The Boston Bruins have been solid all year at home. This was proved once again in game three as the Bruins beat the Blackhawks 2-0 at home to take the lead in the series.
I believe there have been a few recurring themes within this Stanley Cup playoff series. The battle between the goalies has been tremendous. Crawford has done his very best to keep his team in this series. The same can be said for Tukka Rask. The Bruins have always won the physical battles.
But I suppose that’s expected when considering who the Blackhawks are up against. The giant Zdeno Chara, Milan Lucic, and Shawn Thornton are just a few of the players who aren’t afraid to throw their weight around. So far the Blackhawks haven’t found away to respond to the physicality of the Boston Bruins.
I thought that the speed and puck handling skills of Teows, Kane, and Sharp would be able to counteract the big Bruin bullies. But the lack of power-play production in game three proves that the Hawk’s speed and top line have been silenced.
Of course it didn’t help that Blackhawk’s power-play specialist Marian Hossa got injured during the warm up skate in game three. But that’s no excuse, because the Hawk’s had plenty of power-play opportunities. They should’ve capitalised on at least one. Instead they almost gave up a couple of short- handed goals.
I’m not saying it was a horrible game. The Hawk’s were right there for most of the game, they just couldn’t match the level of intensity the Bruins were playing at. Plus, it’s very difficult to come into Boston and have to deal with the incredibly noisy atmosphere. But again, with a roster that includes names like Teows and Kane, I expected more goals.
Instead, the games have been really tense, and mostly focused on the team’s goaltending. That being said, I believe the Blackhawks will bounce back in game four on Wednesday. Boston can be beat if the Hawk’s stop taking penalties and start scoring on the power-plays. The Hawk’s have proven that they have the talent.
They are in the Stanley Cup finals after all. The players just need to start screening Rask, and frustrating him. I believe that’s the key to beating the Bruins. The Blackhawk’s have put lots of pucks on goal so far, and if they get traffic in front of Rask good things will happen.
For the Bruins, they just need to keep doing what’s been successful. So far that’s been feeding off the energy of the home crowd, closing down Kane and Teows, drawing penalties, and playing physical. The only thing that needs to be adjusted in the Bruin’s team is the number of penalties taken.
I believe if the Bruins can achieve that, they’ll win the Stanley Cup. Many people will say, that game four is a must win situation for the Blackhawks. This is true, but to me it’s a must win for the Bruins as well. Because I believe if the Bruins go up by two games, they’ve basically put their name on the Stanley Cup.
Game four is going to come down to which team scores first, and which goalie performs better under pressure. I can’t wait to see what’ll happen in game four.
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