Around the League #6: Dat Hertl
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06-21-2013, 08:48 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Evil Empire
Originally Posted by
The Bruins outplayed the Hawks by a wide margin in OT in the first game. Virtually nobody has disputed that.
Chicago carried the play for the most part, easily had more possession. The Bruins had better quality chances without a doubt, but that was the only metric in which they were superior.
They wore the Hawks down in game 2. Game 3 the Hawks played well in first an after that were done. Last nights game Bruins came back after a shaky start, sent the game in OT, and were easily the better team in OT.
Game 2 is the only one that really fits the "wore down" bill. Boston just plain and simple outplayed Chicago in Game 3. Last night Chicago played very well at even strength throughout the game. Boston only "came back" due to Crawford's inability to stop a beach ball. And every time they came back, Chicago re-took the lead. The OT was pretty evenly played I thought. Neither team sustained prolonged pressure or had any ten-bell chances before the winning goal.
Really, the Hawks are better finishers, lethal actually. Trading chances with the Hawks is stupid.
The Hawks have had trouble finishing for years. They score as much as they do because they generate boatloads of chances. Their PP is absolutely awful and has been awful for three years. It was only even good in 2010 due to Byfuglien being parked in the crease. This is not the sign of lethal finishers. Kane is the only guy who is usually money to bury a great chance. Sharp, Hossa, and Toews can't score on breakaways to save their lives. I lost count of how many those three have blown a long time ago.
Trying to goad the Hawks into more of a run-and-gun skill game is surprisingly effective against them (though naturally I wouldn't suggest Boston actually do so). Witness the Oilers blowing their doors off multiple times in the last two seasons. The finesse and skill Red Wings had them on the ropes in Round 2, while the physical hit and grind Kings never seriously threatened to win the series.
People have been saying the entire season that Chicago's big weakness would be a big physical team, that they don't do well against hitting, etc. I'm not sure where that idea comes from, but not from people that have actually been watching the team since the start of the year. They had no problem with LA, St. Louis or San Jose in the regular season or playoffs. But the Oilers, Canucks, and Avalanche were relatively successful against them. The exact opposite of what pretty much everyone thinks.
No different here. Boston will wear them down, they're too big, too strong, blah blah blah. And yet the Bruins have thrown a whopping one extra hit more than Chicago for every 12 minutes of game play thus far. At some point it might be time to admit that the Hawks simply aren't affected by physical play against them more than anybody else. There are plenty of reasons why Boston might win the Stanley Cup, but "grinding down the Hawks with hits" is not likely to be one of them.
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