The final buzzer has sounded, and here we are at the end of Game 3. The Boston Bruins have shut out the Chicago Blackhawks on home ice in the TD Garden 2-0. Here are some of my knee jerk reactions to the third period of play.
As much as it pains me internally to say this, the Boston Bruins completely dominated this game from start to finish.
It took three whole periods, but finally we have a period where the Hawks outshot the Bruins. The Shots on Goal for the third period were 10-9 Blackhawks. Not that these are spectacular numbers, but hey…small miracles.
In the faceoff circle, I don’t think domination is strong enough of a word to accurately describe the way Boston overcame Chicago. Throughout 60 minutes of play, the faceoffs won were 40-16 Boston. Yes, you saw that, 40-16. There is something incredibly wrong with this considering that Jonathan Toews, along with Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, led the league in faceoff wins during the regular season.
Penalties seemed to break loose during the third period of play. It started at 7:56 with Bruins defenseman Andrew McQuaid being sent to the box for 2 minutes for Tripping Hawks center Marcus Kruger.
At 13:55 it would be Chicago would take the trip to the penalty box as Hawks center Dave Bolland was sent off for 2 minutes for tripping David Krejci. Just as that penalty expired, it would be Krejci who would take the trip to the box for 2 minutes for Hooking Hawks left wing Brandon Saad.
Then…it happened. As the final second started to tick off of the clock, everything seemed to go downhill. At 19:48, 5 penalties would go out; 3 for Boston, and 2 for Chicago. Two of those penalties were assessed by Bruins captain Zdeno Chara for Roughing Hawks LW Bryan Bickell. Ipso facto, 2 minutes would go to Bickell for roughing Chara. Finally, there were two Fighting majors assessed by both Bruins left wing Brad Marchand and Hawks right wing Andrew Shaw.
Many of you already know that I have never been much of a fan of the NBC Sports broadcasting team; however, I think the comment they made as the final rush of penalties were being assessed takes the cake on anything that they ever said.
The penalties assessed here will be served in the shower.”
What in the name of hockey does that even mean? I am SO not touching that with a 30 foot pole.
Unfortunately, as I said before in both Periods 1 and 2, I think that the last minute loss of Marian Hossa affected the Blackhawks a lot more than I am sure they will admit. The Hawks were simply not able to find a line that worked tonight.
Even the fans started to feel their pain.
Bolts By The Bay alum Gabby Ryan said this on Facebook during the third period,
Come on, Q! Put Sharp, Kane, & Toews on the same line!!! It might be the only line to work tonight. Poor Crawford is being fed to the wolves.”
And that he was. Crawford may have let in two goals tonight, but I think this loss is far from Crawford’s fault. He got essentially no help in front of the net, more so on the backs of the offense than the defense.
Crawford ended the night with 33 saves on 35 shots, and Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask put up a perfect performance blocking all 28 shots against him. I don’t know about you, but I feel like under 30 shots from a team that arguably has one of the best offense’s in the NHL right now is simply not acceptable.
On the bright side for the Hawks, they have announced the Marian Hossa is day to day with an upper body injury; however, he is “hopeful” for Game 4 on Wednesday.
Hopefully, with a day off to prep, the Blackhawks will have time to formulate a plan to neutralize the Bruins defense in the event that Hossa is not ready to return.
Well, ladies and gentleman…the final buzzer has sounded, and the Boston Bruins have delivered the Chicago Blackhawks their second straight loss in this series. The Bruins now lead the series 2-1.
Game 4 of the 2013 Stanley Cup finals will take place at 8:00 p.m. EST at the TD Garden in Boston.
You can see the entire schedule; including dates, times and broadcast information for the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals by clicking here.
Do you think the Hawks will be able to regroup on their day off and bring it to Boston in Game 4, or do you think the Bruins are going to increase their lead by one? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think!