Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand continues to amaze in a body of work that’s garnering Hart Trophy consideration as we enter the final month of the regular season.
This time it was a filthy move to fake out two Washington Capitals defenders on a shorthanded drive to the net for what was ultimately the game-winning goal in a 4-2 win over the Capitals at Capital One Arena. Marchand faked a pass to a net-driving Patrice Bergeron, toe-dragged one defender and then dangled around Ilya Samsonov before lifting a backhander into the open net.
“It’s something I work a lot on. I’m always trying to improve my game,” said Marchand, of his moves around the net as a supreme penalty killer that have given him shorthanded goals in back-to-back games. “I think that’s a big reason why we’re a competitive team. Everybody in that room wants to get better every day and we work towards that. It’s about our progression of working together.”
It was poetry in motion on the ice where the images do it justice that words cannot.
Brad Marchand just clowning Capitals while shorthanded https://t.co/7DtL2GWvUH
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) April 9, 2021
It was also Marchand’s 30th career shorthanded goal, which extends his all-time franchise record for the Boston Bruins, puts him eight shorthanded goals ahead of the next-closest player to him (Michael Grabner) among active NHL players and moves him up into a tie for 22nd all-time with Bob Pulford on the NHL’s shorthanded goal list.
Marchand is seventh in the NHL with his 19 goals scored and sixth in the league with his 47 points in 35 games, and has fewer games played than everybody that’s currently above him in both of those statistical categories. He would be on pace for 43 goals and 107 points over the course of an 82-game regular season and should be in the running for the Hart again this season after finishing in the top-10 for the NHL’s MVP award in three of the last four seasons.
“He’s obviously found a way to be top notch,” said Bruins fourth line center Sean Kuraly of Marchand. “There are maybe a handful of guys that are doing what he’s doing, and I think he’s the best at what he does. No question. I just think he has it in him. He’s a fiery guy, he plays hard, and he loves to compete. And he’s got God-given talent with the willingness to work hard. It’s a laundry list of things that he does well.”