Bruins' Marchand gets last laugh on Devils' Clarkson

990769.jpg

Bruins' Marchand gets last laugh on Devils' Clarkson

BOSTON -- Brad Marchand wasnt telling exactly what he said, but it was plain to see on the ice.

The impish Bruins forward chirped out a few choice things to Devils forward David Clarkson and the rest of the New Jersey bench after nailing the game-winning shot in last nights 2-1 shootout win at TD Garden. The winning score was a simple five-hole attempt that ticked off Johan Hedberg's paddle on the way into the net, but it was effective all the same.

Clarkson had been holding a running conversation with Zdeno Chara among other Bs skaters throughout the overtime game, and was Jersey's best player while scoring their goal on the strength of a team-high seven shots on net.

The Devils power forward finally had a friendly chat with the always-verbose Nose Face Killah after a whistle in the extra session. Television replays showed Clarkson making a gesture with his face that clearly was meant as a pejorative insult about the size of Marchands nose, and that got both players chirping at full speed.

The jibe wasn't exactly original as other combatants have gone down the same road with Marchand in the past, but it really served as fuel to Boston's chief agitator. Claude Julien was asked about Marchands shootout score and his antics through the game after the victory, and spoke as a coach that knows his players very well after being in Boston for six seasons.

So he knows that he truly doesn't know what's going on with Marchand.

Hes very unique, so well leave it at that, said Julien.

Marchand only had one shot in his 19:29 of ice in the overtime victory, and seemed to be one of the players struggling mightily in the second day of back-to-back games against the Hurricanes and the Devils.

It was tough bouncing back, but we found a way, said Marchand, who is tied with Nathan Horton for the team lead with three goals. I think the main thing is, we have to keep our shifts short, and we were pretty good at that. We were pretty stingy. We didnt give a ton. We played a good game.

But that didnt stop the left winger from succeeding once his number was finally called as the sixth Bruins skater selected in the shootout session.

Then Marchand skated closely by the Devils bench while looking directly at his taunting opponents, and told them exactly what he thought of them. He added even more verbal barrages after Tuukka Rask had gloved the final New Jersey scoring attempt.

Those are the kinds of moments where ever-constant 247 cameras and microphones would be invaluable.

Yeah, there was some chirping going on all game, admitted Marchand, who has been uncharacteristically quiet in the agitating department this season. It was good to give it back.

Just dont ask Marchand to recount how exactly he beat Johan Hedberg for what amounted to the game-winning shot before Rask made a strong glove stop on Marek Zidlickys last gasp attempt.

Apparently he doesnt remember exactly what he did in the shootout, either. Strangely this is the kind of explanation many people expected out of Marchand coming straight from the summer of Stanley Cup celebrations.

I just blacked out. Im serious, I blacked out, said Marchand with a smirk on his face. I dont know what happened. I just made a move and shot and looked back, and it was in.

For the record Tuesday's heroics was Marchands first career shootout attempt, so perhaps he needs to black out a little more often for the coaches to call his number.

Sinking a game-winner cant exactly hurt his case, or take away from his post-game chirping material.

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while digging the Spider-Man trailer that dropped last night. 

*John Scott has finally called it a day and announced his retirement, and apparently there’s a book of his memoirs also coming out too. I’m predicting it’s not headed for the New York Times best seller list. 

*Winter Olympics participation and the CBA negotiations for the NHL are starting to merge into giant issue.  

*Connor McDavid calls the Flyers' Brandon Manning classless for telling him on the ice that he purposefully tried to hurt him last season. Some players might also take issue with McDavid making public what another player said to him on the ice. That’s kind of a no-no for most hockey players and breaks an unwritten rule that McDavid might think he’s above given his star status. This whole thing isn’t a good look for anybody. 

*Kevin Stevens pleads guilty to federal drug charges in what’s become a pretty sad situation for the former NHL star. 

*New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is beginning to raise questions with his play, and his massive price tag. 

*Youngsters Zach Weresnki and Dylan Larkin took similar paths to the NHL, and are both considered part of the talented young generation full of hockey stars. 

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has Carey Price taking a nutty on Kyle Palmieri after the player crashed into his crease last night. Price is being celebrated for sticking up for himself, but if another goalie did that to a Habs player at the Bell Centre, there would already be a warrant out for his arrest. Play it both ways, Montreal!  

*For something completely different: here’s the aforementioned new Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer that looks pretty darn good. 

 

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

BOSTON – While the loss to the Avalanche on Thursday night was a monumental dud, it put another dazzling display on the hockey resume of David Pastrnak. 

The 20-year-old star right winger scored two more goals in the 4-2 loss at TD Garden and nearly brought the Bruins back into the game by himself before another defensive breakdown at the end of the second period doomed them. 

Instead, Pastrnak had to settle with being the proud owner of 18 goals scored in 23 games that places him in a tie with NHL superstar Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead in goals. 

The goals also showed his wide range of lethal offensive skills. On the first score, he just broke away from the Avalanche defense and managed to bury a second-effort breakaway chance after a nice Tim Schaller stretch pass off the boards. The second goal was a straight one-timer bomb from the high slot off a slick setup pass from Brad Marchand in the corner, and it had the Bruins right back into the mix after a dreadful first period. 

It wasn’t enough when the B’s defense faltered again toward the end of the second period, but it was enough for everybody to be singing Pastrnak’s praises once again following the loss. 

“He’s a game changer. The momentum is going the other way, and he has the ability to break away on any given shift and score a big goal for us. He did that tonight,” said Torey Krug. “We can’t just keep relying on the same guys to score goals. We’ve got to come up with secondary offense, and I know every other guy wants to do that. 

“Now it’s about showing that on the ice and making sure we’re doing the work and getting better and proving to ourselves. But Pasta [David Pastrnak] has been great for us so far, and we’re obviously lucky to have him.”

The 18 goals barely two months into the season are not too shabby for a kid, in his third NHL season, who just now coming into his own. He’s nearly halfway to 40 before Christmas. For Pastrnak, however, it’s about the team result and he wasn’t overly satisfied with his two goals in a losing effort. 

“I’ve said before the season that our goal is to make the playoffs and to have that experience and have the chance to win the Stanley Cup. I’m still focusing on that,” said Pastrnak, who has yet to experience the Stanley Cup playoffs in his two-plus seasons with the Black and Gold. “We have zero points from tonight’s game and we have to move on. I think our game gets better in the second and third periods, you know, and we have to regroup and get ready for Saturday’s game.”

The Bruins will undoubtedly regroup and once again count on another Pastrnak offensive explosion to help lead the way in what’s become a truly spectacular season for the youngster.