Friday, January 3, 2014
Is Marchand finally coming around?
By Joe McDonald
BOSTON -- Bruins forward Brad Marchand and coach Claude Julien could both laugh about the game-winning goal that helped Boston to a 3-2 overtime victory against the Nashville Predators on Thursday night at TD Garden.
Just 54 seconds into the extra period, linemate Patrice Bergeron fed Marchand with a pass at the Nashville blue line, as Boston gained control of the offensive zone. The Predators’ Mike Fisher attempted to steal the puck, but Marchand made a nifty toe drag around the defender and was surprised when he still had control.
Marchand skated to the top of the left faceoff circle and his wrist shot beat Nashville goaltender Marek Mazanec for the game-winning goal. Julien was pleasantly surprised that the puck went in on that play.
“That’s because most of the time he’s lost those pucks,” Julien said of Marchand’s move just inside the blue line. “And it worked, so I give him credit for that. He was smart enough just to throw it at the net.
“You know it was one of those things that if it hits Fisher’s skates it’s a different ballgame and he had to be ready to backcheck, but maybe I was surprised a little bit too that he still had the puck.”
The play surprised just about everybody in the building and left Fisher feeling embarrassed.
“It was just a bad play by me, but you know I don’t think [Mazanec] saw it in the screen and no one else plays it,” Fisher said. “I’d like that back, but what do you do.”
Marchand has experienced too many inconsistencies this season, but he believes his game is coming around. He has just 10 goals through 41 games (he was at 18 at this point last season), but five of them have come in his past seven games.
“A little bit, but I think at the same time it’s a little bit of the bounces too,” he said. “Earlier in the year that probably would have been a turnover and a goal the other way so a little bit of luck there, getting that through, and that’s just how it goes sometimes.”