Originally Posted by Spitball
I guess I might have been watching a different game, Patrick.
The game I saw was controlled by the Bruins and had Claude Julien stamped all over it. The Bruins won virtually every faceoff and played their coach's style of layered defense to control all three zones.
I don't think it is fair to dismiss the Bruins' effort last night. Blackhawks are a great team, and Boston simply outplayed them employing their style of play. It wasn't luck. The Bruins played their game, and it worked perfectly. Wednesday night might be different story, but from last night, the Bruins deserve credit for playing their game against another great team.
Faceoffs aren't a new thing. The Hawks have been controlling puck possession all year despite below average faceoff ability. Boston has 3 elite faceoff guys, that's normally how they drive possession, not surprisingly, the biggest advantage Boston has over Chi.
And yet, with all the control Boston had, Hawks did have better puck possession numbers (by a material amount to boot). The Bruins chances generally, were better than the Hawks (I think generally the Hawks d-men got caught being too yippy when faced with pressure last night with - ie. Roszival blindly ringing around the boards when faced with only one Boston forechecker which directly related to goal #1).
I'm not saying the Bruins won as a result of luck. I think it was more the Blackhawks making more than their normal share of goofball decisions in their own end and powerplay which led to some very high end Bruin chances. Essentially I'm arguing that Boston isn't creating a heck of a lot of chances from their rush/forecheck any more (perhaps even less than the Hawks), but have been getting the odd goal from some opportunistic chances.
Boston well deserves to be up 2-1, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the Hawks aren't a few tweaks away from turning their possession into more prime opportunities in the middle of the ice with some traffic into some goals. It's clear the tactics the Hawks have been eploying have been well covered by the Bruins and is not consistent with the style the Hawks ought to be employing.
If they can make those tweaks, Boston wont be able to cover every seem, and Rask will be tested. And if the Hawks get a few by him, I don't think Boston will be able to keep up purely as a result of opportunistic chances.