VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Although Brad Marchand appears headed for a long NHL career, he’ll always have trouble topping what he did as a rookie while driving the Boston Bruins to the Stanley Cup.
Marchand had two goals and an assist in the Bruins’ 4-0 victory over Vancouver in Game 7 on Wednesday night, ending his first NHL playoff campaign in sparkling fashion.
Marchand had 11 goals and eight assists in the postseason. He scored goals in five finals games — and the Bruins won all four.
Marchand set a record for playoff goals by a Boston rookie, and tied Jeremy Roenick for the second-most in NHL history. They’re three shy of Dino Ciccarelli, who scored 14 goals for the Minnesota North Stars in 1981.
“It’s so surreal,” Marchand said. “Just to be part of this and have your dreams come true, it’s unbelievable.”
He set up Patrice Bergeron for the first goal late in the first period before adding a goal from behind the net with 7:47 left in the second. He scored his 11th of the playoffs into an empty net, ensuring the Bruins’ first title in 39 years.
Although Marchand also lived up to his reputation as a prime agitator during the series, he did all of his talking on the scoresheet in Game 7. Perhaps he was all punched out: He threw seven uncontested gloves to the face of Daniel Sedin at the end of Game 6 — after opening the scoring with a goal over Roberto Luongo’s shoulder, of course.
“I just wanted to step up and help any way I could,” Marchand said. “Everyone had a role to play and played it to a T, and I was able to get a couple of goals, and it was nice to do.”
Marchand credited retiring teammate Mark Recchi for mentoring him this season. Marchand and the 43-year-old Recchi played on the same line, and Recchi got the secondary assist on Marchand’s first goal.
“The amount he’s pushed me and helped me grow as a player, I wouldn’t be here right now if not for him,” Marchand said. “Everything I learned from him, on and off the ice, is unbelievable. It’s such an honor to be a part of this with him.”
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)