With the series tied 1-1 going into Game 3 tonight, in Boston, the series is still totally up for grabs. Neither the Chicago Blackhawks or the Boston Bruins have been able to get anything going long enough to truly put any space between the other, in Games 1 and 2. There have been 4 periods of overtime played, in what so far has been one of the most tightly contested Stanley Cup Finals, in recent memory.
Which Blackhawks team will we see, at puck drop? The team that out-shot the Bruins 19-4 in the first period of Game 2? Or the team that let the Bruins physically push them around, a away from a victory, in the remainder of Game 2? It’s hard to say with the series heading to Boston for the first time, especially as the Bruins seem to be carrying most of the momentum, at the moment. The Hawks have their work cut out for them, for sure. If the Hawks are to regain the lead and momentum in this series, they will need to get the Power Play to start producing, as well as offensive production, from captain, Jonathan Toews. This is easier said than done, as long as Tuuka Rask continues to play at a world class level. The Hawks dominated the first period, but only had one goal to show for it. The Hawks proved that they have the skill to out-will the Bruins, in dominating fashion, but they will also have to figure out Rask, in order to win this game as well as the Stanley Cup. Taking advantage of Power Plays should do the trick, but that has proved beyond challenging to the point of extreme frustration for the Hawks.
The Bruins are carrying a small advantage in momentum, due to a Game 2 victory, on a get-away day. As the series heads to Boston, things are starting to look up for the Bruins. Momentum and confidence alone won’t give the Bruins a victory, as the Hawks have proven that they can skate around the Bruins and force their agenda on them. Rask stole a victory in Game 2, for Boston, but the Bruins picked up the physical play after the first period, and as long as they can force their physical style on the Blackhawks, the Bruins can win the game, as well as the cup. Just like the Blackhawks, it’s anyone’s guess on which Bruins team will show up. Will it be the Bruins of the first period of Game 2? Or will it be the quintessential physical Bruins that can punish any team into coughing up a game?
It will be interesting to see what happens, as the teams will play in Boston for the first time. Will the Blackhawks use the disappointing loss from Game 2 as motivation to out-will the Bruins? Or will the Bruins confidence and momentum continue to flow, as they will have home-ice advantage, for the next two games? It will be an interesting game, and if Games 1 and 2 are any indication, you won’t want to miss this one.