand quite well over the course of his 15-year career. He did not let the label of “pest” or “agitator” stand in his way as he turned himself into one of the league’s best wingers, an All-Star, and a perennial 30-goal scorer – not to mention a first-liner that scored two goals in the B’s Game 7 win over Vancouver to capture the 2011 Stanley Cup.
“His competitive drive, he always wants to be better,” said Matt Grzelcyk. “He’s never going to take no for an answer. He just has such high goals for himself. It’s impressive to see the work that he puts in in order to achieve those. It’s definitely motivating as a teammate to see what he puts himself through.”
Marchand’s commitment to excellence has turned him into one of the greatest Bruins of all-time. That has been more than solidified during this milestone campaign as the 35-year-old was tabbed as Boston’s 27th captain in October, named to the club’s All-Centennial Team later that month, and in just the last few weeks moved into fifth place on the Bruins’ all-time points list and all-time goals list.
“Feeling very grateful to have experienced all the things that I have and to be a part of so many great teams and be part of the best organization in the world,” said Marchand. “The more I think about it, I do know how extremely grateful and fortunate I’ve been. But at the same time, I still try to not get caught up in it because I feel like I have a lot of time left, still have so many big dreams and goals.
“I still feel like a kid a lot of times, so many things that I want to accomplish with this group and this team. You don’t ever want it to end.”
Marchand added that getting too consumed by personal accomplishments can act as a detriment.
“It’s very easy to get complacent in this game and it’s very easy to get comfortable,” said Marchand. “It’s probably one of my biggest fears in this game and one of the things that drives me the most is when you’re so fortunate to be here and be part of this organization. I’ve had so many incredible players to learn from and one of the things I’ve learned and taken along the way is they don’t take a day for granted.
“It’s truly a gift to be part of this team and part of this league. You never know when your last day is gonna come in this league. I feel like when you start looking at things you’ve accomplished, you might think it gets easier. As you get older, it only gets harder. You need to put more time in and dedicate more effort.”
That approach – which Marchand notes he learned from those that came before him – continues to be passed on through the Bruins organization. And now it’s No. 63 who is setting the standard.
“I started in this league on opposite teams from him and you hear about guys, you see highlights of guys, you see how good he is,” said Charlie Coyle, who is now Marchand’s centerman. “Even growing up [in Weymouth, Mass.], before I was in the league, you know who Brad Marchand is. Going on the Cup run [in 2011], he kind of broke out…I guess before you have your views on him, like what you think a guy will be like based on what you see from an outside perspective, but you never really know.
“Once you’re with him, you understand what kind of guy he is, what kind of leader he is…he’s just a dog, he’s had to be his whole career. That’s why he’s played 1,000 games and he’s at the level he’s at. He works for everything.
“I don’t know if it was harder playing him in practice or in games when I was in Minnesota playing against him in games. That’s what he does. He raises his level, raises the team’s level and you have to play to his standard. And he sets it every time.”