CHICAGO – Here are five thoughts -- plus one -- from the first period of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals, which ended with the Blackhawks leading the Bruins, 1-0:
1) Still way too many turnovers for the Bruins through the neutral zone, which are allowing Chicago to muster plenty of speed into the offensive zone. Not enough layers and back-checking throughout, and Bruins players are getting caught way too deep into the offensive end against a speedy Blackhawks attack.
2) Patrick Sharp is bringing the good stuff for the Blackhawks again tonight, and had a couple of good scoring chances for Chicago. Brad Marchand broke up one on a good, hustling backcheck where he just got a piece of the shot, and on the second Tuukka Rask made a sweet butterfly save on a Michael Handzus-to-Sharp cross-ice pass in front of the net.
3) Another goal against for Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, partially bad luck and partially a tough pinch by Seidenberg that left him out of position and unable to set up around the net when Chicago made its offensive attack. Instead there was nobody to sweep the puck away from the front of the net, and Patrick Kane picked up a loose puck off a Jonathan Toews point shot that snapped Seidenberg’s stick when it made contact away from the net. Bruins defense never got set in front of the net because Seidenberg was caught way too deep in the offensive zone.
4) The Bruins are outhitting the Blackhawks by a 23-9 mark through the first period, and continuing to pound the Chicago defense. Clearly it’s designed to slow them down as things progress, but the Blackhawks are looking pretty fast after the first 20 minutes.
5) Zdeno Chara has been on the ice for six of Chicago’s last seven goals. That’s an amazing statistic, and it will be the Bruins’ undoing if it continues for much longer in the series. The B's are having a tough time neutralizing Kane and Toews at this point.
6) Carl Soderberg was pretty good in the first period, and had a couple of shots on net during one solid shift when he intercepted a Nick Leddy pass in the neutral zone.