Bruins

Marchand heating up offensively for Bruins

Marchand heating up offensively for Bruins

ST LOUIS -- The Bruins are a different offensive team when Brad Marchand is hitting the high notes offensively, and he’s been back to that level in the last few games for a Black and Gold group starting to score more goals.

Marchand potted a pair of goals in the Bruins 5-3 win over the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center on Tuesday night, and perhaps did it in celebration of also being named an NHL All-Star for the first time on the very same day. Instead it’s more about Marchand hitting a hot stretch on offense as he’s been known to do over the years while doing yeoman’s work for the Bruins goal-scoring ambitions. Marchand now has five goals and seven points in his last four games, and is burying the chances that seemed to be just missing over the last couple of months this season.

Chances like the sniper strike at the end of the first period as a trailer when David Pastrnak found Marchand wide going to the net, and the nifty empty net backhander late in the third period that he simply threw at the net. Different goals to be sure, but evidence that confidence is starting to come back for an elite offensive player like Marchand.

“I think it’s just an example of what our team does when everybody is going and everybody is playing well,” said Marchand, who has 15 goals and a team-leading 38 points on the season in 43 games. “We get a lot of opportunities, and we had opportunities to score even more goals than that tonight. When we play fast and we play hard against other teams we get our chances, and luckily they’re starting to go in.

“But we knew all year that if we continued to push and continued to get opportunities that they would start to go in. You can’t get the [scoring] opportunities that we get every game and not have them ever go in the net.”

The Bruins have scored 30 goals in their last 10 games for an excellent three goals per game average, and the power play has gone 8-for-33 over that span for a 24.2 percent success rate. Those numbers are way up from where they’d been most of the first half this season for the Black and Gold, and Claude Julien thinks players like Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and others rounding into form is the exact reason behind it.

“We all know that when [Marchand] scores it helps a lot,” said Claude Julien. “He was a 37 goal scorer last year and I knew at some point things were going to turn around for him. The same with [Patrice Bergeron]. He’s getting good looks and he’s getting shots on net, and I think his point production is really going to come around as well. This is what we need. We can look in the past or we can build on what we’re doing now, and [the latter] is what we choose to do.”

The Bruins just have to hope that it keeps building upward for Marchand and others as it looks like they’re finally hitting their offensive stride. 

Breakfast Podcast, April 22, 2019: Bruins gear up for Game 7 vs the Leafs

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Breakfast Podcast, April 22, 2019: Bruins gear up for Game 7 vs the Leafs

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01:40:11: Marc Bertrand, Trenni Kusnierek, and Gary Tanguay make their Game 7 predictions as the Bruins look to close the series against the Leafs, and discuss which team has more to lose. We also hear Bergeron’s postgame thoughts after Game 6 win.

08:55:11: The Red Sox begin to turn things around after Rays sweep this weekend, but Nathan Eovaldi will now undergo surgery. Merloni, Kusnierek and Tanguay discuss how his role will change upon his return. 

11:33:15 Celtics sweep the Pacers over the weekend, Tom Giles, Chris Forsberg and Danielle Trotta discuss their potential in the next round, and what key players will make a difference. 

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Patrice Bergeron on Game 7: 'It's a battle of will out there'

Patrice Bergeron on Game 7: 'It's a battle of will out there'

The Boston Bruins are entering a critical Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second-straight year. After an inspired effort in Game 6, the Bruins are going to look to defy the odds and come back from a 3-2 series deficit. And to do that, they'll have to rely on their grizzled veterans.

One of those vets is Patrice Bergeron. The long-time Bruin is playing in 11th career Game 7 and he is ready to help lead the team to victory. Bergeron spoke to reporters about the contest in a video captured by the Bruins' official Twitter account.

Obviously, It's a battle of will out there. And especially more so there in Game 7. You know, whatever it takes I guess. It's about poise. You've got to use that stress and nervousness the right way and feed off it and use the energy that way. You've got to make sure you play the right way even though there's lots on the line.

That's pretty good advice from Bergeron, and the team should be ready to take it. Bergeron has a lot of experience in these moments (10 points in 10 Game 7s played) so the younger players should follow his lead and try to stay calm and disciplined against the Maple Leafs.

But also, it will be important for the team to embrace the moment, and Bergeron is hoping that they will be able to feed off the energy from the game and the raucous crowd.

It's great. I mean, that's why you play hockey. That's why you, as an athlete, have to feed off that. We all enjoy them and it's fun to be a part of.

Game 7 will take place at the TD Garden on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. The Bruins will look to repeat history after they knocked off the Maple Leafs in seven games last season, also with home-ice advantage.

Click here for the Bruins' Game 7 history beginning in 2011>>>

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