Could a losing streak or two help the Boston Bruins come playoff time?
Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand thinks so. Following the Bruins’ 5-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night, their 14th straight on TD Garden ice, the media was once again heaping praise on a Boston Bruins team that seems to find a different way to win almost every game. ..all but three to be specific. As Marchand pointed out in his postgame media scrum Saturday night, the Bruins’ veteran core and coaching staff are the biggest reason that the Boston Bruins enter Monday night’s tilt against their former head coach Bruce Cassidy and the Vegas Golden Knights with the second-best record (20-3-0, 40 pts), in the NHL.
“I think that kind of comes with an older team,” Marchand opined when asked where his team’s killer instinct comes from. “I mean, I don’t know the average age of our group but we definitely have a lot of older guys, and knowing and then experience that comes with that. We have a lot of guys that have been on deep runs and played a ton of hockey. We don’t seem to get shook up about anything, and the coaching staff is very calm behind the bench in situations where maybe we might tighten up a little bit. They’re able to kind of calm us down and make us feel a little bit more comfortable, and kind of get us to just regroup.”
What Brad Marchand said next was a perfect example of the type of veteran leadership and experience he just referred to. The 34-year-old veteran winger won a Stanley Cup in 2011, and has been to two other Stanley Cup finals in 2013 and 2019. Marchand was also on a President’s Trophy team that coasted through the 2013-14 regular season but then fizzled out in the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs, losing to the Montreal Canadiens in seven games. Marchand is old enough and wise enough to know that if the Bruins keep winning at this pace, it could hide their deficiencies.
“We haven’t gone through a ton of adversity yet, which we will at some point, and it’s good for a team to do that,” Marchand went on. “You need to go through adversity at some point of the season and it just helps you grow as a team and build for the playoffs where you usually go through a ton of it. So, things have gone well so far but there will be a time where maybe we let a game slip or we don’t get that big goal, but you learn from it and i think we’ve done a good job of that so far.”
So is the current seven-game stretch against legit Stanley Cup contenders that the Bruins a good dose of the adversity Marchand is referring to?
“Their good teams for sure and they’re good tests, but I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, it doesn’t matter who you play,” Marchand said. “On any given night, anybody can win. You can catch a goalie get hot or a player get hot and take over a game, and that’s why I think it’s important for us to not really worry about who we play. Just worry about our process, competing hard in practice and taking care of details and that all translates into our game.
I think that’s honestly why we’ve been good because we practice hard and we compete hard and that level of intensity translates into game play. It doesn’t matter whoever we play. Obviously, when you’re winning, you feel good about yourself and you’re able to keep that confidence going, and that’s a huge part of it as well. It’s good to play these really good teams but every team can be good on any given night. Put it this way, last year it was Detroit and they beat us almost every single game so sometimes that’s just how it goes.”