Marchand wins B's Seventh Player Award

191545.jpg

Marchand wins B's Seventh Player Award

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com

BOSTON With the regular season winding down its honors time for the Bruins, and rookie Brad Marchand came away with one of the most coveted pieces of Bs hardware when he was named NESNs Seventh Player Award winner on Saturday.The Seventh Player has been handed out for the last 42 NHL seasons to the Bruin player who goes above and beyond the call of duty and exceeds expectations of Bruins fans.
Marchand has 21 goals and is second to teammate Adam McQuaid amongall NHL rookies in plusminus (plus-26). He also has served as an instigator and agitator on the ice for the B's in a role they desperately needed someone to fill. "Hes such a good skater and he plays hard every night. Hes been a real good player for us and I think its going to be exciting to see him jump into the playoffs, just by the way he is," said coach Claude Julien. "Hes going to be pumped for that and I think hes going to be a really good asset for our hockey club."For the rookie it's been an amazing season where he went from training camp question mark to a cult Boston hockey hero that's surprassed nearly every expectation. Marchand follows in the footsteps of fellow talented youngsters Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Tuukka Rask that have won the Seventh Player Award in each of the last four seasons. "It was a question mark whether I was going to be on the team this year," said Marchand reflecting on it all. "Its a honor to win that award. Its special."Marchand receives 5,000 to donate to the charity of his choice, and one fan was drawn at random to receive a new Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo from Central Jeep of Norwood and Raynham.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Julien: Pastrnak 'coming into his own' as Bruins' 'best forward'

Julien: Pastrnak 'coming into his own' as Bruins' 'best forward'

BOSTON – The Bruins are running out of superlatives for 20-year-old David Pastrnak at this point. 

The right winger continued his torrid goal-scoring pace in a breakout season with the B’s by scoring a couple of goals, including a dazzling overtime game-winner, in a 4-3 OT win over the Florida Panthers at TD Garden. 

Pastrnak now has 15 goals scored in 21 games this season for the Bruins, and has matched career-high for goals scored in a single season already with nearly three quarters of the season still left to be played. Only Sidney Crosby and Patrik Laine have scored more goals than Pastrnak in the NHL this season, and it’s a scary thought to imagine where the 25th ranked Bruins offense would be without their ascending superstar from the Czech Republic. 

Certainly the Bruins wouldn’t have taken two points from the Panthers without him: Pastrnak ended the overtime session quickly when he wheeled up and out of the offensive zone after getting the puck to David Krejci, and then gathered speed before taking the puck from Krejci, blowing the doors off Florida D-man Mike Matheson with a couple of moves and then easily beating Roberto Luongo with a game-winning goal. It was a highlight reel, electric overtime game-winner by any measure, but it’s also the kind of thing that’s started to become routine for an offensive player with as much speed, skill and creativity as anybody currently playing in the NHL. 

“He’s coming into his own, I think. There’s no doubt about that confidence wise, it’s at its highest right now and rightfully so. I think when you look at him skate – and not only in the goal, but even before the goal – he went after that puck to get control of it before that goal even happened,” said Julien. “So once you’ve got control and he moved it around and then got it into Krech’s [David Krejci] hands, at that point when he came back from circling just in the neutral zone a little bit, he had caught their defenseman flat-footed. 

“With that speed I guess there’s not much that D could have done, but what a great move. Obviously taking the time to lift the puck up was pretty impressive – especially that last move. So a nice goal and a great way for us to finish with that win. I think he’s been our best forward since the beginning of the year. So, no doubt it’s nice to see him growing the way he is right now.”

The second period goal was just as impressive for Pastrnak for all kinds of different reasons. The young right wing started a puck possession in the corner when he battled to hold onto the puck from his knees, and eventually worked possession up to Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron fired and missed wide on his chance at the net, but Brad Marchand grabbed the loose puck and uncorked a no-look, spinning pass to Pastrnak waiting in front of the net. 

The natural born scorer fired a laser blast past Luongo and temporarily gave the Bruins the lead in a seesaw game between Boston and Florida. All three of the forwards on the Bergeron line touched the puck on that scoring possession leading right up to the score, and it’s been part of the learning process for a player hitting his offensive peak in his third NHL season. 

“All the games I play beside Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] and Marchy [Brad Marchand] and [with] those two guys it’s such a pleasure to play [with them] and learn a bunch of stuff, learning every single shift,” said Pastrnak. “They talk to me, tell me what to do, and then I guess [I’m] trying to listen. We have a lot of guys here who have been around the league for a long time, so they [are] helping us young guys. It’s really helpful.”

Now it’s Pastrnak tearing up the league in just his third pro season, and playing like he’s going to be “around the league for a long time” just like some of the players on the Boston roster that have jumped from a talented young player to the pathway to NHL stardom. The sky is truly the limit for a player in Pastrnak that can win battles, score goals and skate around in overtime just waiting to embarrass any defenseman that dares try and stop him.