Brad Marchand had started slowly. He didn’t have the best training camp, and his line had struggled a bit to find chemistry, as he and Patrice Bergeron worked alongside new right wing Loui Eriksson. But it came together with the winning goal for Marchand in Saturday night’s 4-1 win over the Red Wings.
“I think [Marchand] was much better tonight,” coach Claude Julien said. “We know what he can do, and I think the biggest thing for him was to try and play more of a north-south type of game, and he responded extremely well.
“I saw that a little bit more in him tonight; just kind of stabilized his game a lot more. Before, he seemed to be on the left side one minute and the right side the next; he was a little bit all over, and sometimes when you try too hard it just makes it worse and simple sometimes is better. So I thought he did that tonight and it was nice to see him get a goal because of that.”
Marchand also sustained a serious hit in the game, being taken out by Justin Abdelkader 3:25 into the second period. The Detroit winger came full force at Marchand, who appeared to never see him coming. No penalty was called on the play.
Marchand remained face down on the ice as the trainer came out to take a look. He eventually skated off on his own power, and was helped into the dressing room.
Marchand, though, only missed a single shift — Reilly Smith stepped in for him — and finished the game with 13:15 of ice time.
Krug a regular guy, too
Torey Krug got his first goal of the season against Detroit, his hometown team. But it wasn’t just his first goal of this regular season, it was his first goal of any regular season.
Krug had four goals in 2012-2013, but all of them came during the playoffs. It was something he didn’t realize at first.
“I didn’t even think about it until [Milan Lucic] looked at me and goes, ‘Is that your first one?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I guess.’ ”
Krug said there wasn’t any extra excitement scoring it against the Red Wings, though he said, “It’s nice, obviously hometown team. When you’re out there, it’s another team in a different uniform.”
Art of goaltending
Chad Johnson had been sporting a mask in the wrong colors — Phoenix colors — for the entire preseason. It was sitting in his locker stall as recently as Friday. But before Saturday’s game, Johnson finally got his new paint job.
The backup goaltender went classic, with a big spoked-B on one side, a bear on the other, and claw prints on the top.
“Nice and simple,” he said. “Almost old-fashioned style.”
But where Johnson put his own mark was on the back of the mask.
There, Johnson has tributes to both Gerry Cheevers, No. 30, and to members of his family who have died. The initials of both grandfathers (Alex Laslo and Gilbert Johnson) and a pair of uncles (Kelly Johnson and Larry Johnson) are there, over a red maple leaf.
Meeting of minds
While Julien and Detroit coach Mike Babcock didn’t spend any time talking about the upcoming Olympics — Julien is on Babcock’s Team Canada staff — they did get a chance to talk about the five-on-three penalty kill. “If you want to stay on the top of your field, you have to continue to grow and get better,” Babcock said. “When you get to be around Claude and Lindy [Ruff] and Ken Holland and Steve Yzerman and Jacques Lemaire last time, Ken Hitchcock. So when you’re around them, you’re going to learn a lot and they’re going to take something from you and you’re going to take something from them and in the end you probably don’t even know whose idea it was, as long as it’s a good idea.” . . . Carl Soderberg was not on the ice for morning skate as he tries to come back from an injured left ankle . . . . Matt Bartkowski was the healthy scratch for the second straight game . . . The last time the Bruins and Red Wings were in the same division was in the East in 1972-73 . . . The last shutout between these two teams? Way back in 1982, when the Bruins won, 7-0, Nov. 7.