Brandon Bollig

Discuss: ‘Hawks beat Bruins 3-2 in shootout in Stanley Cup Final rematch

25 Comments

Patrick Kane sealed the deal in a shootout as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 in a shootout. Kane and Jonathan Toews each scored in the skills competition while Brad Marchand was the only Bruin to tally.

What’s there to talk about from this one? Some food for thought:

— We know it wasn’t a playoff game and the Stanley Cup wasn’t on the line, but that sure felt like a playoff game.

— Who knew the game’s weirdest penalty would go to Toews? A 10-minute misconduct for tossing part of his broken stick in the crowd takes the cake.

— Brad Marchand showed a bit of everything he can do. He scored twice, was able to get under the Blackhawks skin drawing their attention and a penalty and scored in the shootout. Solid day.

— Outstanding work from Tuukka Rask in goal for Boston and Corey Crawford for Chicago. Rask had a couple of flashier stops to keep the ‘Hawks off the board.

— Rask would like one of them back though. Brandon Bollig’s goal from the goal line near the corner with no angle doesn’t look pretty, but it counted nonetheless.

— Matt Bartkowski might want a do-over on his hit on Ben Smith with 4.6 seconds left that put Chicago on the power play to start overtime. At least it didn’t cost Boston the game. Silver linings, people.

Here are the highlights from today’s game:

Get your game notes: Bruins at Blackhawks

Toews with Cup
1 Comment

This afternoon on NBC, it’s the Chicago Blackhawks hosting the Boston Bruins starting at 12:30 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• Chicago is the only team in the NHL to have three players ranked in the top 10 in points (Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, and Jonathan Toews) and assists (Duncan Keith, Kane, and Toews).

• Meanwhile, the Bruins have seven different players that have netted at least 10 goals (Reilly Smith, Milan Lucic, Jarome Iginla, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci, and Torey Krug).

• Although Tuukka Rask has been among the league’s top goaltenders this season, he has a 3.71 GAA and .876 save percentage since Dec. 28.

• The Blackhawks’ offensive success in regulation hasn’t translated to the shootout. Despite leading the league in goals per game, their 24.4 shootout shooting percentage ranks 24th. They are 0-4 in the skills competition since Dec. 6.

• If history is any indication, then the Boston Bruins should be considered the favorites in this rematch against the 2013 Stanley Cup finalists. Since 2006-07, the losing team in the finals has gone 4-1-1 in their first contest against the defending champions.

• Chicago is 25-0-4 when they score first while the Bruins are 21-5-1 when they take the initial lead.

• The Blackhawks are tied for the league high in Olympic selections with 10.

• Chicago has a chance to become the first team since the Edmonton Oilers to win the Stanley Cup three times in five campaigns. Edmonton did it in 1987, 1988, and 1990.

NHL on NBC: It’s time for Hawks-Bruins rematch

brybickellcharagetty
10 Comments

NBC continues its coverage of the 2013-14 campaign this afternoon when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Boston Bruins at United Center at 12:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

Roughly seven months ago Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland scored back-to-back goals for the Blackhawks in the span of 17 seconds to give Chicago a 3-2 lead over Boston with less than a minute remaining in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. That was the last turning point in a fierce series between two of the league’s finest squads in recent years.

Since then, the Bruins and Blackhawks have endured some turnover, as is inevitable in the salary cap era, but many of the players that made that series great are still on their respective squads. On top of that, neither team has succumb to a Stanley Cup hangover as they both lead their respective divisions.

That’s where we stand as they get ready for their first rematch since the Stanley Cup was raised.

“It’s going to be exciting to play these guys again,” Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith told CSN Chicago.

This is sure to be a hard fought battle, but not necessarily a controversial one.

“I would definitely say it’s different [than Vancouver],” said Bruins forward Milan Lucic, according to CSN New England. “There was so much more…I guess you could say, chippiness in the Vancouver series. The bad blood has still carried over as you could see in the last Vancouver game [last month].

“There isn’t as much talk of that headed into [Sunday]. We both know what’s on the line. I wouldn’t say there was any other series where there was a mutual respect [like with Chicago.]”

Chicago in particular isn’t known for pushing the rules as they have the second least penalty minutes per contest in the NHL.

The Blackhawks have been charged with just eight major penalties and no game misconducts in 2013-14. Boston is far more likely to drop the gloves on any given night, but they are another one of the six teams to get this far without a single game misconduct.

Instead, this game might be better to measure in terms of offense versus defense. Chicago is the league leader in goals per contest while the Bruins have the second lowest team GAA.

Both of these teams are still facing stiff competition and need every point they can get, but more than that, this is an important test for both of these squads. They each know what the other is capable of. The question is how they will respond.

Bruins emphasize mutual respect as Blackhawks rematch approaches

Chris Kelly #23 and Brad Marchand #63 and Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins looks shake hands with the Chicago Blackhawks after being defeated in Game Six of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on June 24, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.
(June 23, 2013 - Source: Jim Rogash/Getty Images North America)
11 Comments

The Boston Bruins would be lying if they denied that the 2013 Stanley Cup Final still stings, yet they also insist that there’s a lot of mutual respect between themselves and the Chicago Blackhawks. The two teams will face off for the first time this season on NBC Sunday, so those memories are bubbling back up.

… Which means those famous 17 seconds in which the Blackhawks locked up the series-clinching Game 6 will be hard to forget.

“I’ve replayed it in my mind 100 times since that moment,” Milan Lucic admitted to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus.

Even so, both Lucic and head coach Claude Julien spoke about the general lack of animosity for two teams that were in a well-played, high-profile playoff series. Patrick Kane relayed a similar story to Lazerus.

“A lot of them are respectful and come up and just say hi to you,” Kane said.

Despite those warm and fuzzy feelings, the Bruins probably want to win badly, even if it won’t erase the memory of that championship round defeat.

“It hurts still,” Patrice Bergeron said. “It hurts just to see that 2013 on the wall right there.”

Bruins’ Johnson stays in game despite ‘startling’ Chara high stick

Boston Bruins v Anaheim Ducks
7 Comments

Vision. It’s a rather important element to a goalie’s game.

Interesting, because Boston Bruins’ goalie Chad Johnson had a contact lens knocked out of his left eye – he also suffered a cut below the eye – when a Zdeno Chara high stick made its way through the puck stopper’s mask during the second period of Thursday’s game with the Dallas Stars.

That’s according to Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com, who reported that Johnson played the duration of the second period despite having his contact lens knocked out.

Johnson went on to make 32 saves and the Bruins came away with a 4-2 victory over the Stars following a wild third period that saw the two teams combine for five goals.

“I could feel the [stick] blade hit my cheek & then come up and clip my eyelid. My contact fell out. It kind of startles you,” said Johnson after the game.

(And for those keeping track on former Bruins forward Tyler Seguin and his much improved defensive play of late, he recorded two assists for the Stars in a losing cause.)