Stanley Cup Final: Bruins-Blackhawks Overtime (3)/End Game Notes

1st Overtime

Entering an overtime period they shouldn’t be in, the Bruins have to realize that this is the away game they have to steel–without home-ice advantage, any chance in this Finals comes from snatching away a win on your opposition’s home-ice. On that note, Boston must take charge in this overtime period from the get-go; in other words, the Bruins cannot simply resort to fending off furious Chicago attacks as they did for much of the 3rd period.

A minute in, and this game already has the sense that it’s going to Chicago (coming from either my “spidey senses” or just watching another close moment for the Blackhawks).

The characteristics of this overtime period reflect the regulation period so far: Chicago holding the puck a lot on the offensive end, a lot of interrupted passes/blocked shots by Boston, and more chances for the Blackhawks but better quality ones for the Bruins. The pace five minutes into overtime also has quickened, as play shifts back and forth from each end of the rink.

11:59- Boy did Chicago and Crawford stave off quite the furious barrage of chances by the Bruins. That might have been the chance Boston was yearning for, but could not capitalize on it.

7:52- As the Bruins begin to heat up the pressure on Crawford–outshooting Chicago about 12 minutes into overtime–they get a fantastic power play opportunity that appears promising. Unfortunately, the Bruins did not get the same result as the last time they had a man-advantage: Horton gets hurt mid-way through and the Blackhawks clear the puck twice.

Boston continues to pile on the shots/generate chances within 5 minutes, but Crawford comes up with huge saves once again, sending the sea of red in the United Center into delirium. Chicago starts to answer with some chances of their own, but the result is the same for any goal-scoring chance in this overtime period: Rask makes two great glove saves.

3:03- My spidey senses are kicking in again–and as a Bruins fan, my visions are not auspicious. This is Chicago’s game and, unfortunately, I feel it. It just won’t happen this overtime period–and, once again, an unfortunate case for my well-being (the excessive sweating and heart-pounding can’t be good, can it?).

2nd Overtime

Going into the second–*pant*–overtime period, keep in mind a facet of the game that affects both teams: fatigue. Both the Bruins and Blackhwks are experiencing this dreaded effect of playing for 80 minutes, which really became noticeable in the middle of the 1st overtime. At that point, it seemed Boston had the edge in this aspect of the game, but it leveled out as the period closed.

A minute in, and two Bruins collide in the center of the ice–so much for Boston having the good end of the fatigue factor. The speed and physicality have understandably taken a downswing to begin, but Chicago has converted the more crisper passes.

Seguin, apparently feeling confident heading into the period, misses a breakaway opportunity. So much for that report.

The fatigue continues to settle in for both teams, but the Blackhawks appear to have a greater drive to win. Bergeron seems like the first casualty of tiredness, and the Boston defensive line is hobbling their way through play as well. And the Bruins can barely create anything on the few chances they’re on offense. It’s only a matter of time now.

Despite fatigue for both teams, the shots on goal have not ceased from either side. Yet while Rask has tended to just fend off more strikes, Crawford is gloving everything in his sight.

10:43- Once again, this seems like it’ll go Chicago’s way. Just wanted to reinforce that notion.

9:59- The ice crew comes out, and while it benefits both teams, the weary Bruins are most content with this break from the action (noted by the displeasure expressed by the United Center crowd).

8:08- Chicago hits are finally taking their tolls on the exhausted Boston players–something you won’t see to often.

As the game begins to enter the last 5 minutes of the 2nd overtime, Boston has excellent chances–staved off once again by Corey Crawford. It seems that as the game has progressed, Crawford has just gotten stronger, while Rask has tailed off a little. Nevertheless, both of these goalies have been the best players in this entire game.

0:52- Too many men on the ice for Chicago, a penalty stemming from fatigue. This could be the last, and best chance the Bruins have. Chara hits the post and misses by an inch. I can’t believe this.

3rd Overtime

For the sports-centered cities that Boston and Chicago are, moments like these are when heroes are born and legends are immortalized. First goal wins.

The Blackhawks once again come out strong to start the overtime period, as they continue their efficient passing, and kill off the penalty from the 2nd overtime.

16:24- Boston creates a beautiful string of passes, weaving throughout Chicago’s defensive end. The possession culminates in a fantastic opportunity, but Crawford naturally reels in the glove save. Nevertheless, Boston has had the better and greater amount of chances, as Krejci has served as the main engineer in the effort. Suddenly, the Bruins seem to have a little more life–they’re able to complete quick counter-attacks.

It continues to be a back-and-forth game, as the Blackhawks create several chances themselves. Throughout these overtime periods, Chicago has relied on passes centered on/gliding across the goal to generate their offensive efforts.

10:00- Seguin centers in a pass to Kaspars Daugavins who is behind the last defender and in front of the crease, but is unable to wrap it around Crawford. Easily the best chance in the overtime period, and perhaps of any once the game was tied. Props to Chicago defenseman Oduya for reaching out and disrupting the shot.

7:52- There it is. A Game 1 that will go down in the history books. How ironic is it that Chicago wins it on a deflection, a tactic that Boston used all night (and morning for east-coasters) to counter Chicago’s attacks–blocked shots. The last person to blame here is Rask, who endured the brunt of the goalie fatigue (in comparison to Crawford), and really had no chance to block a fortuitous shot by Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw–it deflected TWICE in its path to the back of the net.

On that note, while Game 1 has provided a combined 7 goals for each side, both goalies Tukkaa Rask and Corey Crawford have made their respective marks on the game, and for the rest of the series. Each netminder has made splendid saves in goal–deflections and glove saves–which constitute the main reason for why this game went into overtime. The rest of the series will be hard-fought as ever, and for the pity of the players, will hopefully not showcase another multi-overtime event.

Boston really had a golden opportunity to steal an away game and shift momentum their way–a chance that might not present itself again. Chicago will sustain their confidence heading into Game 2 and beyond–especially Crawford–making it all the more difficult for the Bruins.

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