Cherry on Top

If you haven’t been checking out The Copper and Blue after each Cup Finals game, you’re missing out on some fantastic work.  Speaking for our own website, our thoughts are generally instant reactions and off-the-cuff thoughts.  It’s always good to get some analytical evidence to further dissect what we all just witnessed and that’s exactly what they’ve been doing.

After two games, there is no question the Hawks top line has been Brouwer-Sharp-Hossa and the numbers certainly back that up.  Hossa, in particular, is a fire-breathing dragon.  (Don’t worry, though, he scored a goal in the last game so he justified his existence to the short-sighted.)  The Flyers have yet to find a line that can match-up with them.  While the Briere line had its way with Toews’ group in Game 1, they found themselves sinking when matched up against Hossa and company.  

With the final change in the next two games, this is the big decision Laviolette has to make going into Game 3.  Will he use his top line to try and negate the Hawks best line or will he hope Claude Giroux’s line is capable of stepping up?  Something to watch for, for sure.  

At that point, you would hope the Toews line can start capitalizing.

–Meant to bring this up in the bullet points last night but the Troy Brouwer we knew and loved in the regular season has officially returned.  He’s back to playing with a ton of confidence with the puck and making plays.  About halfway through the second period, he made a nifty little pivot move with the puck to escape a Flyer defender and that’s when I knew he was back for good.     

–The Copper and Blue also been on a crusade for some time to prove that Dave Bolland isn’t the great shutdown center the media wants you to believe he is.  After seeing the hellstorm Bob faced for merely suggesting Bolland’s value may never be higher than this summer, it’s interesting to see an impartial party go further inside the numbers than strictly using the eye-test.

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11 Responses to Cherry on Top

  1. Razzberry says:

    More accurately, they’ve shown that Bolland obliterated Sedin in the Vancouver series, but he wasn’t nearly as effective against Thornton despite what the media would have us all believe.

  2. Derek Zona says:

    More accurately, they’ve shown that Bolland obliterated Sedin in the Vancouver series, but he wasn’t nearly as effective against Thornton despite what the media would have us all believe.

    This! This is what I’ve said from the beginning. Bolland beat up on Sedin something fierce – he held Henrik to at least half (maybe more) of his regular season scoring chance rates and beat him on the chances tote board on his own.

    Against Thornton, he wasn’t nearly as effective through the series. Thornton increased his scoring chance rate against Bolland and beat him handily on the overall chances. I said from game one on that he was there to run interference for the other two lines.

    The funny thing is that I really like Bolland (though not as much as Versteeg) and the Hawks in general, it’s the media and the silliness of the narrative that I can’t stand.

    Hossa beat the hell out of the Sharks in every way possible, but because he wasn’t scoring he was “in a funk”. Pure B.S. He was the best Hawk on the ice (except for maybe Niemi) for that entire series. Bolland got beat up by Thornton, but because of his work against Sedin, the media gave him a pass.

    The same goes for Couture the other way. Couture was the most consistent Shark on the ice for the entire duration of the playoffs, but the media was too wrapped up in Pavelski to even look.

    Thanks for reading, all.

  3. Royze1 says:

    Didn’t Joe eat Bolland’s lunch to the tune of 1 assist (on the pp btw) for the series? I’ll take that from him. It’s all about the team anyhow. I know you are all big believers in the CORSI numbers. OK fine but defense is a team concept and CORSI doesn’t have a concept or wiggle room. If I’m wrong about that my apologies. IMO the reason the Hawks killed the Sedin line was Daniel lost his mind at the first sign the Hawks actually meant to play hockey in game 2 and stayed in the idiot zone the whole series, thank you Stupid. They also showed with a little attention Samuelsson is much more 3rd line than 1st line. Those 2 factors killed Henrik’s chances of hurting the Blackhawks.

    All the teams that are playing the Hawks are singing the same song, “We out shot them, we out chanced them, we should be winning, waaaaa” Well where are your shots coming from & how much work to find the puck is the goalie having to do? I don’t care if you shoot 500 times, if the goalie is NHL caliber and playing well he’s going to eat the shots he sees all the way up. The Hawks forwards do a great job of making guys go around them to the outside to get to the net and keeping the shooting lanes clear. They also don’t spend a lot of time hacking away in front of the net when someone does get there. It’s just another body the goalie has to see around, so they usually stay pretty patient and wait until the shot is taken to start tying up sticks or crashing the crease.

    But now that we have to deal with The Daniel Carcillo Effect I have no clue how Q finds a way to keep the Hawks from going back to Canada early. Clearly they can’t win now. Jeez the only people happier than NBC to see that fool are the owners of Feldco.

  4. AC says:

    It’s great to see more of the intelligent writing about the impact that Hossa has had this playoff season. Whenever he steps on the ice, he is a monster and typically the best player on the ice. Scoring helps sell the ignorant on his ability, but the real fan can see what he brings. Hossa has truly shown he is a top 5 two-way player.

  5. Big Tony says:

    Well said. Hossa brings way more than goals to a team. Just look at him the past couple games. He looks like he’s gonna let nothing stop him from sipping from the Cup. That rubs off on thr other guys.

  6. John says:

    @Derek–You can have Versteeg and Bolland for the #1 pick.

    @Royze–I find the numbers C n’ B produces to be much easier to comprehend than Corsi which is why I recommended checking them out. Corsi certainly has its fair share of flaws. You’ll get no argument from me on that.

  7. Mark Giangreco Roman Wrestler says:

    Bolland’s horrible faceoff percentage certainly has to be a big factor to having a poor Corsi. If he’s playing the other team’s best and giving them the puck to start 2/3’rds of the time, you’re going to give up shots.

  8. Derek Zona says:

    Didn’t Joe eat Bolland’s lunch to the tune of 1 assist (on the pp btw) for the series? I’ll take that from him.

    In the short-term, you can take it, but it hides the true story of what was going on. And that’s fine for some people.

    Those same people are the ones complaining about Hossa.

  9. Derek Zona says:

    You can have Versteeg and Bolland for the #1 pick

    Who do you think you’re dealing with, Kevin Lowe? 🙂

  10. Royze1 says:

    Here’s why for me none of these stats of a vs b work. It’s not a man up defense league. A & B aren’t guarding each other exactly, so you can’t say like in other sports he went 0 for or scored x points more so he dominated. I’m not a Bolland apologist, but from where he started the playoffs vs Nashville his game has made a huge improvement. He was slow and unphysical to start the playoffs, where both have improved quite a bit since.

    Because I think Bolland is performing pretty well now doesn’t mean for a second I think there is now or ever was anything wrong with Hossa. Although I do think he looked unconfident with the puck in game 4 vs the Sharks, but the days off certainly took care of that. I think he is the best forward on this team & I love watching him play hockey.

  11. John says:

    Totally agree with what you’re saying. However, I think a lot of the hyperbole with Bolland is getting blown way out of proportion. He’s having a teriffic postseason especially considering how horrendous he was in the first round. At the same time, he’s not Bryan Trottier.

    Basically the whole point of the argument since the Vancouver series ended is that Antti Niemi is more responsible for shutting down the opposition’s best player, not Bolland.

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