The NHL season is a grind, especially in this year’s shortened 56-game slate. Although it is not as long as usual, the NHL is packing in more games per week for each team. With as many as four games a week, with many on back-to-back nights, players have little opportunity to rest. This makes it more difficult to sustain high levels of play for an extended period of time. Some can do it better than others. Each week, we will take a look at players on the Boston Bruins who are on a hot or cold streak. This week we look at Brad Marchand and Jeremy Lauzon.
Hot and Cold Streaks
Hot Streak: Brad Marchand
Let’s start with his first game of the week. Brad Marchand missed the 1-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Sunday. When he made a return to the lineup on Tuesday, he made sure the Devils knew it. Marchand led a momentum shift in the third period singlehandedly. After scoring earlier in the second period, Marchand assisted on Charlie McAvoy’s third-period goal. After that, he put his old antics back on display. While he did not make any dirty plays, he simply terrorized the opposing lineup. He played physically and with an edge that got into New Jersey’s head.
Brad Marchand started this week on the Bruins’ COVID-19 protocol list. He ended the week with seven points, including a hat trick against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Play like this is what has earned him a top role with the team. The Bruins need Marchand to continue his high level of play. Boston’s best players have struggled in the last few weeks. If they can’t keep this up, the team could be in big trouble. With some of Boston’s top guns finally looking like themselves by the end of the week, Bruins fans can finally rejoice.
Cold Streak: Jeremy Lauzon
What else is there to say other than getting healthy scratched probably isn’t your finest moment? Jeremy Lauzon found himself in that exact situation Saturday afternoon. The Bruins coaching staff had seen enough during the last week that they decided a scratch was the best approach. In the last week, Boston has had several rough outings. A 1-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils started the week. While the defence was not horrible in that game, it clearly wasn’t enough. In the following matchup, Boston gave up four goals to the Devils. While they managed to come away with a shootout win, Bruce Cassidy clearly was disappointed in the defence for allowing so many chances.
Looking ahead at the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston’s defence had a pair of bad games. Pittsburgh made Boston look like a minor league team for most of the first game with a convincing 4-1 victory. While Boston bounced back in the third period, it was too little too late. At this point, Cassidy says enough is enough and decided to give other players a shot. While Boston still allowed five goals in the win, there are clearly still lapses on defence. Lauzon could get a chance to write the wrongs of last week in the next few days.