POWERLESS: Bruins 2, Blackhawks 0

Well, this sucked.

The Chicago Blackhawks came out with all the fire of an ice cube tonight, stumbling through sixty uninspired minutes of hockey, getting shut out 2-0 in TD Garden to fall behind the Boston Bruins two games to one in the Stanley Cup Final.

The Hawks somehow decided the most effective way to challenge Tuukka Rask was by firing 30 and 40 foot shots on net, while the Bruins just lined up three guys in front of Rask, so he didn't really have to work too hard, as 17 Chicago shots were blocked.

Let's get to this:

THE GOOD:


Ben Smith. He had to dress at a moment's notice, in the Stanley Cup Final. He handled it like a veteran. Thank God QStache went with him over Bollig. Perhaps he should have done that in Games 1 & 2, Oh well, hindsight is 20/20. Except if you had told me Q was going to dress somebody who hadn't seen game action since the regular season before Game 1, Bollig would have been Plan C to me, behind Smith and Jeremy Morin. Bottom line is, Smith was good tonight.

Corey Crawford. This game could have been an absolute curbstomping, but only Crow kept it to the point where the Hawks were within striking distance if they had been able to extricate their heads from their anal orifices.

Everyone off the ledge. All the Hawks needed to do in Boston is split. Which they can still do with a win on Wednesday. You'd rather they won the first game in Boston, so they could go into Wednesday night playing with house money, but now it's a must-win. And if you can't pull out a must-win in the Stanley Cup Final, you get to see your Championship shirts and hats get shipped to Africa, it's that simple.


THE BAD:

Hossa in the locker room instead of on the ice. When you're in the other team's building needing a win, you'd like to do it with all your weapons. Hossa got hit with a shot during warmups, and Smith had to get dressed pronto. Of course, NBC's crack coverage told us that Zdeno Chara tripped during warmups and walked off the ice, but didn't tell anyone about Hossa. Don't you have enough guys there to keep an eye on each team?

Michal Handzus. Took ten faceoffs, lost ten faceoffs. In fact, QStache never even sent him for a draw in the third period.  -4 CORSI for the game. Man, was he brutal.

THE UGLY:

The Hawks PP. Instead of "Power Play", maybe this should be "Putrid and Predictable". No, that's stupid. But when the Hawks' biggest advantage over Boston is skating and moving with speed, the wise thing to do when there's one less Bruin on the ice is to...remain as still as possible. Especially when everyone is in the same place, moving the puck in the same direction, and Boston's best defenseman is essentially a human 747, the Bruins will eventually figure it out and start getting some shorthanded breakaways. Like they did tonight. And until the Blackhawks can prove that taking a penalty is actually a penalty and not a two minute breather while the Hawks play with themselves, I would only stop short of be performing on-ice eviscerations if I'm the Bruins.

Next up is Game 4 Wednesday night in Boston. Don't hit the panic button just yet.


 

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