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SCF Game 5 Preview

Monday, 06.24.2013 / 12:11 PM CT
By Stu Grimson - TV Analyst / Stu Grimson's Blog
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Game Four was a wild departure from what we saw in Games One through Three. Reason being, these two teams learned a little something about their opponent over the course of those early games. And each was able to employ a different approach as they entered Game Four.

For Boston, there was a not so subtle emphasis on where to shoot on Corey Crawford. Crawford is beat to the glove on all five Boston goals in Game Four. I project a lot more of the same in Game Five. If you accept that Crawford is weak there; he’s probably not going to have a noticeably stronger glove hand by Saturday night, right? Furthermore, you just have to believe that Boston is in his head by now.

Chicago, on the other hand, has had virtually no space to operate inside the Bruins zone. Kane specifically, appeared to go to school on this. Notice on Chicago’s third goal how he moves the puck from low to high and, in turn, gets Boston scrambling. So much so that when the puck pops loose in the low slot, the Bruins have left the most dangerous player on the ice unchecked.

Chicago makes two other key adjustments. First, Seabrook, Keith and Oduya are frequently up in the offense. Gosh, even Roszival had two assists from the back end. Where this pays off is on a play like Seabrook’s OT winner. Initially, he jumps up into the play then pulls back. This creates enough separation between him and Jagr so that when the puck eventually transitions to Seabrook, he has ample time to eyeball his shot and tee it up.

Second, on Chicago’s fifth goal, scored by Sharp, Hossa’s quick release is the difference-maker and an obvious change in approach for the Hawks when with the man advantage. Hossa outlets to Keith and then he gets it right back. Hossa then uses a very compact quick release to get a shot off before the Bruins can adjust coverage. When the puck comes off Rask’s right pad, the home team is scrambling to pick up Sharp. Sharp has time to pull the rebound out of his own feet and chip it past Rask.

“Familiarity breeds contempt” may have been written for playoff hockey. However, in the case of the Bruins and Blackhawks, this enhanced knowledge of the other team’s tendencies is making for more and more entertaining hockey. If the last one is any indication, Game Five ought to be a dandy!

See you around the rink.

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33