Toronto, ON - When boarding the plane for Toronto to face off against the Maple Leafs tonight, winger Brad Marchand brought with him a team-high five goals, along with two assists to give him seven points through the season's first seven games. A much better scoring start for the winger, who in 2011-12, didn't hit the five-goal mark until the 15th game into the season - and it was game No. 14 before he even potted three.
Two of his momentous goals this season came in the past two days, having nearly recorded a hat trick on Thursday night in the B's 7-4 loss to Buffalo. Both were highlight reel goals that put Boston up 3-1 in the second period.
On the first goal that gave the B’s a 2-1 lead, Marchand danced his way from the left wing, past 6-foot-8 Buffalo defenseman Tyler Myers and shot a backhander through Miller. On the second, Patrice Bergeron had his initial shot stopped by Miller, but Marchand followed up and Tyler Seguin created havoc in front to help No. 63 skirt the puck past the screen.
"Well he’s capable of doing it, and he showcased that. His hands are coming back, and that was a really nice goal he scored," Coach Julien had said following the Sabres game, about Marchand's first tally, the nifty backhander past Ryan Miller. "Obviously he had a good time in the game where it gave us a lead, but I like the way he’s coming around and he’s playing, and we’ve just got to hope that the other guys keep progressing the way he is."
The two-goal night came on the heels of No. 63's clutch shootout winner on Tuesday - his first-ever SO attempt - that lifted the B's to the 2-1 win over New Jersey.
"It’s pretty good right now," Marchand said of his confidence level heading into the game against Toronto. "Our line’s starting to click a little more. It took a little while to get us going, but we’re getting a lot more opportunities and we’re clicking a lot better out there right now."
Though linemate Tyler Seguin only has one goal - an empty-netter - and Patrice Bergeron has just the one next his goal stats as well, it's the line's chemistry that has been providing No. 63 the opportunity to score.
"First few games of the season, our line as a whole has done a good job, it’s a good plus/minus right now."
Even amidst the scoring, Marchand has been preaching continued improvement of his game - and that falls at both ends of the ice.
"More defensively, just getting back, playing my position the right way," Marchand said, on areas he can continue to tinker with and get better at. "I got caught a couple times the last few games, that can’t happen, especially with how the short the year is."
"Every point counts, any time you let a guy go and he gets a goal it can really change the game. You don’t want to make that mistake."
And Marchand hopes to continue that mindset into tonight's game, where the B's are looking to quickly get past their loss to Buffalo.
'We talked about it before the year, Cam [Neely] came in and told us we have to, whether we win a game or lose a game, we have to let it go. It’s such a short year and it’s going to go by so fast, we have to be prepared for every game and the previous game really has no impact on the next one."
"We’ve done a pretty good job with following that rule. We just have to make sure we’re prepared for the game tonight."