Kalman: Take a mantra from Marchand, everything’s gonna be all right

Matt Kalman
May 30, 2019 - 1:24 am

Brad Marchand should take a page from Shane Victorino’s book and adopt “Three Little Birds” as his walk-up music (or goal music, if that ever becomes a thing in the NHL).

With the Bruins winger, at least so far in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, every little thing has been all right, regardless of his production, how many points his line is scoring or the results of Boston’s games.

That didn’t change after the Bruins dropped Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final 3-2 in overtime at TD Garden on Wednesday. The series is tied 1-1 heading to St. Louis for Game 3 on Saturday.

After Marchand and linemates David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron went a second straight game without an even-strength point, Marchand had this to say:

“We’re not worried about it. We’ll get back to work and worry about the next one.”

What everyone’s missing this playoffs season is that aside from the stick stomp against Columbus’ Cam Atkinson, the post-scrum bop to Blue Jackets defenseman’s Scott Harrington’s head, and some cute joisting with Carolina's Justin Williams, Marchand has become pretty Zen.

And the new, laid-back Marchand has been as productive as the rambunctious one of the past. He has 19 points in 19 games.

More importantly, he’s been right at every turn. Did they really have a hard time scoring against Toronto? Twenty points in seven games tells you no.

The Columbus series turned up the heat from the media, but Marchand did more than just respond with one-word answers in a scrum and take a classic skate-off from a chat with Kyle With the Hair from Sportsnet. He finished that series with four points in six games, part of 12 points from the Bruins’ first line.

Carolina didn’t stand a chance of containing them, and they burned the Hurricanes for 14 points in the four-game sweep.

As important as the relaxed nature of Marchand’s answers Wednesday was the lack of excuse-making, which was replaced by strategic thinking. Sure the Blues played hard and executed better after flopping in Game 1. But there was no hat-tipping or stick-saluting from Marchand. The future is in his and his linemates’ hands.

“Yeah, we needed to be better. I mean personally I wasn’t good the last two games. So you know we can’t be playing like that,” Marchand said.

“Taking care of the little details, you know. And that’s the biggest thing. It’ll come, it’s how it is,” he continued.

Marchand’s accountability and calmness has clearly rubbed off on his teammates beyond his line.

“We have to give them some credit (emphasis mine) there, but we need to be better as a group and turn the tide as well,” forward David Backes said, nearly falling into a cliche but then holding back after he lamented the Bruins' lack of execution.

If you haven’t learned yet that the first line is going to break through sooner rather than later, you must’ve been watching some of this thrilling early regular-season Red Sox games during the first three rounds of this postseason.

If you think the Bruins can’t extend this series long enough to give the top line a chance to get going, using their depth and secondary scoring, you must’ve been too focused on the Celtics’ chances in the draft lottery.

The Bruins had won eight in a row and they were bound to have an off night. The Blues didn’t get here by default, so they were bound to play a much better game than they did in Game 1. It all came together, and the Bruins still – without defenseman Matt Grzelcyk because of injury for the last two periods – got the game into overtime and lost on a 6-on-5 goal.

That’s a sign the Bruins have the Blues right where they want them. And you better believe Marchand and his linemates will be a factor in the Bruins stealing home-ice advantage back with at least one win on the road this weekend.

“That’s kind of been the way the playoffs have gone for them, right. In every series, you give them enough time and enough reps against a certain matchup, they’re smart enough hockey players, they know what’s going to be open and they’ll find a way to break through,” defenseman Torey Krug said about the first line. “So they’re our leaders and obviously we need them to be better and they will be. Every series they’ve found a way to get it done  and we have so much confidence in them.”

“Every little thing gonna be all right.”

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