Skip to content

Bruins attack plan for Game 2: Stress out Roberto Luongo

Jun 3, 2011, 1:04 AM EDT

Dan Hamhuis, Zdeno Chara, Roberto Luongo AP

One of the keys to success for the Bruins to try and beat the Canucks in the Stanley Cup finals is figuring out a way to beat Roberto Luongo. After Luongo’s 36-save shutout in Game 1 that saw a lot of his saves come on shots from a good distance away from the net, that’s not a good way for the Bruins to get Luongo out of his comfort zone.

While the Bruins again had their own sorts of issues on the power play, the main way they’re going to get success is to get Luongo feeling stressed out in goal. By increasing their presence around the net and making him work even harder than he already is, they can wear him down to the point that he can slip up in his form in goal and increase the Bruins chances of scoring.

Saying that and doing that are two entirely different things, however, and the Bruins know it. As for how they’ll try and go about things in Game 2 on Saturday night (8 p.m. ET on NBC), veteran Bruins forward Mark Recchi tells Joe Haggerty of CSN New England that they’ve got some ideas.

“You always think you can be harder on a team. You’ve got to make it tougher on every goalie . . . whether you think you played a perfect game or not,” said Mark Recchi, who is chief among the players expected to start fighting with more ferocity in front of the blue paint. “He’s a great goalie and you’ve got to make him work.”

Recchi continued: “Obviously you always need to have traffic. They’re going to try to get in front of Timmy, and that’s what all of our jobs are as players is to get in front there to try and make it as hard as you can.”

Big guys like Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton can get physical in front of the net on the Vancouver defensemen and make life trickier on Roberto Luongo,but  it’s up to them to stir things up. With Zdeno Chara planting himself in front of the net on the power play, they could use that to their advantage. They weren’t totally able to do that in Game 1 but they’ll have to do it in Game 2 to avoid heading home down 2-0 in the series.

The one thing potentially working against Boston with that strategy is how Luongo’s matured and improved his mental focus this season and especially in the playoffs. The last two years in the postseason Dustin Byfuglien ran roughshod over the Vancouver defense in front of the net and made Luongo’s life a living hell. While Chicago caused him problems again in this year’s playoffs, guys milling around his net haven’t been the problem it has been in the past for Luongo. Instead, he’s let it roll off his back and he’s kept his cool.

It’s that brand of Zen focus the Bruins will need to break. Doing that while not running afoul of the law and drawing penalties makes for a tricky endeavor. If the Bruins can find a way, however, they might find the breaks they’re looking for to help even up the series.

  1. andyinsdca - Jun 3, 2011 at 1:19 AM

    While Luongo did look unbeatable, he did cough up a few really bad rebounds/blocks (so did Timmah!), but I think that if the Bruins cash in on one bad bounce, they will be in Luongo’s head and he becomes very beatable.

  2. tommytd - Jun 3, 2011 at 3:43 AM

    Watch some Blackhawks film and you can figure it out. Get a big body in front of him and keep that big body there!

    • govtminion - Jun 3, 2011 at 9:24 AM

      Have you met my good friend Zdeno? 😉

      • hystoracle - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:04 AM

        wrong big body. doesn’t have the hands and his much more dangerous from the point. Lucic would be better has better hands. Just get Bodies there that can capitalize on rebounds. Hell, it could be old man Recchi. Just need the will to be there and make Luongo’s life difficult.

  3. pucknbeans - Jun 3, 2011 at 7:44 AM

    Even though both teams power plays went 0-6, I don’t think that will last too long. Van was doing alot of Academy-worthy diving, as well as plenty of post-whistle thuggery to try draw retaliation calls. Fortunately, it didn’t work. At least 2-3 calls against B’s were questionable at best, and there were several non-calls, most notably regarding Burrows apparent oral fixation, and a possible off-sides that led to the game-winning goal. To the zebras, I say, put away the whistles, or call everything. The porential is there for them to unduly influence the outcome of the game (series), and that would have Lord Stanley rolling in his grave. THAT would be a travesty.

    • hystoracle - Jun 3, 2011 at 10:07 AM

      I find it funny hearing Bruin fan complain about another team diving. Have you watched Bruins n the playoffs the flop with the best of them. Case in point Tim Thomas of canucks 5-on-3 in game 1. Diving is not mutually exclusive to either team. It really just shows how gullible these officials are in this league.

  4. polegojim - Jun 3, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    So, basically the Bruins are saying that they showed up for game one and thought they’d ‘see how it went’, and THEN put a game plan in place for game 2?

    This ‘new’ game 2 strategy has ALWAYS been the best way to beat Luongo. Would’ve been nice to kick off game one with that realization. What’s a coaches job again?

    When you lose the series 4-3, remember that you used game 1 for practice. Not smart.

  5. jpelle82 - Jun 3, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    chara needs to be back on the point for the pp. put lucic in front. chara had two good chances in 4 minute pp in the first period last game but couldnt finish and the rebounds skittered away from him. he doesnt have the hands to clean up the bouncing pucks or rebounds in front. yes he is a big screen but he got cleared out and up ended a few times, his center of gravity is too high to be stationary in front like that. the nucks were getting under him and kept his stick and skates off the ice too easily. plus they need that big bomb from the point, kaberle aint gonna cut it and seidenberg seems more willing to pass than shoot up there.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (1686)
  2. P. Kessel (1455)
  3. M. Richards (1212)
  4. P. Datsyuk (1072)
  5. N. Backstrom (1031)