Just how are the Boston Bruins going to slow down Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins?
It’s a really good question, and be sure the Bruins have formulated a plan.
Are they going to tell any of us what it is prior to its deployment? Apparently not.
“I’m not talking about what the game plan is. Sorry,” said Bruins’ captain Zdeno Chara, as he spoke to reporters Friday, prior to Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final against the Penguins.
The challenge facing the Bruins – the 2011 Stanley Cup champions – is shutting down the highest scoring team in these playoffs.
Two years ago, they kept the Vancouver Canucks in check on their way to the ultimate championship.
The Penguins are averaging 4.27 goals per game in these playoffs, and Crosby is atop at the top of the league in goals and not far off the league lead in points.
Perhaps the key to shutting down the Penguins will be the ability for Bruins’ coach Claude Julien to match lines, especially on the road.
That’s easier said than done.
“Sometimes you have to have trust in your lines that they can do the job and then we have seen that on our team where our fourth line has been paired up against the other team’s top line,” said Julien, “and they know who is out there when they are out there and they make sure that they do the job properly and don’t give them scoring chances.”
Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick
Dion Phaneuf‘s first home game as a member of the Ottawa Senators is going more smoothly than his debut did on Wednesday.
Ottawa fell 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings last night, and they need another goal to tie up the Colorado Avalanche. Still, Phaneuf’s making a bigger impact on Thursday, collecting two assists … his first two points in a Sens’ sweater.
You can see his crowd-pleasing first helper above.
Here’s his second assist for good measure:
Update: The Avalanche held on, taking a 4-3 edge. Even so, Phaneuf’s getting a warm welcome in his new hockey city.
Phaneuf on the Ottawa crowd reaction: "It gave me chills."