It looked like 2011 all over again.
Midway through the first period of Boston’s 2-0 win in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, Bruins forwards Kaspars Daugavins and Shawn Thornton took less-than-genius roughing penalties, giving the Blackhawks four minutes of power play time.
And — much like what happened repeatedly against Vancouver two years ago — the penalties didn’t cost the B’s.
Some will say the Bruins killed ’em with aplomb, others will argue the ‘Hawks frittered ’em away. But whatever the case, one thing is crystal clear — if Chicago doesn’t start scoring on the power play soon, its going to be in major trouble.
In the 2011 Cup Final, Vancouver went a ghastly 2-for-33 on the power play and the deeper the Canucks’ struggles went, the more the Bruins took liberties, often risking a penalty to impose their physicality.
The risk was worth it ’cause hey, killing the penalty was a virtual lock.
While it’s not quite to that level in 2013, it’s close.
The ‘Hawks were 0-for-5 on the power play in Game 3. That puts them at 0-for-11 for the series and zero for their last 15 all told.
Head coach Joel Quenville was visibly displeased following the game.
“Our power play tonight was definitely not good,” he said. “[The Bruins] box you out. They’ve got big bodies that block shots.
“We had chances to get pucks on the net, and we didn’t. Our entries weren’t great.”
Some other gruesome statistics:
— Chicago’s PP is 1-for-27 on the road in the playoffs.
— Patrick Kane led the team with eight PPG in the regular season.
— He has zero this postseason.
— The ‘Hawks registered just four power play shots in Game 3 on 8:11 of PP time.
— Chicago’s PP is now at 11.5 percent (7-for-61) for the playoffs, worse than its PP in the regular season (which, at a 19th-best 16.7 percent, wasn’t that great.)
On the flip side, the Bruins deserve a ton of credit for how well they’ve killed penalties. The last time they allowed a PPG was in Game 5 of the Rangers series, and have killed 25 straight since then.
But if you’re Chicago — well, you just have to make something happen with the man advantage.
The Bruins are one of the NHL’s best teams at even strength, and they’ve shown it this postseason. They lead all teams with 43 goals 5-on-5, and have only allowed 27 — a differential of plus-16.
The key to beating Boston is to make them pay for mistakes.
If the ‘Hawks don’t start doing it soon, they’re going to get Canuck’d right out of this series.