God bless Brad Marchand and everything about him. Bless his skill, bless his chirps, bless his clutch, bless his antics and all the real estate he owns in the heads of players league wide.
Last night, with his Bruins down a goal late in the third period after a trap filled pedestrian game, Marchand took over.
The B’s had pulled Rask in favor of the extra attacker and Marchand, off the half wall, used a fire hydrant kick to sell Jimmy Howard a shot that was never on the market. Instead he thread the smallest needle with a back door, cross-ice pass to David Pastrnak who then had a gaping goal mouth to bury the crucial last minute game tying goal. Pastrnak’s expression after the goal said it all as he simply smiled and pointed to Marchand almost in disbelief with a dash of pride.
And Marchand wasn’t even done yet.
Moments later, early in overtime, Marchand corralled a beautiful backhand sauce feed from Torey Krug at the blue line and then used his body to shield the puck as he drove around Red Wings defenseman Mike Green. Green got a good piece of Marchand on the way by, who then had to dig in his left inside edge and right heel like an experienced roller blader shredding his stopper, just to maintain his balance and puck control in stride. With seemingly no angle left for Marchand to shoot, and Howard opting to stay tight to defend a five-hole attack, #63 released a remarkable top shelf backhand shot with mere inches to spare. And like that it was over.
Game. Set. Match. 3-2, Bruins.
Whether it’s Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, a meaningless medal game in a meaningless waste of time World Cup of Hockey, or a miserably cold December Tuesday in Detroit, Marchand is clutch. Always has been. Time and time again he shows up when it matters. When you think you’ve seen him top himself, he comes back and does it again. And last night were plays #3,416,075 and #3,416,076 where all Bruins fans should be thankful he’s in black n’ gold.
God Bless Brad Marchand and God bless America. And maybe the Canadian town he was born in.
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