UHS COACH NYE-FOLLOWING the 2013 STANLEY CUP FINALS
You can keep telling me until you are blue in the face that you need goalscoring to win championships and I will keep tellin you that will help but the most important player on that ice is the ‘Keeper of the Twines’, the ‘Last line of Defence’, the guy that can save your bacon if you make a mistake and that guy right now is the ‘Finnish Finalizer’ - Tuukka Rask. If it wasn’t for him in the first period of last nights game 2 where the Chicago Blackhawks peppered Rask and his team mates with 19 shots and only coming away with a 1-0 lead after the first, well I don’t know what the score could’ve of been.
And whatever was mentioned in between the periods in the Bruins room, sure was the right things being said as they came back out in the 2nd period playing, skating and hitting a lot like the Bruins we know. As Milan Lucic had said, ” Tuukka was keeping us in the game and we needed to play much better in all areas. Once we simplified our game and got our feet going, that’s when things started happening, hopefully we don’t wait a period next game in order to wake up.” * NHL.com
I thought I would put in the Total Shots and Team Stats sheets here to show us all that besides that barrage of shots in the first period by the Hawks and where the Bruins took over the rest of the way but also to point out a couple of other ‘Finer’ points. For instance faceoff wins, it is pretty close but as the game went on the Bruins started to dominate this area once again especially in key areas of the 3 zones.
The biggest stat staring us in the face here and was pretty obvious in periods 2-3 and in OT was the total hits. The Bruins finally realized this is what they needed to do to slow down the speedy Hawk forwards. Now some will say the Hawks stopped skating, and maybe they did but when you have road blocks like Lucic (10 hits) and McQuaid (8) plus Chara standing their ground or trying to put you up in the second row of seats then it is sometimes hard to get things rolling again, just saying!
But the other 2 stats that I look at is the give aways and takeaways. This is where the Bruins really pushed the Hawks on and it started showing last night. This will continue in Boston as well as you know so the Hawks better have a game plan set in place to counter react to the pressure that the Bruins are forcing.
Lastly as I stated in my past post Then There Was Two- one of the 3 key areas that I felt was important going into this series was line matching. Coach Q is very good at this, switching players around all the time, where Coach Julien was rolling 4 lines out and really not worrying who was up against whom, except Chara vs Toews. Well last night we saw Coach Julien isn’t afraid of mixing things up and he is pretty good at it too. Putting a third line together consisting of Paille, Kelly and Tyler Seguin which helped out in the offensive zone where Kelly scored his first goal of these playoffs and also where Paille scored the OT goal, while Seguin assist on a goal and started to get the jump back into his stride.
If the Bruins can keep the intensity up for game 3 back in Boston then the Hawks have better wake up and realize they are going to be in a dog fit until the bitter end. I will not be surprised at all to see the Hawks come out firing on all cylinders again in game 3 trying to get past the first 10 minutes of the game without the Bruins doing too much and then continue putting the pressure on the Bruins with their speed and offensive threats. While the Bruins will be trying to do the opposite and get back to their simplified game of moving the puck around getting it in deep and banging ‘n crashing whoever gets in their way, what Grapes calls ‘Good ‘ol Bruins hockey’
Sitback and enjoy game 3 on Monday night as this game will be the turning point of the series in this Coaches humble opinion.
Until next time.
See you after the game,