Brad Marchand Snaps Out of Slump As Bruins Offense Continues Roll in Victory Over Oilers


Brad Marchand Snaps Out of Slump As Bruins Offense Continues Roll in Victory Over OilersBOSTON — The Bruins just might have a future in predicting the future.

Prior to Monday's win over the Islanders, injured center Marc Savard went on Twitter and foretold a big night for Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic, who went on to combine for three goals and five points.

After Thursday's morning skate, coach Claude Julien got in on the act, noting that while winger Brad Marchand was mired in a nine-game goal drought, "When he starts scoring goals, they're going to start coming a lot more frequently."

Marchand made him look pretty good on Thursday night, scoring a power-play goal early in the second period to break a 2-2 tie and adding a second tally late in the third to cap a 6-3 win over Edmonton at the Garden.

Of course, when a team is averaging six goals a game over the past four games, there's a pretty good chance that any prediction about a Bruin scoring will come true.

"It's been quite a thing to see," defenseman Johnny Boychuk said of the offensive onslaught. "We're not going to score six goals every night, but it certainly helps. It's a team game. It's not just one guystepping up and scoring, it's a bunch of guys in the last four games with I don't even know how many goals we've scored, 23 or something like that?"

When told it was actually 24, Boychuk smiled, "That's pretty good."

It is indeed, especially for a team that had managed just 21 goals in its first 10 games. The Bruins also won just three of those contests, but after Thursday's win they've finally climbed back to .500 at 7-7-0. That's not exactly a mark to get too excited about, but it is a relief to be back even after such a horrendous start to the season.

"We're not happy we're .500, but we're happy that we're turning it around after the October that we had," Boychuk said. "It wasn't a thing that we really want to remember, but turning it around got us to .500. It's been turning around lately and you finally see the old Bruins from last year. That's the kind of style of play that we wanted to have and that's what we've been doing the last few games here."

Marchand has been a big part of that, helping create chances on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin. But while that duo has been piling up points, Marchand has been forced to settle for the comfort of knowing his dirty work in the corners and in front was helping set up many of those goals, even if he wasn't always getting rewarded on the stat sheet.

"I don't want to change my game, I don't to change how I play," Marchand said of trying to fight through the slump. "It's a little tougher getting in guys' faces. The refs are watching me very closely, but for the most part I just want to play the same way."

In the end, it wasn't so much Julien's prediction of the many goals to come that got Marchand going. Instead, it was a more direct form of motivation that did the trick.

"He said something to me, I think it was [Wednesday]," Marchand said recalled of a talk with Julien. "He said, 'It's going to be a tough year to get 20 [goals] again.' It was kind of a kick in the butt. So it was nice to get a couple, but it's still very early in the year."

Marchand didn't begin this season with any boasts predicting 20 goals as he did last year, when he backed it up with a 21-goal campaign and 11 more in the playoffs. And Thursday night he wasn't worried about getting to 20 or even scoring his second of the evening. He just wanted that single tally to end his drought.

"I wasn't really worrying about anything after one," Marchand said. "It was tough enough just to get the first one, so I didn't really look past that, but it is nice to get a couple."

With Marchand getting back into the scoring column, the Bruins have been getting production from throughout their lineup, with 19 different Boston players recording points during their four-game win streak. Not even the Bruins could have predicted that.

© 2017 NESN