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SCF Game 5 Preview

Monday, 06.24.2013 / 1:11 PM

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.

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43

 
 

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