Asked about his preseason expectations of first year forward Brad Marchand
, Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said, "First of all, he's always been an energy player, a good skater.
"Unfortunately, he's been looked upon here in this league more as a pest, stirring things up.
"What people don't know about Brad is he's got really good skills. He's got a great release, good shot, good speed," he said.
All of Marchand's lesser-known attributes were on display when he scored a spectacular shorthanded goal during the B's four-goal second period during Game 3.
"I just think a lot of it’s luck, a lot of lucky bounces," said Marchand of his five regular season and one postseason shortie.
"You get opportunities if the pucks hops over sticks and you get breakaways and stuff like that.
"If you saw a lot of the goals I scored shorthanded, they’re very flukey, pucks popping up behind the net in open cages, so a lot of it’s just lucky bounces," he said.
But it can't be all luck to beat Daniel Sedin, Alexander Edler and Roberto Luongo - respectively Hart, Selke and Vezina Trophy finalists -- in one drive to the net. Can it?
"I don’t think I ever realized that," said Marchand. "I didn’t realize who was on the ice. I was just happy it went in."
The rest of the B's were pretty happy about that, too.
|Marchand celebrates his goal against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 3. |
"He's very capable of playing a good game," said Julien of his rookie forward. "Sometimes that gets overshadowed in certain games, where he lets the other part of his game take over.
"Whenever he's really focused on his game, which he was last game, those kinds of things start coming out [and] you see how good a player he can be."
But the combination of factors have helped Marchand make his mark on Boston where his t-shirts continue to fly off shelves in the TD Garden Pro Shop.
"Our expectations for him? He was going to be a good energy player for our hockey club," said Julien. "We kind of pegged him at first to be a fourth-line guy. He certainly make that fourth line a really good line.
"I mentioned this before," added Julien. "At the end of last year, when he was with us but didn't play, he told me he would score 20 goals for us this coming year.
"I think halfway through the year, he had maybe only six goals here or something. I told him he had a lot of making up to do.
"He just smiled at me, went out there and scored 21," he said.
Marchand is still smiling. Asked about what people are saying about his highlight reel shorthanded tally in the Stanley Cup Final, Marchand said, "Obviously, everyone’s very excited about it.
"Everyone thought it was pretty lucky."
Yeah, maybe, but sometimes Marchand makes his own luck, no?