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Bruins go ‘above and beyond’ to take 2-1 series lead

Jun 18, 2013, 12:00 AM EDT

Patrice Bergeron Getty Images

The Boston Bruins won the battles in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden. Their reward was a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks and a 2-1 lead in the series.

Faceoffs are a kind of battle, and the Bruins won 40 out of 56 of those tonight. That’s a success rate of 71.4 percent, and it came against players like Jonathan Toews and Michal Handzus, two of the best faceoff men in the game.

Boston’s star two-way center, Patrice Bergeron, went 24-4 in the circle — that’s 85.7 percent — and scored a power-play goal for good measure.

Toews, this year’s Selke Trophy winner and the 2010 playoff MVP, went a mediocre 8-11 and hasn’t scored in his last 10 games.

Handzus went an embarrassing 0-for-10, with eight of those losses to Bergeron.

Of course, the most important battle of the night was won by Game 2 hero Daniel Paille. Early in the second period, he out-worked Chicago center Dave Bolland in front of the Blackhawks’ goal and snapped the puck past Corey Crawford for the opening score of the contest. And that play was preceded by Bruins forward Chris Kelly winning a battle with Nick Leddy.

The NHL doesn’t track battles, other than faceoffs. But it’s those feats of determination that so often decide games.

“We got to make sure that every play is critical,” said Chicago coach Joel Quenneville, “every shift is important, value being out there and doing the right thing.”

Meanwhile, Bruins coach Claude Julien thinks his team is “playing the best hockey of the season right now.”

“I think it’s the energy in the game, the effort,” said Julien. “You see our guys, like I said, they’re back-checking, having layers, so when somebody makes a mistake, you have somebody covering up.

“We’re blocking a lot of shots. The commitment is totally there.

“Throughout a whole season, it’s not easy to have that full commitment. But I think when you get to this stage, players start feeling it. They go above and beyond.

“That’s what you’re seeing from our team right now.”

  1. itsallniceonice - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    “Waaah my team played poorly, out of character, soooo many posts, waaaaaah.”

    Welcome to playing the Bruins. Enjoy.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:12 AM

      Huh?

      • itsallniceonice - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:19 AM

        Do you follow the narrative at all?

      • hockeyflow33 - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:39 AM

        Yea and I have no idea what you’re talking about. The Blackhawks haven’t whined or complained once

      • itsallniceonice - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:32 AM

        The fans moron, the fans.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:55 AM

        You are aware that you’re the exact same type of person you’re complaining about right? In this instance you just happen to be on the other side.

  2. gallyhatch - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    Patrice Bergeron is possibly the best player in the NHL.

    I’m so glad he’s a Bruin, and he likely will be for life.

    Go B’s

    • 19to77 - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:28 AM

      There’s a good case to be made for that. He’s not the best goal-scorer or the flashiest playmaker, but he’s just SO DAMN GOOD AT EVERYTHING that you can’t find a weak point in his game. He’s like Datsyuk – not the single best in any category, but consistently one of the best in EVERY category. Those kinds of players are worth their weight in gold, year in, year out.

  3. barbarian9 - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:49 AM

    Patrice Bergeron is the most underated player in the NHL, period!

  4. badintent - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:11 AM

    Thank God no OT. Still waiting for a good old 5-4 game in 3 periods.

  5. govtminion - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    Julien is right. This team is playing out of its mind right now- hard to believe it’s the same maddening squad that flubbed its way through the last two weeks of the season. Talk about changing gears for the playoffs!

  6. blomfeld - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:33 AM

    PLANET OF THE APES … ‘BOSTON’ STYLE !

    Tonight in my drawing room, I picked up the end of this game and that which I feared was played out ‘painfully’ for my eyes to see and behold … some 6’10 human ‘freak’ from Chechnya flinging Canadian & American hockey heroes around like they were rag dolls. The sight of it made me positively sick to my stomach and I switched my TV off before the game even ended, such was my complete and utter disgust. Friends, I have to level you, for if this is what our beloved sport has now digressed to then count me out … my beloved LA Kings or not. This type of violent & garbage “gutter’ entertainment can be had on any late-night “pay per view’ satellite TV channel and I for one will not be witness to the destruction and humiliation of the game which I grew up playing and cheering on ever since. Jonathan Toews is a nice man and an excellent player, yet he and his colleagues didn’t have a ‘snowball’s chance in hell’ against these MMA ‘drug-fueled’ freaks from Boston! As an LA Kings fan, I was pulling for our WC brother Black Hawks to prevail in this year’s final. Now however, it appears that steroid-induced ‘thuggery” and human freaks from former Soviet Republics are going to be allowed to carry the day … very sad :(

    Black Hawk friends … when it comes to playing hockey, you guys are ‘infinitely’ superior !

