The Boston Bruins had Game 1 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals, but the Chicago Blackhawks just informed them they aren’t pushovers. After almost three full overtimes, Chicago prevailed at about 1:00 am on the east coast. The Bruins are now down in a series for the first time all postseason.
When I say the Bruins had this game, there was no finer example than Kaspars Daugavins‘ spoon-fed opportunity midway through the third overtime.
Taking a feed from Torey Krug, the man they call “rooster” had Chicago goalie Corey Crawford beat beyond belief. However, instead of just redirecting the puck in and sending everyone home to the beds they were so craving, he decided to deke around Crawford and go for a backhand attempt.
The problem with this was that it allowed Chicago defenders to get back into the play, breaking up the shot and sending Daugavins flying.
This is the Stanley Cup Finals, where the goal is to win a championship, not a spot on a top-10 plays montage. Daugavins is young and doesn’t have a ton of NHL experience, but by choosing a fancy route towards a shot attempt, he passed up a game-winner that Chicago gladly took minutes later.
Next time, just tap it in.
Once again, Nathan Horton was having an unreal postseason, and once again, it looks like it has been derailed in the final round.
Horton appeared to injure his shoulder late in the game, and it looked pretty bad. He didn’t return to the game, and now one is left to wonder if yet again his playoff road ends before the Stanley Cup Finals does.
He became a source of motivation for the Bruins in 2011 when an illegal hit from Vancouver Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome left him concussed and unable to finish the series. Like this year, he was having an outstanding postseason that included some of the most memorable game-winners in team history.
Losing Horton would be a huge blow to the Bruins, as shown tonight when a shortened bench led to many players gassing earlier than planned. When he went down in 2011, Boston had Tyler Seguin waiting in the wings. Unfortunately, the options the team has now don’t exactly have the same potential. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery.
Surprisingly, it turns out winning a Stanley Cup won’t be the cakewalk it was playing out to be.
Twice in Game 1, Boston pulled ahead for a two-goal lead, and each time they fumbled it away. Unfortunately, when you go through the path the Bruins just endured in the past two rounds, you can’t blame them for assuming a game is over when they get a lead.
The New York Rangers looked beyond hapless, and the Pittsburgh Penguins just unraveled the second Boston took the lead. What should’ve been two grinding series for the Bruins turned out to be practically stress-free.
Well, now they know that won’t be the case here. Chicago is just way too well-rounded a team, and after coming back from a 3-1 series deficit against the Detroit Red Wings, you know they won’t be wilting any time soon. Boston can’t afford to assume a lead is safe at any point in this tilt. Before they know it, the Blackhawks will make it disappear. We saw just as much tonight.
Consider Game 1 a sample of what to expect for the next week or so. This is about as evenly billed a Stanley Cup Finals we’ve seen in quite some time, and tonight surely won’t be the only time a game is decided by one goal. In fact, its not a leap to assume all of them will be.
Buckle up. The ride is just beginning.