Vision: Marchand processes the game very well, routinely spotting open passing lanes or space that he can exploit himself. His great feel for tempo allows him to either push the pace or pull up and wait for teammates to skate into scoring position when required. That ability to think at different speeds makes him difficult to defend in all situations.
Confidence: He has considerable faith in his ability to either beat defenders one-on-one or fend them off in close quarters. He changes directions in explosive fashion and is particularly adept at slipping the puck through opponents’ sticks and feet in tight. This is the biggest reason his 5’9” frame hasn’t held him back in the NHL.
Special Teams: Marchand is a monster on both the power play and penalty kill. Boston ices a strong lineup on the man advantage, but the PP runs through Marchand. His roving, frenetic style draws the attention of defenders and creates big passing lanes for the Bruins to capitalize on. On the PK, his aggressive approach has led to plenty of shorthanded goals.
Reckless: When Marchand leans a bit too far into his fearless side, he stumbles into outright sloppiness. He’ll blindly throw pucks away under the assumption that his Bruins teammates are on the same wavelength or try to dangle through multiple defenders when there isn’t a play to be made.
Discipline: Early in his career, Marchand terrorized opponents with equal measures of attacking prowess and agitating. These days, as he skews more toward offense and thus is more tightly covered, he seems more disposed to losing his cool than vice versa. Teams are hoping that Boston’s best forward takes the bait all the way to the penalty box.