Brad Marchand is good at short, and not just height-wise. On Monday night at the Air Canada Centre, Marchand opened up the scoring for Boston against the Leafs on a Brett Connolly tripping call that led to a Leafs powerplay and subsequent shorthanded goal. Of course, his baseball bat swing goal was assisted by Boston’s patron saint, Patrice Bergeron. The goal was reviewed via Coach’s Challenge (a Mike Babcock favourite) and still stood, and of course Brad added a little salt to Toronto’s wound with a confident skate down the fist bump line. This is Marchand’s first shorthanded goal of the season and his league-leading seventeenth in the seven seasons he's been in the league. Not bad for a pest, eh?
To say Brad Marchand is "okay" on the penalty kill would be disrespectful. Acceptable synonyms are "deadly," "scary", and "really f**king good." Even though he notched only two SHGs last season, he posted a career and league-high total of five (!!) shorthanded goals in the 2013-14 season, including a 4-on-1 shorty against the Kings that was so filthy, most of us needed to take a shower.
But what makes him so good? How is he allowed? A few things: he knows what he can get away with in terms of physical play, he’s fast, he’s small, and those hands are downright magical (for more evidence, here is him absolutely undressing Morgan Rielly on Saturday. Someone get that man a tee shirt!)
And I have a feeling that we have nothing but good things to expect from Mr. Marchand in the games and seasons to come.