BOSTON — With points in three-straight games heading into Thursday’s battle with the Oilers, it wasn’t as ifBrad Marchand had been playing poorly, but the Bruins winger was beginning to feel beleaguered by a lengthy goal drought.
With two goals in Boston’s 6-3 win, Marchand finally found the back of the net for the first time in just shy of a month — a stretch that spanned nine games. As expected, the performance was a big relief to the scrappy forward.
“Yeah, definitely. It was nice to get the monkey off the back,” he said. “It was definitely getting frustrating, missing a lot of opportunities. So it was nice to get a couple.”
Marchand gave the B’s a lead in the second period on the power-play when his perfect tip on a shot from Joe Corvo eluded Oilers’ netminder Devan Dubnyk to put Boston ahead 3-2. With 2:03 remaining, No. 63 closed out the scoring on a stellar snap shot in a game in which he doubled his goal-scoring output for the season.
“I think the big thing was keep it a little more simple and getting pucks to the net,” Marchand said. I was getting a lot of opportunities and they just weren’t going in. And if you keep pushing and keep getting opportunities then eventually something is going to go in and that’s what happened tonight.”
Coach Claude Julien believes the 5-foot-9 forward still has some work to do in certain areas of game but was admittedly impressed by Marchand’s performance in the Bruins’ fourth-straight victory.
“He’s shooting more, and still, there’s some parts of his game right now that he’s forcing – you can see he’s forcing things, some turnovers and trying to force those little passes and plays, and he’s just got to get back to playing his game,” Julien said. “It’s speed and shooting like he did on that last one, and just going to the net and doing the things that’s given him success in the past.
“Sometimes guys try and do a little too much and they try to get a little too fancy, and it doesn’t suit their game, and that’s Brad in a nutshell. He just has to play hard and use his speed to take pucks to the net and shoot it.”
Asked if his scoring woes are now behind him, Marchand was certainly pleased to tickle the twine, but he knows he’ll have to continue doing all the things that have been key to his success in addition to capitalizing on more opportunities.
“I don’t know it’s just one game,” said Marchand. “You have to keep going forward and keep things simple and hopefully they keep going in.”