Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand is having an incredible season and is on one of the best offensive tears of his career. That continued Thursday night as he scored an absolute beauty against the Buffalo Sabres.
With the Bruins trailing 2-1 in the third period against Buffalo, Marchand had the puck on his stick in the Bruins zone. He started to head up ice before having his lane cut off, so he calmly skated the puck back into the Bruins zone and that apparently signaled to Buffalo that it was a good time for them to change. It was not a good time for them to change.
Marchand wheeled back around his zone, picked up steam and bolted up the newly open ice and did everything else himself. That included a ridiculous move to open up some space against Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian during which Marchand slid the puck from behind him back between his feet. Then he unleashed a surprising, perfect backhander over goalie Chad Johnson.
That’s a somewhat disastrous goal for the Sabres to give up because they hung their D out to dry on the change, but it's also an incredibly smart play by Marchand, followed up by some creativity on the finish. That is how you score a big goal in style.
Marchand now has 23 goals on the season and looks poised to have the best goal-scoring season of his career. He is just one shy from his total in 77 games last season, two away from his 82-game total in 2013-15 and just five away from his career high of 28, set in 2011-12. With the way he’s scoring right now, it might not be long before he sets a new career standard for himself.