Brad Marchand: Sensational and significant
|12.20.11 at 10:32 am ET|
There are highlight reel goals. And, there are game-winning goals.
On rare occasions, you get both in one. Monday night, Brad Marchand gave Bruins fans a 2-for-1 holiday special with his deke-to-backhander that beat Montreal’s Carey Price with just over five minutes remaining to put the Bruins up, 3-1. It turned out to be the difference when Erik Cole scored with 1:14 left as the Bruins hung on for a 3-2 win.
“Once I got my head up, he was already in the motion of poke checking, and I just pulled it around him, and luckily it went in,” Marchand said.
Marchand was quick to thank linemate Tyler Seguin for his vision to see Marchand breaking down the slot for the goal.
“Well, once Segs got it, I saw [the defenseman] decided to go to him, and I was all alone, so I was hoping he’d get it through and he made the play to get it done,” Marchand said.
All of this for a team know for scoring “dirty work” goals, fighting along the boards and finding a way to finish. On this night, the finish by Marchand was spectacular.
“I think sometimes people underestimate our team for the amount of skill we have, but, you know, we have a lot of guys who make great plays, and every now and then we get a nice goal,” Marchand said.
Marchand fell face first to the ice just after flipping the puck into the vacant net left when Price bellyflopped on the failed poke-check. He was asked if he has scored many goals while in the process of falling.
“That was definitely a first, I think probably my first,” he said.
The Bruins are now 19-2-1 in their last 22 games since starting the season 3-7-0. The atmosphere in the dressing room reflects the confidence the team is playing with right now.
“It’s definitely a lot of fun,” he said. “You come in, and when you’re winning a lot, it’s a lot easier to come into the rink. Going to work, we still know that when we’re here we have a job to do, and I think everyone embraces that and does the most to make sure they’re at their best every day, and because of that, that’s why we’re winning right now.
“I don’t think you ever go into a game expecting to win 6-0 [Saturday in Philadelphia], but with Looch [Milan Lucic] out today, we knew everyone had to step up a little bit. He’s a key part of our team missing right now so a lot of guys did a great job and stepped up today.”
So what did Monday show?
“It’s huge that we can play with any kind of team,” Marchand said. “We can play with skilled teams, or play with big, strong power teams, so the fact that we can play against different styles is definitely an advantage to us, and we have to use that to our advantage whenever we can and come out with wins like we did tonight.”
And the Bruins reward is having the next two days off before returning Thursday to get ready for the Panthers Friday night, a team that beat them, 2-0, two weeks ago at the Garden.
“They’re very big,” Marchand said of the two days rest. “We haven’t had a chance to rest here, and we want to go into Friday, the last game before break, hopefully on a good note. They beat us last time they were in here, so we want to get some revenge, so a few days to rest up and get prepared will be nice.”