Marchand checks in as Bruins beat Vancouver – Lowell Sun
Brad Marchand made his presence felt in more ways that one, Sunday night at TD Garden.
The Boston Bruins forward rallied the troops in the third period, scoring a powerplay goal, and adding a game-winning assist, while also providing a healthy dose of much-needed physicality, in a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks, Nov. 28.
While goal-scoring has been nothing new to the “Little Ball of Hate’s” repertoire, it was Marchand’s grunt work that seemed to bring out the best in his team. The 5-foot-9, 181-pound left winger dished out several jarring bodychecks, with a game-high five hits, getting the rest of the team going.
“We didn’t play the way we can in the second period,” sad Marchand. “We haven’t been able to string together too many really good 60-minute efforts. But I think we’re happy with the way that we were resilient in the third period. That’s something that’s been the strong suit for this team for a long time. We did a great job getting back to that and not folding.”
Marchand helped key the comeback midway through the third period, after David Pastrnak rang a shot hard off the post. Many players thought the shot went in – Marchand included, but as play continued the pesky winger managed to jump back into play pouncing on the loose puck. He snapped the rebound past former Bruin netminder Jaroslav Halak with 11:15 left to play.
“I thought Pasta scored, so I stopped playing for a second,” Marchand admitted. “Then I saw (Nick Foligno) and (Patrice Bergeron) whacking away at it. I just tried to get close. It took a very fortunate bounce and I just put it in.”
The game winner was vintage Perfection Line, with Marchand finding Pastrnak camped in the left slot on a nifty goalmouth feed. The all-star sniper rifled the shot past Halak with 3:24 left in regulation, giving Boston the lead and eventually the game.
“I knew Pasta was going to be around there,” said Marchand. “We’ve scored a few goals over the years with that play. It was so good finding that hole. Foligno did a great job of tying up the defensemen’s stick in front, giving me a lane. It was a great job by Pasta as well, the (defenseman) was all over him but he was strong on his stick. He did a great job putting it in.”
According to Bruins Coach Bruce Cassidy, Marchand’s physical play spoke volumes, and was contagious to the rest of the squad.
“That second period started getting away from us a little bit in terms of dictating play,” Cassidy said. “Marchy went out and made a couple solid hits and all of a sudden (Trent Frederic) is finishing his check, and it snowballed a little bit. Other guys were also doing it. He can help you in a lot of ways. You saw it offensively, on the powerplay, the penalty kill and the physical part was good. That’s where you hope it rubs off on other guys.”
With many NHL team’s trying to adopt a more European run-and-gun style of play, Marchand still relishes some good old fashion grunt work.
“It needs to be there,” said Marchand. “It’s something that’s been a staple and part of the Bruins culture, playing hard all the way through. The game in general is getting away from that, but the good teams still play hard, finish their check, and make it hard on the other teams. We’re no different. Every guy regardless of their size has to finish their checks. Sometimes it presents itself more times than other nights. Tonight, was one of those nights.”
And the Bruins were certainly better off for it,