BOSTON (CBS) – Entering Thursday night’s game against the Florida Panthers, Brad Marchand’s goal-less streak was up to 12 games.
The drought was wearing thin on the Boston forward, who had already notched 10 goals at the 15-game mark last season. He was feeling the weight of his slump on his shoulders, and it was only magnified as the team struggled.
But that weight was lifted Thursday night when Marchand knocked in a goal early in the third period. As he skated to his teammates to celebrate just his second goal of the season, he reached behind his back and made a throwing motion towards the ice.
“Just getting the monkey off the back pretty much,” Marchand said after the win. “It’s really nice to finally get one. It’s been a while and I forget what it felt like.”
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Marchand scored his goal on the kind of play the Bruins have become accustomed to seeing out of the “Little Ball of Hate.” He made a risky pass to Patrice Bergeron across the Florida blue line, who then fed defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. Seidenberg fired a shot that was tipped by Boston forward Loui Eriksson and slowly trickled by Florida netminder Scott Clemmensen.
The puck sat in the crease, but Marchand had streaked to the net after delivering the pass and easily tapped it in to put the Bruins on top for good.
“I think he scored the goal the way we know he scores; made a great play at the blueline and then just skated to the net and was able to jump on that loose puck,” said head coach Claude Julien. “He talked about moving his feet and when he moves his feet he creates things and he scores himself some goals too.”
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“I just wanted to stick with it and try to get back to playing a little more simple and hopefully things will start bouncing our way,” said Marchand. “I have to make plays. It’s my job and I know I can. It’s just when they’re there I have to make it and it seemed like early on when they were there I wasn’t making them and it was a bit of a high risk play so thank God it didn’t turn over for a breakaway but, it resulted in a goal so I’m happy.”
“Yeah it was risky; if they bat it down it’s a different situation,” said Julien. “But he made the play, and not only that he came back high enough to make that play and also he started heading right to the net as soon as he made the pass. So those are things that Brad is known for. Even on that goal against, he comes in, takes a shot, goes behind the net and he blows by both his line mates to come back and he did a great job of back checking on that play. So all that’s to say that when his feet are moving, he’s a much better player.”
The goal was just Marchand’s fifth point of the season, but he hopes it opens the floodgates for him to get back to his normal chippy self.
“It’s frustrating. You want to contribute all you can and when you see the games go by and not only you’re not scoring, but I wasn’t really playing really well. It’s very frustrating,” he said. “You want to pull your own weight especially with the team we have. Everyone is expected to play up to par and so like I said, it was nice to get one and just got to keep trying to build.”
“I think yeah it can definitely start our swing to playing better,” Marchand said of Thursday’s win. “You got to start somewhere and I think we definitely feel like tonight we started that trend so we have to make sure we have a good day at practice tomorrow and continue to play well next game.”
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