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Game 2 preview; Bruins look to tie series at 1-1 before returning to Boston

June 4, 2011

After a crushing 1-0 loss against the Canucks in Game 1, a game the Bruins were poised to steal, Game 2 suddenly becomes a must-win if they want to win their first Stanley Cup in 39 years. Raffi Torres‘ goal with 18.5 seconds left in the third period gave the Canucks the Game 1 victory. Historically, 86% of home teams and about 80% of all teams who win Game 1 in the Cup Final win the series. A win in Game 2 would go a long way to climbing out of that statistic.

The major stories between Game 1 and Game 2 are coming from Vancouver. Alex Burrows will not face any discipline from the League for his bite on Patrice Bergeron because the league said that there was no definitive proof despite the video, bite marks, and general common sense. I personally don’t think Burrows should have been suspended, it being the Cup Finals, but saying that there was no proof is insulting to fans. If the league had come out and said, “we saw it, Burrows is on watch and if he does anything in the future he will be dealt with but given the circumstances we saw a suspension unfair.” people would have been fine with it.

Secondly, Dan Hamhuis, who left Game 1 and did not return, didn’t practice yesterday and although he is listed as day-to-day it looks unlikely that he’ll play in Game 2. If not former Bruin Andrew Alberts could fill his spot in the lineup. Hamhuis logged upwards of 25 minutes in the last round and has been an big part of the Canucks defense, Alberts will be a stop-gap as everyone gets bumped up a peg.

Lastly, Manny Malhotra, who suffered a terrible eye injury earlier this season is being called a game-time decision. Many thought he wouldn’t return at all this year after the horrific injury was close to taking his entire career away. Malhotra hasn’t played since mid-March and would most likely be playing on the scarcely used fourth line but his faceoff abilities could cause headaches for the Bruins in key situations. If he does play I wouldn’t be surprised to see Malhotra take key draws then skate off the ice as soon as he can.

The Bruins aren’t skating today and most likely aren’t changing much from Game 1. Zdeno Chara continued to work down low on the power-play and the lines likely won’t change. Rich Peverley could get some shifts on the second line if Mark Recchi continues to look every bit of his 43 years. Peverley has often double-shifted on the second line to give Recchi a blow and has a bit of chemistry going with Bergeron.

The main change I would look to is on the power-play. There’s no reason that Chara should be down low if you think about it. Milan Lucic was born to play in front of the net. If the Bruins just stick him there, take Recchi off the power-play and get Tyler Seguin a little more time the power-play would open up. Roberto Luongo can be taken out of his game when obstructed and Lucic is far better suited to be a net-front presence. Plus, losing Chara’s shot on the point is too big a threat to take away from an 8% power-play.

I don’t have much of a feel for tonight’s game yet but expect the Bruins to play with desperation tonight. They’ve always bounced back well from losses and had a lot to build off of from that loss. The Canucks best attribute is team speed and if the Bruins can counter that somehow they should be able to sustain more of an offense tonight.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 4, 2011 6:21 PM

    Canucks fan here. Nice well written blog you have here. Here’s to an entertaining tilt tonight.


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