After Sunday afternoon’s 3-2 shootout loss to the defending Stanley Cup Champions in Chicago, the Bruins had a quick turnaround matinee game against the surging Los Angeles Kings on Martin Luther King Day at the TD Garden.
With the blizzard rolling into town in less than 24 hours, here are the three takeaways from Monday’s contest at the TD Garden.
Marchand continues January surge
After opening the season with Jordan Caron-esque statistics, the “Little Ball of Hate” continues to dominate 2014. Heading into Monday’s game, Marchand recorded at least one goal in three straight games, which was followed up with two more tallies against U.S. Olympian Jonathan Quick, including the eventual game-winning-goal.
Over the span of nine January games, Marchand found the back of the net seven times, including six goals over his last four games played.
At some point, Marchand’s hot streak will come to a halt. But for the time being, he is living in the moment.
“It’s nice, but you know that it’s going to end at some point,” said Marchand, who’s 16 goals lead the team – one ahead of fellow linemate Reilly Smith. “You are just trying to stay even keel. You don’t want to get too high ever or you don’t want to get too low. So the main thing right now is to try to continue to work hard and hopefully it will stay the same way.”
It’s safe to say that after a rough stretch, the “good brat” is back in good graces with Bruins fans.
If you were a Bruins fan before they captured a Stanley Cup title, you’re probably well in-tuned with the ugly history that accompanies matinee games. But with their recent success, the Bruins have fared well in front of an afternoon audience.
With the victory over the Kings, the Bruins moved to 6-1-1 this season in afternoon games with nine more matinee games still remaining. Furthermore, in back-to-back games this season, the Bruins are 6-1-1 in the first game, and 6-2-0 when playing the second game of a back-to-back.
But its these last two games against the last two Cup champs that make their matinee performances even more impressive.
“I think we’ve talked about the consistency – that we wanted to establish that in the past few games – and I think we’ve done that,” Patrice Bergeron said. “I thought [against the Blackhawks] that we couldn’t get the extra point, but we still played a solid game against a team that has a lot of speed and we matched it. Tonight was a pretty gritty game and a hard fought game and I thought we handled it pretty well as well. So we have to keep building on that and keep moving forward.”
Ghost of Jarome
In 13 December games, Jarome Iginla found his stride playing along the right wing with David Krejci and Milan Lucic tallying 12 points in that span. Since the turn of the new year, the future Hall-of-Famer has appeared in eight January games, totaling only two points in and a minus-4 rating while averaging about two shots on goal a night.
To get Iginla’s game heading back in the right direction, it wouldn’t be a bad idea if Claude Julien shuffled his lines up and swapped Iginla with Eriksson for a few games, as both players look a bit out of place lately.
See what Marchand, Kevan Miller and Matt Bartkowski had to say about today’s win: