June 18, 2013

Boston Takes 2-1 Lead in Stanley Cup Finals: A 2-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals gives the Boston Bruins a 2-1 series lead. Daniel Paille and Patrice Bergeron scored second-period goals. Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots. "They had shots but most of them came from the outside," Rask said. "We eliminated a lot of their rebound opportunities."

posted by rcade to hockey at 07:20 AM - 1 comment

For the first time in this series I'm beginning to see just a tiny crack of difference between the 2 teams. I don't mean the similarity of their systems, there's lots of difference there, rather it's in their performance and execution of their game plan. Boston seems to be much more patient in its approach, while Chicago seems to be getting just a bit anxious. Once Boston gained a 2-goal lead they did not abandon offense and try to play a prevent defense. They executed their offense but did so with the utmost caution by always keeping someone in position to get back when the puck was turned over. The ice conditions did Chicago no favors, but they also didn't help Boston either, and ultimately the ice had no bearing on the outcome.

If things continue in this way, Bruins will win the series, but it's anything but over. Tomorrow's game 4 could throw all of the momentum back to Chicago should Bruins turn in a poor performance. Boston is an experienced team, understands what needs to be done, and the leadership in the room and on the ice is not likely to allow anyone to stop playing. Chicago on the other hand needs to find the game that got them to the finals. It's a bit late for major changes. Perhaps minor tweaks will work, as revamping the 3rd line worked for Boston, but a complete rebuilding is obviously out of the question.

That leads me to the question of Marion Hossa. What is up with that? Coach Quenneville says he was not injured in the warm up, but why would he skate in the warm up if there were any question at all of his availability? Ben Smith had to scramble to get ready for the opening face off, and he did not participate in the warm up. All this points to a late injury to Hossa, but Quenneville denies that it occurred in the warm up, so what's the story? Did Quenneville sit Hossa to send a message to his players? I just don't think he's that dumb. If you want to send messages, you don't send them by putting an under-prepared AHL player into game 3 of the Cup final. Smith played well, but he's not Marion Hossa, so we have a bit of a mystery here.

posted by Howard_T at 03:59 PM on June 18

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.