Marchand's being Marchand, and B's are delighted

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Marchand's being Marchand, and B's are delighted

BOSTON -- Brad Marchand is just being himself.

That's according to no less an authority than Bruins coach Claude Julien.

The second-line winger is currently the team's leading goal scorer. He scored his sixth in nine games on Sunday night in Buffalo.

One day later, he was applauded not just for his early offensive outburst to begin the shortened season, but also for scoring while doing what he does best. Being an agitator.

"Brad's being Brad," said Julien after Monday's practice at the TD Garden. "You're seeing that now. The chirping is still there. But he's doing a good job of kind of keeping himself in check. His whole game, not just scoring goals, but the plays he's made. He's stickhandling with the puck. Earlier in the season here, you could see him fanning on a lot of shots. Now, all of a sudden, his hands seem to be coming back, and he's making some great plays and some good stickhandling, and he's had some great opportunities. I think he's really coming along."

Marchand went into detail Monday describing how he leads the team in goals, saying that most of the time he's just looking to shoot the puck at an area of the net in which the bodies in front of him allow. He's just trying to get the shots through without being blocked.

He even went so far as to call himself lucky.

"You go through points of the year where things go right, and then you go through others where things don't click as well," said Marchand. "You could go 9 or 10 games without a goal, or go five games with five goals. It's just how things go.

"I've gotten pretty lucky. I'm playing with great players. I don't do a whole lot out there. It's more the guys I'm playing with."

His coach described the Bruins, on Monday, as a team that "scores by committee." But he also said his team is somewhat "snake-bitten" offensively.

Marchand has picked up the slack for them. And it's not his agitation skills putting the puck in the net, it's his offensive abilities that go well beyond what he calls "luck."

"The thing about Brad, he's got a quick release, too," said Julien. "He's got a good wrist shot, a quick release. A lot of times it catches goaltenders off-guard. That's why good goal scorers have those deceptive, quick releases. You don't know when he's going to let it go."

Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller was fooled by that release on Sunday night. And the Bruins hope Marchand can continue being himself.

Matt Beleskey out six weeks with a right knee injury

Matt Beleskey out six weeks with a right knee injury

BOSTON – Some key Bruins players have missed a handful of games here or there already this season, but only this week did they suffer one of their first major injuries to a key player that will knock him out for nearly two months. 

Matt Beleskey will miss roughly six weeks with an injury to his right knee after the feisty forward was caught with a hip check by Tyler Fedun near center ice in Buffalo over the weekend.  Beleskey tried to instinctively sidestep the oncoming attack, but instead his lower half caught the brunt of the big collision with a young Sabres attacker. 

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Instead Fedun caught Beleskey’s right leg with his hip check, and the gritty Bruins winger was knocked out in the first period of last weekend’s win over the Sabres. 

Beleskey was spotted walking with a bit of a limp during and after Boston’s 4-3 OT win against the Florida Panthers on Monday night, and armed with what looked to be a giant brace or cast on his right leg. It’s clearly a bummer for Beleskey that he’ll now miss a large chunk of time due to a freak injury, and the Bruins have to be disappointed at the timing of it all given how well Beleskey has been playing lately. 

The injury certainly opens up the third line left wing spot for a player like Ryan Spooner, who has struggled to find his right place in the NHL, or a player like Frankie Vatrano as he gets over the hump in his recovery from foot surgery.

Beleskey has skated in plenty of games with Boston in 2016-17, producing two goals and three assists for five points with 23 penalty minutes in what’s been better described as “bedlam”  after a slow start to the regular season.