With his two goals on Wednesday, B's left wing Brad Marchand
helped the Bruins shed that mental baggage and jettisoned a personal burden of his own.
"You put a lot of pressure on yourself to score [goals]," said Marchand. "It’s been a few games – the longest slump I’ve had in a while so it was nice to get the monkey off the back."
With their 4-2 win over the St. Louis Blues, the Bruins halted a two-game losing streak, maintained a two-point lead over Ottawa in the Northeast Division standings and Marchand himself ended a personal six-game goalless streak.
"Well I think [that's] what you look [for] from your best players and guys that score and...both our top lines were really good for tonight for us," said Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien. "Marsh is a guy that’s pretty competitive, pretty proud and he takes things to heart and I like the way he played and the way he competed.
"It just goes to show that when our guys really put their minds to it and they really want it, to be determined to be the hardest working team out there, you give yourself a pretty good chance."
It wasn't always a certainty that Boston would overcome the Blues, as St. Louis came back to tie the B's twice in the first period and out-shot Boston 14-4 in the second and 32-19 overall.
However, Marchand set the tone with his unassisted goal at 2:29 of the first
and put the game out of reach of the home squad with his goal at 9:14 of the third.
"First goal, for our team, has been really big," said Marchand. "Usually when the other team scores right now we seem to let up a bit. The first goal was good for our team and that’s how we have to keep playing, try to get that first goal in."
And getting the last goal
is pretty pivotal as well.
"We weren’t looking for it, what we were trying to do in the third was just play tight hockey and make sure we come back to our zone and really not give them a lot," said Marchand, who equaled last year's career high goal totals with 21. "A couple of breakdowns there and a nice pass by [Tyler Seguin
] led to an opportunity.
"Didn’t really expect that."
But late in the game, Marchand's teammates expect big things from themselves and especially from the man they affectionately call "squirrel."
"I think our identity as a team, we’ve been really good especially in the third period and we kind of got back to that today where the most shots we had in a period were in the third, and we felt we were really dictating the play in the third period," said Marchand's fellow left winger Milan Lucic
, who assisted on Chris Kelly
's game-winner and notched a goal of his own, both in the first period.
"For Marshy to step up and get that first goal, and get that insurance marker in the third was definitely huge for us."
For his part, Marchand pointed to Wednesday night's win signaled a return to Bruins style hockey.
"We were tight. We played a good game," he said. "They out-shot us, but at the same time they were a lot of outside shots and that’s why [Tim Thomas
] was there to make the saves we he had to.
"And then we came up big when we had to and that’s how we play our game."