When Chicago rookie Brandon Saad stole the puck off the Bruins early in last night’s game, he didn’t hesitate when he looked up and saw big Zdeno Chara standing between him and the Boston net at the other end of the ice.
Instead, Saad did this:
That goal was the first of five — yes, five — Chicago goals for which Chara was on the ice.
“That’s one of the main goals is to get him to move his feet and try to sustain that pressure,” Saad said Thursday. “He’s a great defenseman but to keep that pressure and have the success that we did, that’s always a positive thing.”
In a related story, Bruins head coach Claude Julien spoke today about neutralizing the ‘Hawks attack before it has a chance to turn its speed into pressure.
“I think Chicago did a great job last night,” said Julien. “They put pucks in deep, and they came after us. They were forcing us very well. And because they got some speed in the neutral zone, it didn’t mean they had to make plays, but they put pucks in the right places.”
While it’s unlikely the Bruins will be quite so loose defensively Saturday at the United Center, for the Blackhawks, Game 4 was proof that Chara’s not invincible.
“I think maybe at times in the first couple games we were giving him a little bit too much respect by trying to keep the puck away from him,” said Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.
“He’s not a guy that we should be afraid of. We should go at him, protect the puck from him, make plays around him and through him.”
Habs’ win was a showcase for P.K. Subban, Connor McDavid
Times have been tough for Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers fans lately, even if they’ve been frustrating in different ways.
Saturday’s 5-1 Habs win highlights a few things, but the most tantalizing thought for those fans is that it’s likely that we’ll see more great things from P.K. Subban and Connor McDavid … sometimes against each other.
Perhaps this will be a confidence booster for Montreal. More than anything else, it directed attention to Subban, who’s quietly been absolutely fantastic for the floundering Canadiens.
Consider how much of an offensive burden he’s currently carrying:
Subban updated: 17 points in 16 games, Habs have 36 goals over that span. Subban's been in on 47.2% of them.
The Rangers were already upset with Simmonds’ sucker punch, but then Alain Vigneault lost his mind all over again at the end of the Rangers’ unsuccessful power play: The Flyers had forgotten to put a player in the penalty box, with Simmonds having been sent off.
Illegally, during the flow of play, forward Jake Voracek just jumped off Philly’s bench as the power play expired and was sprung on a breakaway. Lundqvist made the save but the Rangers were flabbergasted at the officials’ lack of control or apparent knowledge of the rule book, which would require the Flyers in that situation to wait until a whistle to put their fifth man back on the ice.
By the way, the referees for this game are Dave Lewis and Kelly Sutherland.