BOSTON – It usually happens once or twice a season, so the Bruins are standing back and enjoying Brad Marchand going fully nuclear on opponents with his high-energy offensive arsenal.
The Bruins left winger scored a pair of goals in Boston’s 6-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon, and now has seven goals in his last five games while helping to lead a goal-scoring resurgence for the Black and Gold. In all Marchand finished with a game-high five points (two goals, three assists) and was the offensive linchpin for the Bruins in an important win over a Flyers club they’re competing with for playoff position.
Marchand didn’t want to call it a hot streak or toot his own horn, but instead wanted focus on the entire Bruins offense getting well lately after some big time struggles in the first half.
“I think it’s just, that’s how hockey goes sometimes. [Sometimes] pucks bounce your way and other times they don’t, you know? It is nice when things are going your way and you feel a little more confident,” said Marchand. “You’re able to do things that you’re a little nervous to try at different times. But again, I think our team is playing really good hockey right now and everyone is just playing good [hockey].
“We need the older guys to lead the way. So, the guys did a great job stepping up and again, everyone played well. Tuukks [Tuukka Rask] played good – made some big saves at the right time – penalty kill stepped up when we really needed them too and power play, again, has been hot lately. So we have to keep all that going.”
The first Marchand goal was the more important of the two as it came after the B’s had fallen down 1-0 early in the first period. The Bruins agitator made certain it wouldn’t last for long, and stole a puck from Sean Couturier while doing PK work and engineering himself a shorthanded breakaway. Marchand beat rookie Ivan Provorov in a footrace down the ice, and slid a shorthanded bid five-hole on Michael Neuvirth as he was being vigorously hooked by the Flyers D-man.
It stopped Philly’s momentum, and served as notice to the rest of the Bruins that Marchand had come to play in a big game for Boston.
“I think right now, he’s feeling it, and that’s the word I use when I talk about Brad [Marchand]. When he’s feeling it, he makes a lot of good things happen and it hasn’t always been like that this year,” said Claude Julien. “But now he’s starting to heat up, and that’s a good sign. That’s one of the key traits that he has, is anticipation and knowing when to make those moves that he’s been making in less high-risk situations. It’s nice to see him coming around that way.”
Marchand added his 17th goal of the season late in the third period on the empty Flyers net to ice the game, and now has seven goals and 12 points in his last six games. Clearly the bursts of offense are always welcome from the Nose Face Killah anytime, but they come to the Bruins now as they look to go on an extended winning stretch built by their best players, like Marchand, coming to play with a vengeance every single night.