    • kingkreg12 - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:00 AM

      You sir are a monkey. You belong in the movie you added on in the end of your post. How can you say that this team is full of Russian thugs (Which we they have 2 of)?? They are a smash mouth hockey team and have taken the Hawks off their game big time.

      Why does it make you sick that a genetically gifted hockey player is pouding on a baby that has been poking him all game? Hawks are a great team, but I am sure you remember that play against your man Carter a little while back? That is the kind of scummy play that ruins hockey, not the physical domination of one man.

      Kick rocks you big baby…. Bruins are playing good old fashioned smash mouth hockey. That is what the game used to be back in the day, so I have no idea what MMA crap you are talking about.

    • ironyisadeadscene - Jun 18, 2013 at 7:32 AM

      We get it, you cheer for losers.

    • jimthebear - Jun 18, 2013 at 7:33 AM

      Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.. Wow are you a sore loser..

    • davidmessina63 - Jun 18, 2013 at 9:16 AM

      So funny coming from an LA Kings fan. You guys didn’t start watching hockey til last spring right?

      LA HOCKEY FANS VIDEO. AMAZING

      http://FunnyOrDie.com/m/6vfw

      • davidmessina63 - Jun 18, 2013 at 5:56 PM

        If the last minute of the video above was cut it would be the perfect Kings Fan video.

    • mjdkid100 - Jun 18, 2013 at 10:05 AM

      He wouldnt take this much time if he didnt secretly love the Boston Bruins.

      It’s the only explanation, unless he’s just an internet loser…?

    • kcbruinsfan - Jun 18, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      This has to be one of the most insanely idiotic things I’ve read on this site. Are you kidding me?

      As a supposed Kings fan I think you would be used to seeing a defensively focused game geared toward sound goaltending and low scoring. I seem unable to recall those wide open high-scoring offenses the Kings have fielded on the ice these past two seasons. For a team that averages maybe 2 goals per game, defense has to be the name of the game.

      I would think this is simply a matter of bitterness directed at a team that plays a similar style to the Kings only better. Boston plays stifling team defense, has outstanding goaltending, and (unlike the Kings) can produce some points. If you are bored by suffocating defense and low scoring games don’t see how you could be a Kings fan.

      On another note, the steroid fueled MMA freaks is laughable from a Kings fan. Outside of Chara, Lucic and Horton the Bruins are an average sized team. Kings have 9 forwards in their top 12 over 200 lbs, the Bruins have 5. If the concern is size being used to out-muscle the opponent the Kings have pretty much followe the blueprint. Richards is the only forward in the top 12 under 6 ft.

      Yes the Bruins have pushed Chicago around in these past two games, but they are not some over-sized roster that simply leans on under-sized opposition. They are more physical, but aren’t a roster of giants – that designation would be better applied to the Kings and their roster. Don’t be mad the Bruins have been able to do to Chicago in these first few games what LA couldn’t.

      If you are a fan of finesses and skill over size and power you need to pick another team to pull for, maybe the Penguins.

      • gallyhatch - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:24 PM

        Stop feeding the troll people, if you ignore her she will go away. . . . these losers thrive off of attention & your reactions. . . . don’t even thumbs down the girl, just ignore her completely.

    • benjamincarmichael - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:57 AM

      Chara is a Slovak you douche.

  7. polegojim - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    Hawks looked BAD BAD BAD from the drop of the puck…

    The Bruins put it in yet ANOTHER gear… and Hawks didn’t look like they even knew where the ice was.

    Thank goodness for TEVO… I hate to have watched that mess ‘real time’.

    Great Job BRUINS.

  8. hockeytowninhabitant - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:50 AM

    Just a random wings fan passing through, Bergeron plays like datsyuk, not the same hands or takeaway skills, but very defensively talented and great hockey IQ

    • jimthebear - Jun 18, 2013 at 7:31 AM

      As even Pierre said last night.. Patrice Bergeron is the SMARTEST player in the NHL.. When you know what you’re doing, it makes the job easier.. Don’t need the best skills.. Though, he and Seguin were a force on the OT shootouts this year.

