After moving from the second line to the third during Saturday’s game in Columbus, Brad Marchand found himself back there against Detroit Monday, paired with Chris Kelly and Jordan Caron.
Marchand had struggled playing with Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson, and the line had difficulty building chemistry. Since Reilly Smith was added, the second line has scored twice, both off the stick off Eriksson.
“I don’t think it matters who you play with on this team,” Marchand said. “We’ve got a great team and everyone’s in the NHL for a reason.”
But he added, “I’ve got to be better and I know that. It’s been a wake-up call.”
Marchand played better Monday in his 16:32 of ice time, recording four shots on net, but he had two giveaways.
“Brad competed harder and seemed to be a little bit better, for me, anyways,” coach Claude Julien said.
The winger is trying to simplify the game at the moment, to get back to what he does well, to contribute to a team that he led in goals (18) and points (36) last season.
“I’m not blind, I know I don’t have the most skill in the league,” Marchand said. “I’ve just got to stay within myself and get back to what got me here and what made me successful. I think you just get in that summer hockey routine and I kind of dragged that into the season a bit. Got to get away from that and get back to playing good hockey.”
In the first four games, Marchand had some especially bad giveaways, in addition to not being as active in the offensive zone. And he hadn’t played with the same emotion and peskiness that’s been his trademark.
In fact, Marchand has yet to spend a minute in the penalty box this season, and has seemed more timid overall. It’s a balance he’s still trying to find.
“I think it’s very easy to tell that after my last suspension I’ve calmed down a lot in that area,” he said. “It is tough. I don’t want to be sitting out for eight to 10 games if I do something wrong again. You do got to juggle that, but I mean, at the same time I’ve got to do my job and try to play physical when I can.”
In rally mode
With a day off Sunday, many of the Bruins used their time wisely — sitting on the couch, watching the Patriots and Red Sox. They were rewarded with two incredible comebacks, mirroring the one the Bruins performed against Toronto in Game 7 of the first round of last season’s playoffs.
“I think it was the first time that I’ve ever jumped out of my couch and cheered for something in a long, long time,” Milan Lucic said of David Ortiz’s tying grand slam.
And one member of the Bruins got to witness the Sox comeback in person. Julien attended the game, making for a late night before Monday’s matinee.
“What a day for Boston fans, right?” Julien said. “When you look at the Patriots game ending — which I heard on the radio on my way to the Sox game — and then to witness that comeback last night, it was pretty awesome. I like to think that maybe we started it against Toronto; I don’t want to feel left out.”
Lucic missed two shifts in the third period because of an equipment issue. “[Adam McQuaid] tried to hit me [with a pass] off the side of the net, but [the puck] hit the Achilles’ protector and it blew it right off,” he said. Lucic said it was the first time he’d seen that happen. Marchand replaced him for those shifts . . . Defenseman Dougie Hamilton was a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game. He played the first three games, then was replaced by Matt Bartkowski on Saturday. Bartkowski was in there again Monday, playing alongside Dennis Seidenberg . . . Monday’s game marked the second and final trip to TD Garden for the Red Wings. The final two games between the teams will be played at Joe Louis Arena . . . Shawn Thornton played in his 500th NHL game . . . Detroit used backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson after starter Jimmy Howard was injured in a 5-2 victory over the Flyers Saturday. The team didn’t know it would have to use Gustavsson until after warm-ups, though. “[Howard] got hit in the hand and he’s got some blood in the hand,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said, adding that the hand was too swollen for Howard to play.