Twenty minutes of playoff hockey is in the books at the TD Garden in Boston as the Chicago Blackhawks head into enemy territory to take on the Boston Bruins. Here are some of my knee jerk reactions from the first period of play.
Tonight it looks like each side of the ice is making every attempt to bring their offensive A-game. Unlike past games where the shots have highly favored the Blackhawks, the numbers have evened out tonight. The Shots on Goal during the first period were 11-10 Boston.
Does that have anything to do with the Blackhawks being down their top goal scorer Marian Hossa, who was injured during the pre-game warm ups? Quite possibly. Unfortunately, we may never know for sure. All I can say for the Hawks is that I hope his injuries are not that serious and that he can return to the lineup on Wednesday for Game 4.
The Blackhawks are getting dominated in the faceoff circle. Faceoffs won in the first period are 17-5 in favor of the Bruins. This speaks to what I mentioned earlier about the Hawks’ need to light the fire under captain Jonathan Toews. During the post season vs. Boston Toews has been responsible for winning 33 faceoffs, the most on the Blackhawks. They need to get that under control if they want to get key puck possession and create scoring opportunities for themselves.
Goaltending has been phenomenal on both sides of the ice tonight. Neither Tuukka Rask nor Corey Crawford has let a puck enter the net during the first period of play. Key saves have been made on both sides of the ice.
The one thing that has me puzzled tonight is what the Bruins’ obsession with Blackhawks right win Andrew Shaw is. Twice tonight, a Bruin has been sent to the box for getting tangled up with Shaw.
First, it was Bruins left wing Kaspars Daugavins with a high elbow to Shaw about halfway through the period. (Here’s looking at you Player Safety.) Then it was Shawn Thornton at about 14:15 for roughing. I don’t know what their obsession with them is, but if they don’t cut the crap they are going to end up spending a lot of time in the sin bin tonight.
Well, there you have it. The buzzer has sounded and the first period has come to an end. We are still scoreless at the end of the first period.
What do you think of the first twenty minutes of play? Who needs to step up on either side of the ice? Do you think the Hawks missing Hossa is having an impact on their play tonight? Sound off in the comments below and tell us what you think!