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    All-Centennial Team

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    Stanley Cup Champs

    Brad Marchand's early struggles move him to 3rd line

    Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images
    In the October 12 game against the Columbus Blue Jackets the third period saw a different set of lines than the Bruins started the season, and the game, with. Reilly Smith came out on the left wing with Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson and Brad Marchand was sent to Smith’s spot on the left side of Chris Kelly and Jordan Caron. Smith has been playing well, as has that whole third line, and Marchand’s struggles since the opening of training camp hasn’t helped his case in trying to stay on the second line. On top of that, Eriksson put in the go ahead goal during Smith’s first shift on the line in which the whole line got a point. Smith and Bergeron each collected assists on the goal.
    Marchy has been trying to get on track and coach Claude Julien feels like he’s been trying to do too much to make up for his poor play and that maybe a change of scenery will help him jumpstart his game.

    He’s been fighting it for the last little while here. Sometimes you need to take a guy away from where he is, and take some of the pressure off. It’s not because he doesn’t want to do well. In his mind he’s trying, but he just needs to find his game. Sometimes putting a guy on another line will help him find his game. 
He’s fighting it. There’s no doubt he’s fighting it. As a coach you make the change you think is right to win a hockey game. We know how good [Marchand] can be. Right now he just needs to fight through it.

    Monday afternoon’s matinee game against Detroit saw Marchand again on the third line. No rest for the struggling winger however with Marchand getting his fair share of minutes registering 16:32 in the time on ice column of the stat sheet. The rest of the stat sheet looks the same as usual for the Nose Face Killa this past month with a -1, 1 hit, 2 giveaways and 4 shots on net with no results. Not getting the special teams ice time Smith played five fewer minutes than Marchand but still managed a shot on net and another assist on a goal Eriksson was credited for with his shin pad deflecting a shot from Johnny Boychuk in Smith’s first full game on the second line.

    The season is still young and there is plenty of time for the B’s pot stirrer to get back on his game, but the Bruin’s faithful would obviously like to see that happen sooner rather than later. Marchand knows he’s been off his game to start, but he is still staying optimistic that he can get back on track.

    I just need to get back to play simple, and play the system. If I do that then things will start to fall into place.

    Right now I’d say we’re lucky we have four lines of talented players that can be called to play on any line in order to give guys in a slump a little bit of a change to try and get their game back in order.