Boston Bruins’ Marchand ‘Found His Groove’ At Perfect Time
Some of the health news has been troubling for the Boston Bruins as of late, like bruising defenseman Derek Forbort being set to miss the rest of the regular season after blocking a shot. But some of it has also been encouraging with some B’s players as they continue to hit their stride and play their best hockey of the season while coming back from offseason surgeries and the long rehabs that followed. One of those players is Brad Marchand, who really appears to be getting his full stride, timing, power and confidence back to their peak levels after working through peaks and valleys after undergoing surgery on both hips last season.
Marchand has six points in his last three games, all assists, and has a plus-5 over that span while focusing on playmaking like his perfectly threaded pass to a cutting Jake DeBrusk for Tuesday night’s game-winner in a 2-1 Boston Bruins win over the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden. Clearly he’s been focusing on making plays with just three shots on net in that span, but that’s a sign to the Boston Bruins coaching staff that he’s got everything working at optimal efficiency these days with the Stanley Cup playoffs just right around the corner.
“I think he’s found his groove here and he’s making a lot of plays again, which is great to see,” said Montgomery. “Just the way he’s attacking defensemen’s feet, pulling up, reading off of their joints. If their ankles or knees are turned one way, he’s going the other way.
“And then I love the way that JD drove the weakside post, and what a great pass. Those are really quick hands to make that move in tight like that by JD.”
That’s just pretty hockey right there pic.twitter.com/HHrkzrKChL
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) March 22, 2023
Clearly the 34-year-old Marchand hasn’t been struggling this season with 20 goals and 62 points in 62 games as a point-per-game player since starting up a few weeks into the regular season, but he’s admitted at times that his game doesn’t feel like it’s all the way back.
Marchand did it as recently as the last few months when the points and goals weren’t always coming with their regular frequency.
Well, it sure is starting to look that way to people that have watched him use his speed, power, creativity and great skating edge work to twist opposing defenders into pretzels for a long time now.
“I wouldn’t say I am [there] yet, but definitely feel better about your game when you’re getting bounces,” he said. “It’s frustrating, especially that’s part of my game, I’m expected to produce. I put a lot of pressure on myself to do that. I think that the better condition that I feel, the more I move my feet, I think that more things open up.
“As a line, especially, when we’re all moving and supporting each other we seem to play well…when one or two guys are feeling good then we all kind of feed off that and right now I think we’re all feeling pretty good confidence wise. It’s such a powerful thing in all sports, but speaking to us when your confidence is high, you just seem like you can make plays. It seems like the pucks find the back of the net and you can feel that right now.”
Marchand “finding his groove” after last spring’s hip surgeries is encouraging news for the Black and Gold, but it’s bad, bad news for the rest of the NHL as the B’s are once again riding another four game winning streak and rolling into the postseason that’s now just weeks away.