One week ago, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara called Brad Marchand the best player on the team. The Bruins are stacked with talent, but Chara certainly has an argument. Last night, Marchand scored his 600th career goal in the team's 8-1 route of the Montreal Canadiens. Every one of those points have come in a Bruins sweater.
Now in his 11th season in the NHL, the 31-year-old Nova Scotia native continues to get better with age. After putting up a total of 85 points in both the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 seasons, Marchand finally cracked the 100-point plateau last season.
Before Tuesday's game and the goal that clinched the 600-point milestone, Marchand had recorded 278 goals and 320 assists in 704 career games played. Now with 279 goals, it is not completely beyond the realm of possibility that Marchand could also reach the 300-goal plateau this season. He is on a 19-point tear in the last 10 games, including nine goals and 10 assists.
Of course, Marchand is one of the most polarizing figures in the league. Fans of other teams hate him, and opposing players frequently let the sharp-tongued winger get under their skin. Even though his reputation proceeds him, Marchand's contributions to the Bruins cannot be overlooked.
Marchand has visibly matured over the past few years, save for a few incidents that drew the league's ire, and it shows in his play and his off-ice leadership. As a reward, Marchand dons an alternate captain's A when one of the team's regular alternates is injured or not in the lineup. He seems like a sure bet to be awarded a permanent A if Patrice Bergeron is promoted to captain after Chara's retirement.
Playing alongside the best defensive forward in the league in Bergeron, and young superstar David Pastrnak, would be a challenge for many. However, Marchand relies on great chemistry with his linemates, and his own brand of grit and attitude to round out the trio perfectly.
Love him or hate him, Brad Marchand has cemented his place as one of Boston's, if not the entire NHL's, best scorers. And he does not seem to be anywhere close to working on his legacy.