It wasn’t a “throwing the monkey off the back” kind of moment, but Brad Marchand definitely needed the offensive breakthrough that took place against the New York Rangers on Friday afternoon.
The Bruins agitator potted his fourth goal of the season on a one-timer from the bottom of the right face-off circle in the first period, and then fed Patrice Bergeron for his game-tying score in the third period of the B’s 3-2 comeback win. It was Marchand’s first multi-point game of the season, and seemed to be another step forward in what’s been a series of fits and starts to a down year thus far.
“Our whole team [played well today]. Brad [Marchand] was good today; he was part of the group of guys that played well today,” said Claude Julien. “I thought he played some pretty good games in spurts here and there, but today was definitely one of those games where I thought he was solid.”
One positive sign beyond the pure offensive numbers was Marchand’s emotional engagement coming off a down game against the Wings. Marchand was yapping with the Rangers players and being his general pain in the butt self on the ice, and that was before he scored his goal.
Then Marchand finished off a nifty one-timer from the bottom of the right face-off circle, a place where he scored plenty of goals last season with his quick release and accurate, elevated shot.
“Well, that’s my spot, you know,” said Marchand, with a smirk. “It’s nice to get a goal like that. It was a bit of a lucky bounce too, though, it hit his shoulder and went in. It could have easily gone the other way, so it’s a nice goal.”
It was Marchand’s fourth goal of the season in his 26th game, and that’s a far cry from the guy that led the Bruins in goals and points last season. Rather than dwell on the disappointing stat lines as he did in the first few weeks of the season, Marchand is just looking to keep his focus on putting out one good effort after another until the numbers start piling up, and he’s got plenty left in the tank for the playoffs.
“It’s not going to happen overnight. It’s a process and you just want to keep working at it. I’m not looking towards the next game or the game after that…I want to be the best I can be at the end of the year for playoff time,” said Marchand. “I’ve got to make sure I work on it. Each game you want to get better and continue to improve.”
Marchand had 1 goal and 4 points in 12 games during a disappointing month of October, but has improved with 3 goals and 7 points in 14 games along with a plus-6 during November. It’s still not vintage Marchand, but at least he’s getting where he needs to be with a strong Friday afternoon effort under his belt.