I argued at the start of the series that the Bruins would win because they had a better team-first attitude then the Pittsburgh Penguins. That attitude started at Boston Bruins’ president(and living legend) Cam Neely, and goes all the way down to the players. This attitude is what brought Boston to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second time in three years.
“I think before the series was started people probably didn’t believe it, but we believed we could beat them.” said captain Zdeno Chara after game four. “It’s a team game. All five guys need to be committed, especially when their big guys are on the ice. It’s what it is all about when you have every player on the same page, and committed to do whatever it takes.”
Big Z understands that all too well. In the final minute of period three, the Penguins pulled their goalie in order to tie the game. The attacking Penguins had finally gotten Tuukka Rask out of his crease, and it looked like they were going to get the tie goal in. Zdeno Chara went down to block the shot, and was able to stop the puck from going in with his left hand. Those few seconds bought Tuukka the time to get back in net and save the game and lock up the series.
Chara spearheaded the defense for Boston. Going into the post-season, Pittsburgh’s lowest goal total over a four game stretch at any point in the regular season was nine. The Bruins were able to keep the Penguins to less than a quarter of that in the series. As we all know, Evgeni Malkin , Jarome Iginla(who balked at an eleventh hour deal to go to Pittsburgh(How’d that work out for ya, Jarome?)),and Sidney Crosby were blanked. Kris Letang was an abysmal -7. Tomas Vokoun gave up three goals in the first game, and three in the first period of the second.
The Bruins will need to maintain that layered defense to go against the Chicago Blackhawks. Game one of the Stanley Cup Final will be in Chicago, on Wednesday night. The puck drops at 8:05, and once again the NBC network will be covering the game. Yea, that’s right everyone. At least four more games of Pierre McGuire. On the bright side, at least we won’t hear about Sidney Crosby.