Once Brad Marchand made his decision, he was at peace with it.
While most of his teammates headed overseas to play during the lockout, the Bruins winger decided to take advantage of the unwanted time off by doing some things a normal NHL schedule wouldn’t allow him to do. In addition to skating back home in Nova Scotia as well as at Boston University with some other Bruins, Marchand also hunted moose, deer and boar.
Some observers were curious about how players who didn’t go overseas would perform once the season started. And it turns out, Marchand knew himself pretty well.
Through the first 10 games of the season, Marchand, who sat out one contest with an upper-body injury, leads the Bruins in goals with six. In Sunday’s 3-1 victory over the Sabres in Buffalo, Marchand was at his skillful and irritating best. He sniped a pretty goal past the previously impenetrable Ryan Miller (followed by putting an index finger to his mouth as a signal to quiet the Buffalo crowd), controlled the puck in the offensive zone for long stretches, and drew a penalty from fellow pest Steve Ott.
It was pretty much the full Marchand.
“Brad’s being Brad,” coach Claude Julien said yesterday following a practice at the Garden. “The chirping is still there, but he’s done a good job of keeping himself in check. It’s not just the goal, but the plays he made and how he was stickhandling the puck. Earlier in the season, he was fanning on a lot of shots and now it seems like his hands seem to be coming back. He’s made some great plays with some good stickhandling and he’s getting opportunities. I think his game is really coming along.
“It’s good to see a guy who missed a week (with the upper-body injury) come back and play such a strong game.”
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