Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bruins Break Deadlock

Everything that had been even and level about this series was lopsided last night. The Bruins dominated in the faceoff dots, Rask was clearly better than Crawford, and special teams play heavily favored the Bruins.

The Bruins haven't lost on home ice since Game 5 of the Toronto series. That's 7 in a row. Home ice might be why the B's were so much better at faceoffs (40-16, 71.4%) in Game 3. The Blackhawks had previously been able to match the Bruins in the dots.

What truly decided this game was goaltending and special teams. Rask didn't need to stand on his head, just do his job. He really hasn't been straight-up beat for a goal by Chicago in this series. Meanwhile Crawford's glove side seems very vulnerable. The Bruins are targeting him high glove side, and that's where Paille beat him in Game 2 and last night.

The Bruins are also dominating on special teams. Not only has their power play scored twice, not only has their penalty kill shut down Chicago, their penalty killers are creating very dangerous shorthanded scoring opportunities. Chicago have adjusted their PP unit to focus on the area of the ice closer to the net, but they can't get anything set-up to execute that plan. Meanwhile, on the Bruins power play, Jagr and Bergeron executed a similar strategy to perfection in the 2nd period.

Chicago looked lost for most of this game. I don't think they're accustomed to playing without the puck this often. They seem to be trying to adapt, but last night the Bruins had an answer for them at every turn.

Game 4 Wednesday night. Let's hope the Bruins continue to avoid big mistakes, continue to win battles, and Rask continues to play like he's playing.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Charles Krupa