BOSTON (CBS) – Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Wednesday morning, as the Bruins pulled off an amazing comeback against the New York Rangers before falling in a shootout last night.
Brad Marchand scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season with just 43 seconds left to play in regulation to tie the game 3-3 and earn the Bruins a point. Marchand has been a force for the Bruins on offense, and while his goal scoring may surprise some fans, it’s what Chiarelli and the Bruins expected out of the former third-round pick.
“We signed him to a fairly lengthy deal, and we were projecting 25-30 goals for him. It’s certainly not a surprise,” Chiarelli said of Marchand’s success. “He’s really come into his own. When we won the cup we saw a player that competes all the time and scores timely goals, and he’s just carrying it forward.”
Marchand said his success this season has been thanks to a little luck, and Chiarelli agrees with that — to an extent.
“Goal scorers need and create their own luck, as funny as that sounds. The margin is very small; you can be in an area to score goals and your release is a quarter of a second too slow and your shot is going to get blocked ” said Chiarelli. “He’s in the right sports, making the right shots and creating the chances. He’s done it two years in a row; he’s a young player and an aggressive player and we expect him to continue doing it. He’s had a great start.”
While Marchand is thriving, Bruins forward Tyler Seguin is still struggling to find the back of the net. Seguin has just two goals this season, and has said playing in Europe may have effected his game. Chiarelli agrees that some tendencies may have followed Seguin back overseas, but he is starting to see improvement from his young forward.
“I think he started slowly and part of that was the European game crept into his game a bit. He’s starting to come. I know he hasn’t been finishing and he hasn’t been scoring, but yesterday morning — I grade every player every game — and I was looking at my notes and his grades are slowly creeping up,” said Chiarelli.
“[Seguin’s] game is a speed game, and he finds open areas. There is more open area over (in Europe), so I think the influence creeps into his game more than others,” said Chiarelli. “He’s too skilled a player to be held off the score sheet. I’ve seen some good cycle shifts where he is making plays and has possession for a long time, resulting in a chance. I would be some-what satisfied, but it’s getting better.”
Chiarelli said his “team grades” on a nightly basis have been good overall, but there is room for improvement.
“Generally they’ve been good. Going into last night the ‘compete level’ has been very consistent and I hadn’t seen a game where it wasn’t consistent throughout,” he said. “When I see that, my grades tend to be above average. There have been below average games (where) they could be better – that could be reflected in the goal scoring and the execution. Execution in general has been slow to the take for me with this team. It’s coming though; we have too much skill for it not to.”