By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The lowly Vancouver Canucks entered the third period with a 3-2 lead over the Boston Bruins, threatening to pull off the upset. Then Brad Marchand just took over.
The Bruins winger continued his ascendance into the NHL’s offensive elite with a clutch performance on Monday night in Vancouver, scoring three goals in the third period to lead the B’s to a 6-3 win. You can watch his second goal in the above video, in which Marchand puts the Bruins on top 4-3 with a spectacular sequence of moves.
First, Marchand pickpocketed an unsuspecting Henrik Sedin on the half boards. Then he darted for the net, sliding the puck between Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler and knocking the puck past goalie Ryan Miller on a diving backhand. The unassisted effort was the very definition of “unstoppable.”
Marchand got his hat trick started with this power play goal on another backhand early in the third period:
And he completed the trifecta with a late empty-netter:
Marchand’s third-period dominance is the kind of game that gets the Hart Trophy talk going. He is now tied with Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead in goals with 35 and second in the league in points with 74. He may not ultimately get as many MVP votes as Crosby or scoring leader Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers, but if Marchand can keep up his current scoring pace, he would certainly warrant some consideration.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.