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.”
Penguins push Capitals to brink of elimination with OT win
The Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long run of playoff overtime struggles on Wednesday … and are now one win away from ending the Washington Capitals’ season.
Many expected the Penguins to crater on defense without Kris Letang (they were 2-8-1 in the regular season without him). While there were shaky moments, Pittsburgh emphasized its speed and other strengths in taking a 3-2 overtime thriller against Washington.
With that, the Penguins’ series lead grows to 3-1.
Trevor Daley, traded to Blackhawks for Sharp & Johns and to #Pens for Scuderi (who was flipped to LA for Ehrhoff) played 28:41 in G4 W.
“It’s been a great city, a city that’s survived for many years through some tough times and for me, growing up there doesn’t seem too long ago,” Upshall said. “Places that probably aren’t standing anymore will be really, really tough to take. But as long as everyone’s OK, that’s the main thing.”