2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Media Day

Blackhawks going through ‘a fun process’ in these playoffs

The end to these Stanley Cup playoffs is near. However, it probably feels so far away to the two remaining teams.

The Chicago Blackhawks have a chance to go up 2-0 on the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final, needing a win Saturday night in order to do so. The Bruins will look to even the best-of-seven series.

But this will mark another difficult test for both teams, after that dazzling display of hockey in Game 1, which the Blackhawks eventually won in the third overtime.

It was the marathon game within the sprint that is the post-season. After two fulls days off, and some much needed rest, it’s back to the highly emotional grind.

Experience at this time of year counts for something, and both teams – the Blackhawks winners of the Stanley Cup in 2010 and the Bruins in 2011 – have plenty of that.

“The process, it’s a fun process to go through, but you experience some different feelings along the way,” Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville told reporters prior to Game 2 of the final.

“Our locker room has been pretty even-keeled all year long. Our guys have won and know what it is to win. They can help share their experiences with the guys that are looking to get there for the first time.

“I think Boston, they got a lot more guys that are familiar with what it takes as well. But I just think I commend the guys for how they’re
looking forward, don’t get too high, too low.”

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    After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

    Claude Julien

    The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

    Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

    Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
    Joe MorrowKevan Miller
    Matt IrwinZach Trotman

    And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

    That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

    “I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

    But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

    “It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

    And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

    Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

    All in all, it was a tough night.

    “We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

    The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.

    Greene named 11th captain in Devils history

    Dion Phaneuf; Andy Greene
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    Andy Greene has been named Bryce Salvador’s successor as New Jersey’s team captain.

    Greene, an undrafted free agent that’s spent his entire nine-year career with the Devils organization, becomes the 11th captain in the franchise’s history and third American to wear the “C” (Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner were the others).

    A former standout at Miami of Ohio, Greene — who served as an alternate captain in each of the last two seasons — has developed into a steady, durable blueliner that hasn’t missed a game in three years. He’s also locked into the Devils long term, having signed a five-year, $25 million extension with the club last summer.

    That deal kicks in this season, and runs through 2020.

    As for the rest of the leadership group, four players will serve as alternate captains this season: Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Mike Cammalleri, and Adam Henrique.

    Elias and Zajac both wore an “A” in New Jersey last year, while Cammalleri and Henrique are first-timers.