What droughts? Marchand and Bergeron back on the board
No one would know that both Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron were on scoring droughts if it wasn’t for the fact of basic statistical analysis.
Watching Bergeron and Marchand play on a nightly basis has been a joy for all loyal Bruins supporters around The Hub since the duo was formed in 2010-11. Whatever inconsistencies the Bruins have had during that span, it was a given that No’s. 63 and 37 would be a consistent presence even when they weren’t finding the back of the net.
Entering Saturday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets, Bergeron and Marchand came in with skids of six and five games respectively without tallying a goal. But it wasn’t like they weren’t getting chances nor were they disappointing in other areas like faceoff success and puck possession. More importantly, the two were getting their fair share of shots on goal.
The talented duo, without the services of David Pastrnak for the second straight game with an upper body injury, got back in the goal column in convincing fashion against the Jets.
Neither of them worried about their droughts dragging on.
“That’s the furthest thing from our minds is if we’re going to score, if we’re going to produce. We know we are, and maybe we were catching a little heat in the media today, so that was for all you guys, but it is nice for it to go in,” said Marchand, whose highlight-reel goal on Michael Hutchinson extended the Bruins lead to 2-0 in the second period. “It does help build your confidence, and we do need to produce. That’s part of our job, and, you know, we know that, but we’re getting opportunities every single game. We could easily have two, three goals every game, our line, so when the chances stop coming that’s when we get a little frustrated, but they’re there every game and they’ll continue to be there.”
In a game where the Bruins outshot the Jets 38-12, Marchand and Bergeron could have added an extra goal or two. Bergeron himself could have broken his skid in the first period but fell victim to the crossbar.
In typical fashion, they’re happier with the work put in during the 4-1 victory.
“I think that was a perfect example of what we talked about this morning. You have to stay with it and not get frustrated and eventually you know it’s going to go in,” said Bergeron, who scored on a 5-on-3 power play to give the B’s a 3-0 advantage. “I was happy with [the result] tonight, though.”
The good news for the Bruins during Bergeron and Marchand’s skid? It didn’t really hurt them. Their improved defensive play over the last two weeks coupled with timely secondary scoring and superb goaltending from Tuukka Rask have kept the team on the right track while the talented duo was snakebitten.
Aside from Rask not being superb on a night where he didn’t have to be, the Bruins continued to get secondary scoring with goals from Matt Beleskey and Tim Schaller to go along with providing stout defense against Patrik Laine, Mark Scheifele and the rest of the Jets. Seeing Bergeron and Marchand continue to do what they do best and get rewarded added to an eventful night for Claude Julien and the rest of the Black and Gold.
“Well that helps a lot, and I think you know I talked about it this morning, you know sometimes you have to be patient and in their case, when I look at the game afterwards and the results, they had scoring chances, and they haven’t been able to score. So it’s not like they aren’t creating anything,” said the 10th year Bruins coach. “That’s when you have to be patient because you know it’s a matter of time, even before Bergy [Bergeron] scores his goal, he hits the cross bar. So you know he’s a little snake bitten, but he stuck with it and he finally got that goal, Marshy [Marchand] scored, so a lot of good things happened tonight.
“But I’m hoping it’s going to be a positive sign moving forward here and that’s some of those guys taking a bit of pressure off their shoulders of producing, so I like the way they played again tonight, and we got some production spread out a little bit and that continues to be good for us.”