BOSTON – Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Chicago Blackhawks 1-0 after the first 40 minutes at TD Garden:
1) Bruins had the better chances, the Blackhawks won the shot battle by a 9-6 margin and both teams didn’t really do much to stake their claim on the game. As one might expect, the Blackhawks are a much less dangerous team without Patrick Kane and a slightly easier team to play against without a guy such as Bryan Bickell in the lineup.
2) Patrice Bergeron update: One goal, five shot attempts, one registered hit and 10-of-12 face offs through two periods. I haven’t much noticed Jonathan Toews in this game.
3) Nothing to show for 8:28 of ice time for Kris Versteeg, who is usually much more noticeable against the team that drafted him, developed him, and then traded him to the Blackhawks in exchange for Brandon Bochenski.
4) Seventeen saves for Tuukka Rask, who has been stellar again through two periods.
5) Bruins could use a few more offensive chances in the third period. The pace of play really slowed down in the middle 20 minutes, but then again that’s exactly the kind of pact the Black and Gold would probably favor against the speedy, skilled Blackhawks.
Five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins leading the Blackhawks, 1-0:
1) Nice, respectful and honorable tribute to the Boston Fire Department during the pregame by the Boston Bruins including a moment of silence for Lt. Edward Walsh and firefighter Michael Kennedy. The Bruins season ticket holders dropping by the Boston Fire Department to donate their tickets for tonight’s game vs. the Blackhawks is exactly why hockey players and hockey fans are the best quality people from any of the four pro sports.
2) Patrice Bergeron has three shots on net, the only goal as he was redirecting a puck with Duncan Keith trying to hold him in check, and wins in 6-of-7 face-offs in the first period. It looks like No. 37 was waiting for this game after he limped to the finish of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final in this building with an assortment of serious injuries.
3) Matt Bartkowski is having an adventure at both ends of the ice. He’s having serious issues keeping up with guys like Brandon Saad in the defensive zone, but he also created Patrice Bergeron’s goal with a heads up shot pass to the front of the net as Bergeron was cruising through the slot area.
4) The Blackhawks came out firing on all cylinders outshooting the Bruins by a 6-1 margin to start the first period, but it appeared the Bruins had really stabilized things by the end of the period. It was another fast-paced, physical high-caliber game between two elite teams. I could absolutely watch this in the Stanley Cup Final again.
5) Corey Crawford looks like he’s fighting the puck a little bit for the Blackhawks. That might be something to watch a little more closely moving forward.