Skip to content

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.”

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Canucks invite Wyman to camp

    Sep 17, 2014, 7:50 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v Colorado Avalanche Getty Images

    He has 44 games of NHL experience under his belt.

  2. Wild hand Bryzgalov a training camp tryout

    Sep 17, 2014, 6:39 PM EDT

    Ilya Bryzgalov AP

    Insert your “humongous big” jokes here.

  3. Johansen heads home from Columbus as talks get even messier

    Sep 17, 2014, 5:01 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two Getty Images

    His agent says it’s best to leave town and avoiding being a distraction.

  4. Kesler accuses Vancouver media of making up stories, ‘throwing people under the bus’

    Sep 17, 2014, 3:09 PM EDT

    Ryan Kesler Getty Images

    “No matter how much my old teammates say it doesn’t bother them, it affects them. It does in that city.”

  5. In making case, Johansen’s agent stresses importance of top centers

    Sep 17, 2014, 2:37 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    And on the possibility of his client signing an offer sheet? “Well, we’ll have to see.”

  6. Sharks re-sign Braun to five-year, $19 million deal

    Sep 17, 2014, 2:14 PM EDT

    Justin Braun Getty Images

    “Justin has emerged as one of our most well-rounded and dependable defensemen.”

  7. Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal

    Sep 17, 2014, 1:34 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two Getty Images

    “We’ve been told if we don’t give them what they want, they’ll be leaving town.”

  8. Sens angry with Methot’s agent for leaking ‘false’ contract details

    Sep 17, 2014, 12:07 PM EDT

    MarcMethot Getty Images

    “I’ve been with the team for eight years, and I don’t know if I’ve been more disappointed about anything that’s been written,” said Pierre Dorion.

  9. Hiller: Final months with Ducks were ‘frustrating’

    Sep 17, 2014, 11:41 AM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, of the Czech Republic, gets water after giving up a goal to Colorado Avalanche left wing Jamie McGinn in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Friday, March 14, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) AP

    “I actually thought I had a great year up to the Olympic break and even after.”

  10. Agent: Staal, Rangers making progress towards contract extension

    Sep 17, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

    Jussi Jokinen, Marc Staal AP

    “The tenor of the talks has been good, so we’ll keep going and keep working on it.”

  11. Report: Ryan turned down Sens’ seven-year, $49M offer

    Sep 17, 2014, 10:38 AM EDT

    TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 1: Bobby Ryan #6 of the Ottawa Senators skates in the warm-up prior to playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on February 1, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Leafs defeated the Senators 6-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Yet he says his contract status won’t be an issue this season.

  12. Gunnarsson hopes to be ready for opening night

    Sep 17, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

    Carl Gunnarsson

    The Blues acquired him from Toronto.

  13. Columbus Blue Jackets win 2014 Traverse City tournament

    Sep 17, 2014, 9:02 AM EDT

    Josh Anderson Getty Images

    Those prospects could get longer looks if Ryan Johansen misses the preseason.

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (1407)
  2. J. Quick (1363)
  3. S. Bennett (1342)
  4. P. Rinne (1256)
  5. D. Kuemper (1221)