Brad Marchand enjoys having the game on his stick in clutch moments, and now he sits alone in the record books.
Marchand’s 11th career overtime winner, the most in franchise history, came just 34 seconds into the extra session of Tuesday’s 6-5 win over Red Wings. It was his third goal of the night.
“It was a bit of a lucky bounce,” Marchand said afterward “I was kind of hoping that Torey [Krug] would get it there for the hat trick, but it ended up on my stick and luckily it went in.”
Natural hat trick ✔️
Points on five of six goals✔️
OT goals in two straight games ✔️
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 7, 2018
As impressive as Marchand’s overtime winner was in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over the Canadiens, the veteran winger had an encore performance that was even more impressive against the Red Wings. Whether it was getting under Detroit’s skin or creating chances for his teammates, Marchand’s winner capped off a night where he notched his first hat trick since March 13, 2017, to go along with a pair of assists.
“He’s been a big-time player for our team for a long time now. And he obviously enjoys being that guy,” the Michigan native Krug said following his four-point night (two goals, two assists) against his hometown team. “He had that edge tonight physically, and he had that edge around the net. And he was scoring goals and making plays. He’s obviously a big part of this team, so it’s just another night from him on our side and we are glad to have him.”
The Bruins are fortunate to have a player like Marchand, who now sits eighth in overtime goals among active NHL players after notching his team-leading 28th tally of the year. The other 31 teams would love to have a player like Marchand even with his edgy style of play.
Bruce Cassidy can attest to that. He was, after all, one of Marchand’s first pro hockey coaches when he arrived in Providence in 2009. Nearly a decade later, Cassidy has seen Marchand develop into one of the well-rounded goal scorers in the NHL.
“Well, I appreciate all of it. I’ve known Brad a long time. I’ve got a lot of respect for the way he plays the game, the way he conducts himself as a person, as a pro, and we need it,” Cassidy said about Marchand. “Again, I was chuckling after the game because, you know, there he is, puck finds him, but he’s on it, doesn’t quit, made some real nice plays tonight.”
On a night where the Bruins gave away free green hats on Irish Heritage Night, there was no shortage of hats littering the ice after Marchand’s impressive — and historic — evening.