Up and down points to Blackhawks
(NHL.com credit Bruce Bennett)

The outcomes of this game after regulation could not have been more different from a Chicago perspective.

In 60 minutes, the Blackhawks scored five goals against the Boston Bruins vaunted defence. Only one of which came at an advantage (with Handzus’ at a disadvantage). They controlled possession for roughly 65% of the regulation time. They even scored a powerplay goal to give a shot in the arm to a unit that couldn’t find the opposing blue line to save its life. At the end of that regulation, the game was tied.

If Chicago loses this game, a three game uphill climb required sherpas that not even the deep pockets of Wirtz Beverage Co. can afford.

Instead, we’re looking at a best of three series with the Blackhawks holding home ice advantage.  There’s a lot to look at here, but let’s just soak in some highlights and glances because we’ve got two days to prepare for a tilt at the UC that is going to put one team a victory from hoisting the chalice.

    • For the first time in a while, the Blackhawks penalty kill looked less than human. The first goal allowed on the kill was one of three dick kicks the Hawks took tonight, this one with just :03 left on the kill. The second PPG against was a result of Jaromir Jagr and his Crisco sponsorship continuing to dash the hopes of Blackhawks fans.. even two decades after he first did in ’92. Still, the Hawks were shorthanded six times tonight which, at in its purest form, is unacceptable. The kill can’t be expected to return flawless results when seeing that much usage, but tonight they were off at a bad time. At least they weren’t shorthanded in the extra session.
    • Duncan Keith’s red ass was a problem for the first twenty minutes. After that? Keith was the best defender on the ice, including Chara.
    • 29-19-88 is most enjoyable if only for the fact that it requires Claude Julien to make a decision that isn’t opening the bench door.
    • Michal Rozsival played more minutes than anyone but Duncan Keith and the guy in the net. He and Bryan Bickell’s agents are eating at whatever high class joints the beat writers were at while Hossa was getting treatment for whatever. 32 played on the kill, on the powerplay and at even strength. He’s part of the depth that made sure Chicago outlasted the Bruins tonight and it took me until now to really realize the value he’s brought at $2M this season. Speaking of the depth…

    • I could not be happier for Marcus Kruger and Michael Frolik on this play. These two have busted their asses for four rounds, much of their contributions coming while shorthanded. It was nice to see that work come to light in the form of a mention on the scoresheet.
    • Back to the top line. Reunited after a three game absence and now they’ve produced six goals in three games. I’m looking forward to more of the chaos they create in terms of matchups for Claude Julien. Especially when the luxury of last change isn’t available.
    • -15: the CORSI of the leading scoring line of the playoffs. They play for the Bruins.
    • When you have a worse CORSI than the goaltender, Andrew Ference, even Bruce Boudreau thinks you’re a defensive liability.
    • Patrice Bergeron was the only forward who produced more scoring chances while on the ice than he allowed for the Bruins. It’d be preferable if the Bruins took the cap hit for the performance bonus the Selke sometimes provides instead of Toews. He earned that cap penalty because he tilts the ice in favor of his own team more than 19 in an Indian Head does.
    • Missed you, Marian.

Load up on nachos because there’s two more wins for one of these teams to capture before they can hoist the Cup. It’s an even series and it’s coming back home to Chicago.