3 DOG NIGHT: Blackhawks 4, Bruins 3 (3OT)
How in the hell are any of us going to survive an entire series like this? The Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins apparently didn't understand that they didn't have to try playing all seven games of the Stanley Cup Final in one night, with the Hawks prevailing 4-3 in the third overtime in the United Center to give the Hawks a 1-0 advantage in games.
Let's get to this:
This game. Jesus. Hopefully that one friend you have who never liked hockey but decided to hang out anyway because everyone else was watching the game was there. Because there is no way you could have watched this game, whether you were in a room full of Blackhawks or Bruins fans and not come away believing that hockey is the best game on God's green earth.
Brandon Saad. He picked one helluva time for his first career playoff goal, when he cut the Boston lead from two goals to one. If he had any jitters from playing in his first ever Final game, it sure didn't show.
Dave Bolland. He played like the Dave Bolland we all came to love, scoring a goal and an assist and playing defense, clearing a puck out of the crease in the third, then clearing another in overtime. This is what the Hawks need.
Andrew Shaw. Along with scoring the winner, he was working hard at both ends of the ice all night, and drew a high sticking penalty on the Massive Mutant, even though the Hawks couldn't capitalize on it, which brings us to...
The Hawks' power play. Let's just call it the "Extra Guy", since there's no power to it, and calling it a "man advantage" is every bit as much of a misnomer. They had over a minute of 5-on-3 time, and they could not make anything happen. Fucking horrendous.
Niklas Hjalmarsson had a really rough night at the office, at least the first 45 minutes or so. Going for the hit and giving up position allowed Milan Lucic to shed Jonathan Toews and get into open ice to bang home the first goal of the night. In fact, he was on the ice for the Bruins' three goals.
Watching Nathan Horton's shoulder damn near break through his sweater and land in the 200 level. It hurt just watching it.
Meatballs whistling in the second overtime...seriously, guys? Are you high?
And the title? Three puppies left.