CHICAGO – Here are five thoughts from the first period, which ended with the Bruins trailing the Chicago Blackhawks by a 1-0 score in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals at United Center:
1) The Bruins got completely stormed in that first 20 minutes. There is just no other way to say it. They looked slow, they looked a step behind, and they looked worse and worse as the period went along with sloppy turnovers and predictable choices with the puck on their stick. The Blackhawks outshot the Bruins by a 19-4 margin, and it was even more one-sided in terms of shot attempts. The Bruins had only one really positive shift from the Patrice Bergeron line during the first period, and that ended with Johnny Boychuk lighting up Dave Bolland with a hit at the blue line. The Bruins are very lucky to be down only 1-0 heading into the second period.
2) Speaking of luck, it wasn’t actually luck that kept the score at 1-0. It’s actually Tuukka Rask making all manner of saves among his 18 stops in the first period. He was able to cover up on a Jonathan Toews wraparound that appeared to eventually go into the net, but referee Wes McCauley blew his whistle before the puck trickled past the goal line. Rask was making four or five saves in succession as the Blackhawks came right after ,himand the Bruins defense didn’t have much to offer.
3) Zdeno Chara looked very shaky in the first period after he played only three-plus minutes in the third overtime. You have to wonder if there’s something going on there with one of the captain’s legs. He played 7:33 with just a single hit, and no other involvement at either end of the ice.
4) Patrick Sharp had six shots on net in the first period, thanksmainly to a relentless shift that took advantage of a confused Bruins bench that wasn’t sure whether or not to take a line change. His final shift of the first period included three shots on Rask that the B’s goaltender was able to stop. He and Nick Leddy both brought the good stuff to this game.
5) Torey Krug made another costly turnover that nearly led to the Jonathan Toews wraparound goal, and then the small defenseman was manhandled by Marian Hossa around the net during the ensuing battle. It might be getting closer and closer to healthy scratch time for him.