Because there needed to be a winner: Bruins 3, Blackhawks 2 (SO)

While we wait for the day when Joel Quenneville realizes how brutal Patrick Sharp is at the shootout, here are a couple things to chew on in the meantime.

–The Blackhawks power play.  Where do we start?  How about at the beginning.  The Hawks are unable to sustain any kind of momentum or pressure or whatever you want to call it if they don’t win the ensuing face-off from the penalty.  Why?

Well, it’s quite simple.  Their breakout is all sorts of nonsense.  Rather than making short easy passes to gain the blue line, they seem content to make 50 foot passes that have no chance of being completed.  On the rare occasion they do gain the blue line, their next problem comes from the first play off the entry.

Whether this is a new wrinkle in their scheme, after the first pass is made, the next move by the player receiving the puck is to ring the puck around the boards.  So after establishing possession and the opposition’s line, the Hawks immediately give it all back.  As an aside, this backfired big time tonight when the ring-around took a bad hop on Michael Frolik and sprung the Bruins on a 2-on-1 the other way for a short-handed goal.

Of course, there are other problems with the Hawks power play.  When their top unit establishes possession and actually completes a couple passes, Patrick Sharp is too busy constantly flying towards the crease.  Problem there is that when he does it too quickly (which is more often than not), the opposition is anticipating it and his side of the ice is effectively shut down by the two killers on the right side.

That’s without getting into all the odd man rushes coming the other way with Sharp below the hash marks but that was so last year.

Solving this problem is probably as simple as the Hawks trying to figure out what power play unit they want to be.  If they want to be a possession team, stop dumping the puck in after they establish the zone.  If they want to chip and chase, then do that.  Doing both, however, is not going to work.

–As for the rest of the game, each team took turns falling asleep at the wheel.  The encouraging thing is that the Hawks weren’t run out of the building like the last time these teams met.

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15 Responses to Because there needed to be a winner: Bruins 3, Blackhawks 2 (SO)

  1. Michael says:

    Duncan Keith’s lack of hustle on the second goal was a joke. You let Johnny Boychuck beat you to his own dump in so he can center it for the tying goal. JOHNNY FREAKING BOYCHUCK! Are you serious. Keith didn’t even bother to skate after that puck and Boychuck easily took advantage of it. If that lack of hustle was exhibited by any other player who was not considered to be part of the team’s precious core, their ass would have been glued to the bench for the rest of the period. Yet, Duncan Keith continues to make these types of bonehead plays yet never misses a shift. Oh and how many times is this guy gonna have control of the puck on the power play in the neutral zone only to rag the puck back all the way into our zone and then attempt a 100 foot pass that ends up getting cleared right back into our end. Everybody said this guy just needed some rest. Well, he had the whole summer to rest and I don’t see anything different thus far in his play from last year. Also, Hossa is out of the lineup AGAIN. Here’s another guy who had his injuries blamed on a lack of rest between seasons. He has the whole summer off and he’s out of the lineup four games into the regular season. Ridiculous.

  2. John says:

    That goal had more to do with Keith and Leddy having the chemistry of two guys who met 15 minutes ago than any lack of hustle. If you watch the play again, they each look at the other for a second before either makes their move. Boychuk never stopped, so I’m not sure that no hustle theory has any kind of merit.

  3. Michael says:

    Well I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on that play. The puck is on his side of the ice, so why he would even be looking at Leddy at that point is beyond me. What in God’s name did he think Leddy was going to do? Skate across ice and dig the puck out of the corner. That was Keith’s side and if he skates back even half assed toward the corner he beats Boychuck to the puck and that play never happens. I will agree with you though in the respect that the pairing of those two needs to come to an end.

  4. Cam says:

    Hawks squander too many good scoring chances and still have too much dead weight on the roster. Nothing new there. Oh, and Hossa’s hurt. Also nothing new.

    I suppose the one difference from last year is that they–thanks to the goal post–didn’t lose in regulation and got a point.

    All this supposed talent, you’d think they could find someone who could finish a Kane pass.

  5. John says:

    Leddy was closer to the puck than Keith which is why he thought he would’ve been there. It’s a play that happens in every single game. Generally though, the paired defensemen have an idea of what the other one is going to do and can react accordingly. That is obviously not the case with these two.

