With 21 goals this season, including five shorthanded tallies, Bruins rookie forward Brad Marchand
has exceeded everybody’s expectations, and Saturday the Hub of Hockey recognized him with one of Boston hockey's most coveted honors.
|Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) beats Chicago Blackhawks left wing Viktor Stalberg (25), of Sweden, to the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Boston on Tuesday, March 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) |
Prior to the start of today’s 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers, NESN and Central Jeep of Norwood and Raynham announced that Marchand was named the winner of the fan-voted NESN Seventh Player award.
Following the game, Marchand took a moment to thank the sold-out TD Garden crowd of 17, 565 for granting him the honor.
“I just want to thank everyone for their support and anyone who cast a vote,” Marchand said to the crowd.
“It’s been a great year and you’re the best fans in the league, so thank you for everything.
"And let’s keep it going through the playoffs.”
Voted on by Bruins fans, NESN’s Seventh Player Award is an annual award presented to the Bruins player who went above and beyond the call of duty and exceeded the expectations of B's fans during the 2010-11 regular season.
“To get an award as special as this one, it’s a great honor,” Marchand said.
Marchand certainly has exceeded all but his own expectiations.
This year, in his first full season with the Bruins, the 22-year-old has 21-19-40 scoring totals in 72 games for Boston. His five shorthanded goals rank him second in the league behind the Islanders’ Frans Nielsen (7).
Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien had high praises for his rookie wing, and after the B's win over Atlanta he explained that Marchand has made the team better in all facets of the game.
“I think it’s very deserving and that’s certainly not to take away some of the other guys that have made tremendous steps as well. But, he’s one of those guys that obviously surpassed maybe a lot of our expectations, “ Marchand said.
“I think he’s been a real good player for us from starting off on the fourth line and really making that line probably one of the best fourth lines we’ve had here for a long, long time and obviously was probably one of the best fourth lines in the League.
“He graduated obviously with [Patrice Bergeron
] and [Mark Recchi] and those guys have certainly, as much as he’s benefited from them, they’ve benefited from him as well.”
A 2006 Bruins draft pick (third round, 71st overall) Marchand received the Seventh Player Award Trophy, and in addition, received $5,000 to donate to the charity of his choice.