    • jimthebear - Jun 18, 2013 at 10:46 AM

      I believe Bergeron is actually better at takeaways and has better hands than Datsyuk.. He is BY FAR the most underrated player in the NHL, and doesn’t like the spotlight, so people don’t realize it.

  9. bruins18 - Jun 18, 2013 at 4:57 AM

    Blomfield…..is that serious? U have to be kidding

    • lordstanley65 - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:04 PM

      Yep, he’s serious. He posts outlandish, totally inflammatory crap like that all the time so he can feel good about himself as a troll. Nevermind that he has no proof on anything he spews, just likes seeing his name up there and getting some attention. I mean, just read what he posts!

  10. s2mikey - Jun 18, 2013 at 6:13 AM

    Well, that was about as exciting as watching the front lawn grow…..in real time. I didn’t think a stifling trap style defense with six goalies could win anymore but I was wrong. It works but its kind of bleh. Boston appears to be the team of destiny, especially after that craziness against Toronto. Actually, it’s amazing that this Boston team is the same one that barely beat Toronto. Either Boston wasn’t trying very hard during that series or Chicago just isn’t interested in showing up. Its only 2-1 but you can tell by watching who has the upper hand. Boston in 5 or 6 at the most.

    • homelanddefense - Jun 18, 2013 at 10:12 AM

      the Bruins have had consistency issues for two years now. When they are motivated they are scary. Toronto scared them, and its been all business since. What you have witnessed against Pitts and Chicago is what this team is capable of when they are “right”

      Similar to what they did to Vancouver in 2011, they were a wagon too.

    • jimthebear - Jun 18, 2013 at 10:48 AM

      So, you’d rather a high speed losing team, ala Penguins, then a systematic, methodical smart Stanley cup champion?

    • pastabelly - Jun 18, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      The game wasn’t exciting because one team dominated the other team. It does not relate to any style of play and you can’t argue that Game 3 of the ECF the Penguins and Bruins played the most exciting game of this year’s playoffs.

      As for the Toronto series, that was an improvement for this Boston team that had lost 7 of its last 9 games of the regular season. They were a very good hockey team that was just off. Too many players had horrible regular seasons. Nobody in New England would tell you that the Blackhawks have not been the best team in the NHL over the course of the 2013 regular and post seasons. Playoff hockey is just different. There is no way the level and style of play the Bruins are using now can be played over the course of a full regular season.

  11. thebigtim2012 - Jun 18, 2013 at 6:42 AM

    Boston simply kicked it into another gear after Toronto. I think they realized that level of play wouldn’t get it done.

  12. gingerkid2000 - Jun 18, 2013 at 6:48 AM

    blomfeld, are your Always WIth Wings in a bunch again? There are some posters on this site that prove themselves to be idiots but you are the only one who goes out of their way to do it almost poetically. Time to try new things, get a hobby, talk to girls. You know. Things that won’t make you seem socially inept. Unlike your comments on this site.

  13. neelybourque778 - Jun 18, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    It’s over. Thanks for coming, Chicago. Don’t forget to tip your waitresses and bartenders on your way out!

    • gallyhatch - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      Were you watching 3 years ago when the Bruins were up 3-0 over Philly? Nothing is over in this series.

      I know this is a different Bruins team than that one, but at the same time, this Blackhawks team is way better than that Philly team.
      While the Bruins clearly have momentum, if the ‘Hawks can get a W in game 4 they take back home ice. . . . it’s anybody’s series at that point.

      I don’t mean to be dragging up the past, but I won’t be satisfied until the bruins have the lead in a clinching game & the clock ticks down to 0:00.

      Until then. . . .

  14. hockeykrishna - Jun 18, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Two things that the Bruins do that the Hawks don’t seem capable of. First, is winning the battles on the wall. How many times have we seen a Hawks d-man appear to have the puck in the defensive zone with what appears to be enough time and space to make an outlet, only to have a Bruins forechecker descend on him, tie him up, create a battle and win the puck? The Bruins just own these mano y mano confrontations

    Second, the Bruins play a TEAM game. Take the hit to move the puck to the open man. DON’T run around making a hit if it leaves a seam open. No one cares who scores. Not a single Diva on the team and everyone buys in. How can you not love this attitude when so many “me-first” players are in sports that only care about their stats and play the game for themselves? And Jagr has even bought in.s He’s backchecked more in this series than he did for the last three seaons!

