I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Claude Julien is the best coach in the NHL, and this is the best team he’s ever coached. The Boston Bruins were down 2-0 in the second period, but at no point was I realistically considering the prospect of losing this game to the Detroit Red Wings.
The series is basically over at this point. Yes, I know we were up 3-1 on Toronto, and 3-0 on the Flyers in recent playoff series, only to fall on their faces. But this Red Wings team isn’t either of those teams. That first line with Kessell last season was a million times scarier than any I’ve seen so far from Detroit. Seriously, this team just hasn’t put the fear of God in me for a second.
I have no idea how Claude does it. Can any of my hockey people out there please explain to me how his defense COMPLETELY shuts down Tuukka’s right hand side? It would be easy to explain if that was Zdeno Chara’s side of the ice, but it’s not. More often than not he mans Tuukka’s LEFT hand side. Just look at the 34 shots the Red Wings had on Tuukka tonight. Here’s the 1st period:
You’ll notice that just 3 of the 15 shots came from Tuukka’s right hand side. The second period was the Bruins’ strongest defensive effort:
Detroit took four shots from point blanks, one from the left and one from the right. So once again, Tuukka’s left hand side was completely shut down. Notice how the Bruins’ shots on net come from all over the ice. Here’s the 3rd period breakdown:
They took 12 shots, and ONE of them was from Tuukka’s left hand side. I assume this has something to do with the fact that most shooters are right handed, but it shouldn’t be this dramatic. Tuukka doesn’t even have to turn his body most of the game. Then overtime came. It was pretty obvious from the start that the only way the Bruins could lose was with a fluke fuck up, which never happened. Here was the shot breakdown:
Absolutely dominant. Once again, the Bruins shot selection looks like a freaking butterfly. As long as this is the Bruins game plan they simply can’t lose. Tuukka will be able to exclusively focus on one side of the ice while his counterpart will constantly have to keep his head on a swivel. It’s simply not fair.
Time to start thinking about Montreal. Make no doubt about it, the winner of this series will represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals. I know everyone’s going to hype up the Pittsburgh Penguins, but I laugh at that. The Penguins are a terrible fraud team that’s way too soft to win in the playoffs. Geno Malkin has been a postseason no show since 2010, and Theo Fleury might be the worst goaltender in hockey. They’ve literally shit their pants in both losses to the mighty Columbus Blue Jackets, including last night’s debacle.
The Canadiens are legit though. They’re one of the hottest teams in hockey, and they’ll bring out every trick in the bag in order to beat us. It’s gonna be awesome. Just take care of these peons real quick on Saturday and we can get back to focusing on the greatest rivalry in sports.
Feel free to share your thoughts to keep the conversation going.