Approaching the quarter mark of their season, the Bruins are still searching for the elusive 60-minute effort.
But in the meantime, they’ll settle for Brad Marchand’s ability to flip a game on its head and in the B’s favor.
On Sunday, that included two big hits (one on Oliver Ekman-Larsson and the other on Tucker Poolman) in a sleepwalking second period for the Bruins, and the jumpstart on the comeback win with the game-tying goal on a chaotic power-play and the primary dish on David Pastrnak’s go-ahead goal with a lil’ razzle-dazzle on Canucks defenseman Kyle Burroughs.
All in a day’s work for a guy who can still torch the Canucks and make the Garden rock like it’s 2011.
“He can help you win in a lot of ways,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said of Marchand. “We saw it offensively, and we’ve been seeing it on the power play and penalty kill here for years.”
But the physicality is where it shined when the Bruins needed it most.
It was a wake-up call with a more-than-winnable game set to slip out of the Black and Gold’s hands.
“Physical part was good, and that’s where you hope other guys [notice],” said Cassidy. “It’s like, ‘Listen, he’s our best player, plays the most minutes out of any of our forwards.’ You’d hope it rubs off on other guys.”
The Bruins felt that, too. It manifested itself in ways beyond the hits on Ekman-Larsson and Poolman, too. The Bruins went to work and drew a pair of penalties on Vancouver to put them on the third-period power plays they cashed in on. (Anton Blidh certainly earned his call, too, as OEL practically tried to send him to the loge concourse with a board.) And when on the power play, Nick Foligno did the grunt work to open up space for Boston’s goal scorers, engaging with some mammoth Van City defenders at the net-front and tying up their stick on the Marchand-to-Pastrnak feed to push the Bruins out front.
“It’s something that’s been in our organization,” Marchand said. “It’s a staple. Part of the Bruins culture and way is to play hard all the way through. And the game just in general is getting away from that. But, you know, the good teams still play hard and finish their checks and make it hard on opposing teams and we’re no different.”
“What we’re asking for is energy,” Cassidy said. “We’re asking for compete.”
Something that’s never, ever been a problem with No. 63.
Here are some other thoughts and notes from a 3-2 comeback victory…
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.