CHICAGO – Here are five thoughts from the second period, with the Bruins and Blackhawks locked in a 1-1 tie in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals at United Center.
1) Chris Kelly recorded his first point of the playoffs, and it came at a huge time in the second period. Claude Julien switched Daniel Paille onto a line with Kelly and Tyler Seguin, and all of a sudden that trio found a little chemistry along with a little bit of offense. Seguin played strong along the boards, Paille made a nice move behind the net to bamboozle Nick Leddy and created a rebound with a wraparound chance. Kelly crashed the net and tied the game with his first point in 22 games. Credit Julien and the B’s coaching staff for making the in-game adjustment that paid off, something they’re often accused of not doing by vocal critics.
2) Hearing that Jaromir Jagr is being criticized on TV for being too slow. Ummm, that’s some pretty low-hanging fruit in this humble hockey writer’s opinion. He’s actually had some of Boston’s best offensive chances in the first two periods, and leads the Bruins with four shots on net.
3) The Bruins are outhitting the Blackhawks 39-13, and Milan Lucic is pounding the Chicago defensemen with 10 hits in the first 40 minutes. Those big, punishing hits are going to take their toll as the series moves along for the Bruins, just as they did two years ago against the Vancouver Canucks.
4) The Bruins took Chicago’s best punch in the first period, and entered the final 20 minutes locked in a 1-1 tie. They’re in an ideal position as the road team with Tuukka Rask playing at a whole different level between the pipes, and appeared to discourage the Blackhawks just as he did against the Penguins in the last round of the playoffs
5) The Tyler Seguin haters should watch a tape of the play that led to the Chris Kelly goal. He lifted Patrick Sharp’s stick, and that led to Paille gathering the puck with speed and momentum behind the Chicago net. It’s one of countless battles he’s engaged in during the playoffs; he’s not winning every one and he’ll still shy away at point, but to say he’s 100 percent avoiding battles is flat wrong.