Marchessault’s new stick. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The stick for a hockey player is like the car for a taxi driver, a knife for a chef, or a phone for a blogger legitimate journalist. If the tool is not operating at peak performance the person using it can’t either.

Late last year Jonathan Marchessault felt his stick wasn’t living up to expectations. So, about two weeks before the playoffs he made a change. Swapping out the CCM brand for a Bauer.

For me, it’s all about the lightest stick and the Bauer is the lightest for me and I love it. -Marchessault

He kept that stick throughout the Sharks series (where he scored what should have been the biggest goal in team history, until it wasn’t), through the preseason, and well into this season.

But a month ago, Marchessault felt that his stick was starting to let him down again. With just five goals in his first 29 games, you’d think it was because he wasn’t putting the puck in the net,

My shot has always been good, it’s just a matter of sometimes you just get lucky. -Marchessault

Or in his case, unlucky. Instead, it was a different aspect of the game he was trying to sure up in changing sticks once again mid-season.

It’s not because of my shot but because of the stick battles that I would lose. When you go in a battle and your stick is soft, it whips. -Marchessault

He still uses the same Bauer stick, but he has upgraded the flex and the grip on his stick to make it stiffer. It seems to be working.

I’m winning more puck battles, trying to get more steals. The NHL now is all about turnovers and the way your forecheck so this is helping with that. -Marchessault

Marchessault’s old stick. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

He’s risen to 5th on the team in takeaways with 18 and his defensive point shares number has jumped above the likes of Paul Stastny, Cody Eakin, and Tomas Nosek.

Whether it was intended or not, the goals have started to come with it as well. Marchessault has four in his last four games along with six points in his last six. Plus, he just looks like a more confident player on the ice. He’s taking better care of the puck and his forechecking has been as ferocious as ever.

It’s a little thing, changing the flex on your stick, but it can have a huge impact, even in areas it wasn’t supposed to help.