    But again, lack of hustle had nothing to do with that play.

  6. Jim says:

    Skating “lazy” Duncan Keith is a problem a lot of teams would like to have. I think fixing the power play would be a better place to start than benching Duncan Keith for the remainder of the game.

  7. BobbyJet says:

    Are you kidding me John? Keith is playing shinny out there … has been for a while. You expect Leddy to make mistakes but it is Keith’s lack of intensity that is so frustrating to witness, game in and game out. I’d sit him out next game, and give him something to think about.

  8. John says:

    Scratching him is not even close to a real solution at this point.

  9. Michael says:

    Keith simply gave up on that play. You say it’s a play that happens every game. Well, the play I see happening every game is when a guy dumps the puck into the zone as Boychuck did, the d-man on that side of the ice will turn and chase after the puck. Hell watch how many times Hjalmarsson gets pasted into the board because he is skating back to get to a dump in with the opposing player right on him. If the puck was fired in hard and went around to the other side, then obviously, I would have said it’s Leddy’s puck to get. Maybe that’s what Keith was expecting to happen, but it didn’t and he looked bad on that play. Also, I never said anything about scratching him from a game, but skipping him for a couple of shifts might send a message that his intensity level can’t be what it was last year. I also thought we padded our defensive depth so Keith didn’t have to play big minutes, yet here we are with him playing 25 to 28 minutes a night. It’s ridiculous. And on the power play I cringe any time I see the puck on his stick. He rags the puck, wasting precious time and then tries hitting a home run pass, which 99.9% of the time does not work. This gives the other team an easy clear, wasting more power play time. How many times does our first unit, including Keith, take over a minute just to get the puck into the opposing zone? It’s amazing to me that the Hawks can put out a line of Toews, Hossa, Kane, Sharp and Keith, and yet generate little to nothing on the power play.

  10. BobbyJet says:

    Well Keith obviously doesn’t get it. One only has to listen to his post game interviews to realize that he doesn’t think he is doing anything wrong. He gave us some convincing lip service about his Stanley Cup hangover, but this hangover is setting records for it’s longevity. Actions speak louder than words and Q needs to get the message to him in no uncertain terms.

  11. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    I am not ready to scratch or bench Keith, but I’d really like to have him partnered up with Seabrook. Would it be the worst thing to more Leddy down to you 3rd pairing? ALSO I’m sick of John Scott skating as a winger on the forth line, he honestly can’t play, hopefully this gets sorted out when Hoss returns, but I not understanding the extra d-man as a 4th line winger decision.

  12. rich Lindbloom says:

    Thanks for the insightful observations on the PP. I do recall seeing one really dumb home run pass to I think Toews, who was the only Hawk over the center line at that point with four Bruins on him. A terrible play – stupid.

    it’s way too early in the season to start clamoring for Keith’s head on a platter.

    On a side note, it appeared 5/6 acquited themselves quite adequately, no?

  13. Tuke says:

    I have to agree with Michael on the notion that Keith gave up or didn’t hustle enough on that dump in. I noticed as soon as it happened. If Keith had skated a little harder instead of coasting as he did he beats Boychuk to that puck.

  14. Ben says:

    Having looked at Blackhawk Up’s analysis, I think Keith, having got into a bad position on the dump in, did little wrong and both defencemen were in a decent position when the puck was behind the net. Look at the forwards, who allowed a 4-on-2 to develop. Leddy did everything right.

  15. John says:

    Leddy is not blameless on that play. If anything the screenshot shows the lack of anticipation on Leddy’s part and the lack of awareness on Keith’s part. Keith pinches up on Boychuk assuming his partner will be covering his move. Keith assumes that Leddy was standing somewhere near “E” on “FACE-OFF”. He obviously wasn’t. If Keith actually knew where Leddy was, he would’ve been more inclined to give Boychuk the blue line and take his chances. Leddy should’ve anticipated Keith’s pinch and Boychuk’s dump-in better and put himself into a position where the puck was a clean scoop for him.

    Both guys made an initial goof-up but did a nice job making up for it in their coverage following the breakdown. The forwards, specifically Toews and Sharp, did not.

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