Bruins winger Brad Marchand had his second five-point night of the season. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)
When Bruins winger Brad Marchand is feeling it offensively, the whole league feels it. Today’s victim: Michal Neuvirth and the rest of the Flyers in a 6-3 victory for the Black and Gold, due in large part to a five-point night from the 5-foot-9 agitator-turned-sniper.
“That’s the word I use when I talk about Brad [Marchand], is that when he’s feeling it, he makes a lot of good things happen, and it hasn’t always been like that this year,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said after the win. “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, and in less high-risk situations. So, it’s nice to see him coming around that way.”
Marchand’s night began with a brilliant shorthanded goal in which he outraced Sean Couturier and Ivan Provorov for the 21st shorthanded tally of his career. The goal moved Marchand out of a tie with Phil Esposito and Don Marcotte and into sole possession of third place on the club’s all-time shorthanded goals list, with Derek Sanderson (24) and Rick Middleton (25) up next on the list.
His night wasn’t done there. Not even close to done, actually. It was Marchand that hit a streaking Torey Krug with a perfect saucer pass on Krug’s net-front drive to put the Black and Gold up by two, he assisted on the Patrice Bergeron power-play goal, and then picked up a secondary helper on the B’s fourth goal of the second period, when Zdeno Chara bombed one on Neuvirth.
Such a night continued the hot streak for the Bruins’ top goal scorer from a year ago, with seven goals and 14 points in his last nine games played, and a team-leading 43 points, 10 more than David Pastrnak’s second-most 33 points this season.
“That’s how hockey goes sometimes – pucks bounce your way and other times they don’t, you know, it is nice when things are going your way,” Marchand said, “you feel a little more confident, you’re able to do things that you’re a little nervous to try at different times. But again, I think our team’s playing really good hockey right now and everyone’s just playing good.”
“He’s obviously been our leader offensively this year and he’s got to keep playing the same way,” Krug said of Marchand. “He tries to do that on a nightly basis so it’s good for us. We do need secondary scoring in order for us to get on a roll here and keep going.”
With a five-point night, his second of the year, Marchand has become the first Bruins player to put up multiple five-night efforts in the same season since Jason Allison accomplished the feat for the B’s in 1997-98.
And it could not have come at a better time for a Bruins team that’s grabbed seven of their last possible 10 points.
“I think we all realized that we have to be a desperate team and we’re starting to come together and learn each other and finally get some chemistry on the lines,” Marchand added. “I think we’re just starting to connect.”