At first glance, it does not look like Brad Marchand has had a good October. Through ten games, the 25-year old winger has 1 goal, 2 assists, and +/- rating of -1. He's split time between the second and third lines, and has seen his usual roster spot (slotted next to Patrice Bergeron) given to the overachieving rookie, Reilly Smith.
Many in Boston have been vocal about their disappointment in Marchand, expecting much more from a perennial 20+ goal scorer who should be entering his prime. But looking back at Marchand's previous season starts helps shed some light on his latest slump.
In Marchand's first year as a pro, he was a call-up from Providence for five games in October of 2009. He tallied a lone assist that month, which ended up being his only NHL point that season. Through ten games in 2009 (10/21-11/12), Marchand's stat line read: 0G, 1A, 1P, -1, 16 PIM.
2010-2011 would eventually become a breakout year for Marchand, but it did not start out so promising. After starting the season as a bottom six forward, Marchand only accounted for one point (an assist on 10/16) in October of 2010. He would score his first NHL goal in the game #9 of the season, and through ten games he had accumulated 1 goal, 3 assists, and 10 PIM.
He would go on to score 20 more goals, and 37 more points in the regular season, before tallying 11 G, 8A, 19P in the post-season (including two goals in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final)
Marchand seemed to have a strong jump straight out of the gate in Boston's Cup defending season. He scored Boston's first goal of the year, and put up four points in four games before drying up for the rest of the month. After ten games in October of 2011, Marchand had totals of: 2G, 2A, 4P, +1, 29 PIM.
The lockout didn't seem to have any effect on #63, as he put up 7 goals and 1 assist in the first ten games of 2013. He would go on to finish with 18 goals (36) points in 45 games, and continue to contribute in the post-season as Boston came just short of a second Stanley Cup in three seasons.
To recap, Marchand's average totals through 10 games are 2.2 goals, 1.6 assists, 3.8 points, 12.6 PIM. Through ten games this season, he has 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, and 4 PIM. All things considered, that's not that far off.
What should be more concerning is his apparent lack of drive when he is not contributing to the score sheet. His usual agitating tendencies have just not been there as often as you'd expect, and it could be because he's too focused on the numbers. With Loui Eriksson on the shelf for at least a few more games, now is the time for Marchand to try and establish a rhythm for the 2013-2014 season.