Bruins need Brad Marchand to battle through scoring frustrations
|04.18.17 at 3:03 am ET|
Bruins winger Brad Marchand’s emergence in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs took just about everybody by surprise. But that was six years and 171 goals ago, and now, Marchand is a marked man.
Teams target him in more ways than one, too.
Not only do they try to keep the 5-foot-9 winger off the scoresheet, but they also attempt to get under his skin, and goad him into the bad penalties he’s wont to take at times. The Senators accomplished both in Monday’s Game 3, as they held No. 63 to just one shot on goal, and frustrated him into a needless penalty
The agitator became the agitated, and that’s something that’s just not going to work for the now-trailing Black and Gold.
“Well, clearly, he took a penalty tonight, probably out of frustration, but listen, Brad Marchand was what, the fifth leading scorer in the National Hockey League this year? He’s going to get keyed on. So part of the process for him becoming an elite player is to play through that, take advantage of the opportunities, and certainly we can get him away from certain matchups,” Bruins interim head coach Bruce Cassidy said following his team’s Game 3 overtime loss. “But at the end of the day, they’re going to get the D pair out against him for the most part, unless there’s an O-zone face-off after an icing, and we try to get that matchup.
“But obviously, he’s got to play through it.”
On the ice for the game-winning goal against, Marchand’s night ended with a team-high three missed shots, and with two giveaways to his name in 21:22 of time on ice. The 28-year-old was also held without a point for the second straight game.
“We’ll talk to him tomorrow about it, but at the end of the day, that’s what happens when you’re an elite player,” Cassidy said. “You’re going to get marked, and you’ve got to find your way through the checking part of the game, because they’ve got a number of guys, they’re a good defensive team. It’s not like one guy is all over him, it’s just, he’s one of the guys you circle on the board.”
“Big thing is just try and push through it,” Marchand said. “I would say I have to be better; I haven’t been at my best so far, but guys have done a really good job of stepping up. Every night we have four lines going and that’s what we need.”
What the Bruins need more than that, you’d argue, is Marchand to return to form with the big goals he’s known for, like the one he scored with under three minutes to play in the B’s Game 1 victory over the Senators last Wednesday.
“[Brad Marchand] can create a little more out there,” Cassidy said. “And he will.”