  15. titansbro - Jun 18, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    #1 Chara is Slovakian, not Chechnyan. But nice job saying he’s the same as the Boston bombers. #2 Awful sorts take bro. Soo weak. You just cried on a comment section. #3 More than 90% of the Bruins are from Canada. #4 The Blackhawks have 2 Slovakian players. Plus an American kid who along with his brother beat up a cab driver who they owed fare to. Thuggery much?

    Should I go on? I mean, not only was that post douschey, it was simply not factual.

  16. jcmeyer10 - Jun 18, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    That’s what a healthy Bergeron does. If he wasn’t about to break in half last year, they make it out of the first round. Now he’s about to be a major reason why they could win another Cup.

    Bergy for President.

  17. bokun59 - Jun 18, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Been watching hockey since 1971 and this is the first time I have actually not really watched it, if you know what I mean. I read during it. And I have never done that. It is by far the single most boring series I have ever encountered. Hands down. I have never posted here but this series? Yuck. Hockey at its worst. Bruins play dull, rope-a-dope hockey (admittedly better than the Rangers for this year at least) and Chicago seems disinterested for the most part. I am beginning to wonder if teh NHL should either widen the rink or go to 4 v 4 all the time. This is deadly.

    • grilledjesus - Jun 18, 2013 at 11:59 AM

      Sorry you don’t like it, but it would seem alot of other people do, as game one had the best TV ratings in 16 years. Game two was the most watched NHL game ever on NBCSN.

      Some people need 8-5 games to find excitement, others can enjoy a edge of your seat game where every play can be the game winner. To each his own.

      • bokun59 - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        It is not the lack of goals; I am a former college goalie and really appreciate a good, low-scoring duel. These games may be low scoring but they are not good. The Bruins, to their credit, play their system well. They know they are limited in ability and thus play collapse around the goal, hope for the best, and pray we get a goal somewhere along the line. There is no flow to the game. None. Deadly dull.

      • grilledjesus - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:59 PM

        Because the Bruins don’t allow teams to skate through the nuetral zone unmolested and carry the puck full speed into their end they are “limited in ability”? I think they have a great ability to disrupt the other teams “flow” and play a physical game, which is also an ability. I also don’t get the “pray for a goal”, seeing as they have the 3 top players in points in the playoffs right now.

  18. hitdog042 - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    Boring hockey? Are you kidding me? You aren’t a hockey fan. Sit down pretender. Go watch the NBA finals.

  19. scalfor3 - Jun 18, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    I really wonder if the people who claim the Bruins are “limitted in ability/skill” etc have ever actually watched Krejci play.

  20. pone27 - Jun 18, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Wow. This thread disgusts me. I maybe read one or two legit Bruins fans in this whole thread

    Bergeron is a highly underrated player, but one of the top?? Get off him.

    No thinking, I would take Toews, Malkin, Datsyuk, Crosby, Ovechkin, Stamkos, Tavares, Getzlaf over him. I could keep going but my point is clear.

    Not for nothing, but the Hawks have been peppering the Bruins, and with quality chances and Rask is stepping up to the plate. He right now is your Conn Smythe winner, possibly even if they don’t win the cup.

    The series is 2-1. Not 4-1.

    • crybabycrosby - Jun 18, 2013 at 7:23 PM

      WOW. You are probably the dumbest bruins fan on the planet. Please don’t comment on this okay? Go fanboy the overrated NHL players. I would never ever trade Bergeron he is the best bruin and the face of the franchise. Moron. Your almost as dumb as the NBC play by play boys.

    • captaincj35 - Jun 18, 2013 at 7:40 PM

      Do you even watch hockey, bro? Go look up more regular season stats if that makes you feel better. There’s a lot more to winning hockey games, especially playoff hockey games, than circling up at your own blue line on D and scoring goals. If you can’t appreciate what Burgeron does game after game, then how can you call yourself a “legit fan”.

      That said, I think any team would love to have a Toews, Datsyuk or Burgeron… not a bad pick in that bunch.

      And to those saying Burgeron might lack in skill, go look at a replay of his game 3 PP goal. That pass from Jagr was still in the air when Bergy knocked the puck down, settled it, and fired off the post and in. Siiiiiiick hands.

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