One of the obvious narratives that continues to develop in this Boston Bruins season is the goal-scoring touch that Brad Marchand continues to display.
You know that it won’t last forever, but then again, the B’s forward continues to pot big goals. He did that once again Saturday afternoon at TD Garden when he scored with just 2:16 to play in the third period, giving the Bruins the go-ahead goal in an eventual 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The goal, Marchand’s 11th of the season, was also his fourth game-winning tally so far. It seems like it’s been more, really. The pesky forward, who is known as a player who likes to get under the skin of the opposition, is starting to develop the reputation as one of Boston’s most important goal scorers.
“When we need a big goal, he seems to be able to find it,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “He’s a clutch player, and he’s the kind of player you want to have on your team.”
Marchand says that he’s not doing anything differently. He’s not preparing any differently, and he’s not using any new equipment. It’s all starting to click regardless, but he’s not taking this goal-scoring flurry for granted.
“Goals come and go in bunches,” Marchand said. “You could go 20, 30 games without a goal and then you could go 20 games with 15 [goals]. It’s nice when they come, but you’ve gotta make sure you do all the other things in the game right at the right times."
Yet, Marchand continues to put himself in the right situations to score goals. At this rate, the goals are almost starting to find him, as was the case on Saturday afternoon.
With the Bruins on the power play, Marchand was dumped in the offensive zone with what he thought was a cross-check. As he hit the ice, the puck went the other way while Marchand got up and started bickering with the referee. In the meantime, Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos ripped a shot wide at the other end, and the puck came around the boards back out to Bergeron. Suddenly, he and Marchand found themselves in a 2-on-1 breakaway, and Marchand did what he does best.
“I think they were going on a 3-on-2, I’m not sure,” Marchand recalled. “I was kind of still talking to the ref at that point. [Bergeron] made a great play and I was just trying to find the lane, but he gave me a wide-open net.
“I didn’t agree with [the non-call], but it worked out in the end. . . . It definitely felt nice to get that after I was a little upset there.”
His head coach saw it a little differently, though.
“He was just setting himself up,” Julien joked. “That’s what good goal-scorers do, they set themselves up and get the right gap and in the right place at the right time.”
That’s becoming the trend this season for the Bruins, as Marchand has found himself in the right place at the right time more and more often. He thrives in those situations, and it’s incredibly evident that Marchand wants the puck on his stick when it matters most.
“You always wanna be on the ice in those big situations,” he said. “I’ve always loved being in those situations growing up. It’s nice to have the confidence in those situations and know that you’re comfortable and you can make the right play."
He’s made the right play more often than not this season, and unsurprisingly, that’s had the Bruins on the winning side of games more often than not as well.