Bruins Must Do More Than Generate Scoring Opportunities vs. Blackhawks


Mar 24, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) talks with left wing Brad Marchand (63) during the second period against the Montreal Canadiens at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Stanley Cup Rematch in Boston

At the TD Garden tomorrow night, the Boston Bruins will look to bounce back to their winning ways following a 2-1 home loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

They will face the Chicago Blackhawks, the former Western Conference champions that overcame the Bruins to snatch Lord Stanley’s mug last season, in a matchup that should stimulate the senses for any hockey fan.

Obviously, the Blackhawks lead the NHL in the “goals for” category with 244 goals scored. The next team closest to that number is the St. Louis Blues exhibiting 233 scores.

Now, you could say the Blackhawks maintain an explosive offensive game fundamentally because of Patrick Kane, the Blackhawks’ overall points and assists leader for most of the season.

The Hawks did lose Kane to a somewhat serious leg injury that will sideline him for the remainder of the regular season.

Still, Chicago has worthy goalscorers–primarily Jonathan ToewsPatrick Sharp and Marian Hossaeach having tallied over 25 goals this season.

Sharp’s a veteran with a nose for goal and a great hockey intelligence when roaming the ice. Toews is arguably one of the best playmakers in the league displaying exceptional vision, positioning and skating ability. He’s also a key contributor on defense. Don’t forget Hossa, a future Hall-of-Famer who’s strong on the puck, has quality hands and plays aggressive, consistent defense for a forward.

The Bruins have the best defense in the league when all forwards are playing constant two-way hockey, generating substantial back check and impeding possible shooting lanes. It requires an tough, determined group of skaters to present that type of defending, and the majority of Bruins’ players fit that mold.

Unfortunately, for the B’s, the heartbreaking defeat at the hand of Montreal didn’t occur on the basis of not creating enough scoring chances. They totaled 28 shots on net, and many of those opportunities were severely threatening, so the Bruins can’t be content with just bombarding the net with shots.

That’s why finishing must be a major emphasis for Boston in this one.

Patience surveying the offensive end, and getting as many bodies in front of Corey Crawford as possible are among several keys to the game from this “finishing” standpoint.

Jarome Iginla, the Bruins’ hot hand as of late tallying eight goals in the seven games, and Patrice Bergeron, generally regarded as Mr. Clutch, are players to watch as the Bruins’ attempt to outduel the Blackhawks tomorrow night.