Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final lasted awhile.
While the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins came into the series expecting to enjoy two days off between the first two games, they technically only got one. Game 1 dragged on into day 2 after the Blackhawks forced extra time with a late, game-tying goal, then made like Wilson Pickett and waited 'til the midnight hour to score in double OT.
It was just the first time in these playoffs that the Bruins have lost a game they led after the first period.
So what went wrong? Simply put, Chicago got the breaks."Two of the goals are off of shots going wide," Bruins' coach Claude Julien said, referring to the Blackhawks' game-tying and game-winning tallies. "One hit our player's skate, the other is a double tip. You attribute that to hockey breaks."
"At the same time what we did to Pittsburgh is nice. But you have to realize it was circumstances in that series, too. Doesn't mean you're going to be able to do that, hold teams to two goals-against, in a whole series."
Julien's right. Versus the Penguins, everything broke the Bruins' way. Not so in their first meeting with the Presidents' Trophy-winning Hawks.
Still, while the Blackhawks were up all night to get lucky in Game 1, there's more the Bruins can do to tip the scales of fortune in their favour in Game 2. For one thing, they need to limit Chicago's shot attempts by spending far less time in their own end of the ice.
The Blackhawks outshot the Bruins 63 to 54, which is, on its own, not all that damning a discrepancy. But those are just the shots that got through. Chicago had another 40 blocked and 29 miss the net for a total of 132 shots attempted to Boston's 85.
By this metric, they outshot the Bruins almost 2 to 1.
Do that, and things are going to work out in your favour more often than not. Chicago got the hockey breaks, there's no doubt about it, but they gave themselves 47 more opportunities to get them.
Want to win the lottery? Buy more tickets. Or, in the case of the Draft, have more balls. On Wednesday, the Blackhawks had more balls.
Julien didn't feel that the Bruins needed to make any major adjustments to reverse this trend in Game 2. They just need to make like Archie Bell and do the tighten up.
"There's a lot of areas, as I mentioned the other day," he said. "We had a couple bad line changes. Little details in games make a big difference. A lot of it is more about little details. So it's nothing major. Things that are easily correctable."
"We just have to have better focus tonight on those little details and hopefully swing the pendulum our way."
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