Thursday, June 13, 2013

Stanley Cup Final Game 1

Last night the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks met for the first time in 20 months for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. They played a classic hockey game of champions as they took the game to triple over time, the fifth longest game in Stanley Cup history.  Chicago relentlessly applied the pressure to the hard hitting Bruins and their efforts finally paid off.  Lucic scored the first goal of the series for the Bruins during the first period, taking an early lead.  The Blackhawks, known for their speed took to the fore-check and generated deep plays in the Bruins zone that caused turn overs and scoring chances. Tuukka Rask held fast in the net for the Bruins blocking opportunities during the first period, as the Blackhawks put the heat on him.  If it weren't for Rask there might have been a different out come during the first period. The Bruins top line had a ton of energy and responded to the speed of the Blackhawks.  Moving into the second period the Bruins still had good momentum and Lucic scored his second point of the game and second point for the Bruins; Bruins had a two point lead, 2-0. The Blackhawks responded by a forced turn over, as they took the puck to the other end of the ice and Saad scored his first goal, cutting the Bruins lead in half.  During the third period Bergeron took a one timer right into the net to give the Bruins a 2 goal cushion, 3-1. The Blackhawks came back with a goal from Bolland and then Oduya got the best of Rask, evening the score 3-3 late in the 3rd period sending this series into its first over time.  This series went into triple over time with Crawford and Rask making amazing saves. There were great scoring chances for both teams and after 112 minutes of play Shaw scored the winning goal off of a double deflection.  

The Chicago Blackhawks got this series off to a great start; they were relentless; kept their speed and fore-checking through the neutral zone.  Although they did not hold a lead during the game, their momentum was always giving them scoring chances and opportunities.  Corey Crawford was the key element to keeping the Blackhawks in the game.  The Blackhawks are not without error, they were called twice for too many men on the ice and had some poor line changes but these are all correctable mistakes.  The Bruins lost a two goal lead and missed the opportunity to take away the home ice advantage from Chicago. Lucic was a strong player for the Bruins, he was all over the ice last night and strong on the fore-check, as well as tracking down the puck.  Also, Rask was a fortress in goal for the Bruins. The Bruins players were missing the depth in their long contests.  The Bruins have 2 days to figure out how to beat Crawford and a key to that would be to find scorers other than the top line. If this series continues like Game 1 the series might be over sooner than later.  The Chicago Blackhawks lead early in the series 1-0 and will face-off again on Saturday in Chicago. 

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