Scott Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
The "Little Ball of Hate" is entering his fourth season with the Bruins, and it will be the first without his close friend Tyler Seguin.
As Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston wrote last week, trading Seguin indirectly affected Marchand. It let him know that nobody in the organization is exempt from getting moved, and he will have to corral his emotions when he plays. McDonald noted that Marchand misses his close friend, who is now in Dallas. From McDonald's piece:
"It's different. It's a little quieter," Marchand said. "It's always tough in training camp when the team's spilt up; you don't see the guys as much and things are a little different. But, yeah, it's definitely a little quieter around without him. We always joked around a lot on the ice and had fun out there. It's been fun getting to know Loui."
McDonald pointed out that Marchand and Seguin, for the majority of the past three seasons, were linemates. That, and their age, brought them together. But now Seguin is gone, and it will affect him this season.
Marchand will now be joined with Loui Eriksson along with his usual center Bergeron. Eriksson is the hot commodity, the new family on the street. The B's are going to try and get him established early in the season.
Marchand is in danger of being last week's flavor. Now is the time to see how mature he is.
No. 63's goal-scoring will be down this year, with Eriksson being the more gifted scorer and getting the majority of the chances. This season will be a test of Marchand's character. When things aren't going his way offensively, how will he adjust without his buddy?
Can he still be an effective pest even if he's not scoring? That will be something that Boston needs this year.