Chicago Blackhawks: Report Card
Game 4 Report Card: Chicago Blackhawks 6, Boston Bruins 5 (OT)
The chances and the scoring were spread out, led by the Hawks' top line which accounted for two goals in the second period. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane finished chances like they're supposed to while Patrick Sharp, playing on the second line, kept peppering Tuukka Rask to the tune of eight shots on net and a power-play goal. And don't forget Brandon Saad's play to set up Michal Handzus with the game's first tally back in the first period. Saad's turnover led to Boston's first score as well, but it was one of the few big mistakes the forward made -- though the Hawks took a couple of bad penalties, including both Toews and Kane. The defense helped the offense, getting shots through from the point and leading the rush. Winning 49 percent of the faceoffs helped as the Hawks reversed most trends on offense from Game 3.
The blueliners get points for contributing on offense, but power-play goals given up and lost battles in their own zone downgrade them. Johnny Oduya, in particular, had his struggles, including one glaring one in which he couldn't win the puck from Jaromir Jagr during an extended battle along the boards. Patrice Bergeron scored seconds later. Several shots on Corey Crawford came with more time and space than anyone would have liked. It was a tough night on defense but Michal Rozsival and Brent Seabrook helped save the day, contributing on offense.
It's rare to give a winning goaltender a near-failing grade, but Corey Crawford contributed to the Hawks giving up three leads. Though the Bruins had some good looks, Crawford simply could not track the puck with his glove. He kept missing. The only real excuse he had was on one of Bergeron's goals as the puck came off the glass behind Crawford and bounced back into the crease, where it was tough for the goalie to find. Otherwise, Crawford's glove was hit or miss all night.
It was a failing grade on Monday but the Hawks saved themselves with a short-handed tally and a big power-play goal, their first of the finals, in the third period. But two power-play goals by the Bruins offset any success the Hawks had on special teams. All of a sudden the Hawks aren't making the plays killing penalties they did all season and the Bruins are capitalizing. Besides the one power-play tally, the rest of the night with the man advantage was business as usual: bad.
Game 3 Report Card: Boston Bruins 2, Chicago Blackhawks 0
Since the power play includes offense, the grade fits. You could count on one hand the dangerous chances the Hawks had. Duncan Keith probably had one of the best of the night, moving in close on Tuukka Rask early in the game but he chose to pass instead of shoot. It was that kind of night for the Hawks, who seemingly never overcame the loss of Marian Hossa. The offensive lines looked out of sync all night and Hawks coach Joel Quenneville will undoubtedly go back to the drawing board between games, especially if Hossa is out for Game 4. Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp missed the net one too many times.
The defense played fine, neither distinguishing itself in a good or bad way. Michal Rozsival threw a blind pass around the boards in the Hawks' zone, which led to the scoring sequence on the Bruins' first goal, but it wasn't an awful turnover. The second goal came on the continuation of a five-on-three power play and there wasn't much Brent Seabrook could do after Jaromir Jagr made a perfect door-step pass to Patrice Bergeron. But that's all the Bruins would get on the night as the Hawks limited Boston to a manageable amount of good scoring chances, at least during five-on-five play.
Corey Crawford did all that he could, once again getting little help in front of him. The power-play goal came after a picture-perfect pass from Jagr, and Daniel Paille's tally to open the scoring was a good shot off a broken play by the Hawks as they tried to clear the zone. Crawford stopped 33, playing an overall decent game.
The Hawks' power play was brutal once again, getting just four shots on net in 8:11 of man-advantage time. The Bruins added insult to injury getting a power play goal of their own, making it 2-0. The Hawks have had no answers this entire series or postseason when on the power play. In fact it has taken momentum away more than it has given them a boost. Boston had better scoring chances on the Hawks' power play than the Hawks did. That says it all.