Observations From Section 321 : Opportunities Lost

The Bruins bounce back with a 2-1 overtime win to even up the Stanley Cup Final at one game apiece.

The Boston Bruins had the answer they were looking for as they were able to grind out a Game 2 victory. Game 2 was two games in one. The first game saw the Blackhawks completely dominate the opening half, but only had a 1-0 lead to show for it. The second game saw the Bruins eventuality wear down the Hawks and get them off their offensive game. Even though none of the players would admit afterwards, but fatigue set in and seven periods of overtime hockey in the last three games finally took its toll on the Hawks. So now the Hawks have to win a game in Boston, starting with the dreaded Game 3 on Monday night. The Blackhawks have lost six straight Game 3's, with their last win coming in the 2010 Western Conference Finals against the San Jose Sharks.

The Blackhawks top two lines dominated the Bruins during the first period of play. The entire Chicago team looked fresh and didn't show any ill effects from Wednesday night's double header. The Blackhawks scored first when Patrick Sharp lit the lamp for the 9th time this post season, tying him with David Krejci for the league lead. Patrick Kane had the initial shot that Tuukka Rask could not hold in his glove. During the ensuing scrum, the puck found Sharp's stick and he got the puck up and over Rask. The Hawks looked as if they had a second goal from Marian Hossa a few moments later but the play was ruled no goal on the ice. The replay showed the puck crossing the goal line but the whistle must have blown before it completely crossed the line. Coach Q said after the game that the explanation to him was the referee's "intention was to blow the whiste." The Blackhawks out shot the Bruins 19-4 in the opening period. As good as the Hawks played, you couldn't help but to feel a bit uneasy with only the one goal lead.

The second period saw both teams trade of penalty kills in the first half. The Bruins were able to tie the game at 1 at the 14:58 mark of the middle frame. Tyler Seguin got the play going when he was able to lift Patrick Sharp's stick behind the Hawks net. Daniel Paille was able to get the puck out front out the where Chris Kelly scored his first goal of the playoffs. That goal had to feel good for Kelly, who was a -3 and lost 15 of his 22 faceoffs in Game 1. The Bruins out shot the Hawks 8 to 4 in the second period.

The Kelly goal really put a jump into the Bruins step and they had the advantage for the majority of the final 25 minutes of regulations. The Hawks top two lines were amazing in the first period but faded in the final period. The 3rd and 4th lines did have themselves a few good shifts but there were not nearly enough quality scoring chances. The game would head into overtime after a scoreless third period. It would be Paille that would end the game at 13:48 with his 3rd goal of the playoffs. Brent Seabrook passed the puck hard around the boards to Brandon Bollig who could not keep the puck on his stick. The puck found Paille at the left face off circle who did a great job shooting back to the right with Crawford moving to the left. Adam McQuaid and Tyler Seguin assisted on the series tying goal.

* Here comes the section reserved for bitching about how lousy the Blackhawks power play is. Mike Haviland was fired because of its ineffectiveness last season, but there has been no improvement this year. I am not going to pretend I have the answers on how to fix it, but can someone tell me why Bryan Bickell got no time on the power play? The kid has been a beast in front of the net, scoring dirty goals and he can't get on the ice during the man advantage. This makes no sense to me. Dave Bolland gets power play time and Bickell doesn't? All I am saying is the power play can't score less goals than they are now with 29 on the ice.

* Speaking of Bryan Bickell, his price might be coming down because he has been invisible in this series so far.

* So Patrick Kane scores 4 goals in two games when paired up with Jonathan Toews and then he goes back tot he 2nd line. I said that Kane needs to be away from Michal Handzus after Game 3 of the Kings series. It is not a slam against Handzus who has been better than expected since being acquired at the deadline. For whatever reason Kane and Handzus have just not gelled. I would love to see Kaner and Marian Hossa switch spots for Game 3.

* I have really enjoyed watching Andrew Shaw battle with Zdeno Chara. And the fact he has been winning most of the battles puts a smile on my face.

* Some may think Bollig's turnover on the game winning goal means we will see Viktor Stalberg's return in Game 3. If you listen to Joel Quenneville after the game you would think differently. Here is what he had to say about Bollig after the game.

I thought he was fine. I thought he had two good games. That line, didn't get them out there much in overtime. Every time they were out there, they were a threat to score. Had a lot of offensive zone time. They got the one shift, around the wall, we didn't get there in time. Bang, bang.

* Going to end the observations with this hilarious GIF


via assets.sbnation.com

Blackhawks Corsi Numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Duncan Keith D 25:48 27 24 +3 -1 +3
Niklas Hjalmarsson D 27:20 17 13 +4 +3 +3
Brent Seabrook D 20:19 18 19 -1 -1 -1
Nick Leddy D 12:27 15 9 +6 +2 +5
Patrick Sharp R 14:01 18 10 +8 +4 +6
Marcus Kruger C 12:05 10 8 +2 -4 +4
Jonathan Toews C 21:57 22 12 +10 +3 +9
Brandon Saad L 20:37 20 10 +10 +3 +9
Michal Handzus C 13:41 16 13 +3 +4 +1
Johnny Oduya D 25:42 14 10 +4 +2 +3
Bryan Bickell L 19:14 10 16 -6 -1 -6
Michal Rozsival D 15:56 21 11 +10 +1 +10
Dave Bolland C 17:17 9 13 -4 -2 -3
Brandon Bollig L 8:42 7 5 +2 -1 +2
Andrew Shaw C 17:24 8 15 -7 -1 -7
Michael Frolik R 10:38 10 7 +3 -2 +4
Marian Hossa R 19:14 19 8 +11 +3 +10
Patrick Kane R 16:38 19 12 +7 +3 +6

Bruins Corsi Numbers

Player Pos ES TOI Total Shots For Total Shots Against Corsi Net Zone Starts Adjusted Corsi
Kaspars Daugavins L 8:19 3 13 -10 -1 -10
Milan Lucic L 21:49 12 20 -8 -1 -8
Nathan Horton R 20:32 10 16 -6 -1 -6
Tyler Seguin C 14:56 14 19 -5 +3 -6
Daniel Paille L 13:15 8 12 -4 0 -4
Andrew Ference D 22:52 20 25 -5 0 -5
Shawn Thornton L 4:56 0 4 -4 -1 -4
Chris Kelly C 14:54 13 13 0 -3 +1
Zdeno Chara D 25:28 10 14 -4 -5 -2
Patrice Bergeron C 19:56 15 9 +6 0 +6
Dennis Seidenberg D 26:52 11 19 -8 -2 -7
David Krejci C 24:18 13 23 -10 -3 -9
Torey Krug D 15:55 13 17 -4 +1 -4
Rich Peverley C 10:32 6 17 -11 -6 -9
Adam Mcquaid D 14:39 15 13 +2 0 +2
Johnny Boychuk D 22:05 17 24 -7 0 -7
Brad Marchand C 19:28 18 11 +7 +1 +7
Jaromir Jagr R 18:14 17 11 +6 +3 +5