Before game one we asked for a number of things: with sugar on top, pretty please stay out of the box, get the Sedins away from Chara/Seidenberg, abuse the Boychuk match-up and keep Thomas moving and guessing. Two for four ain't so bad: Julien was kind enough to split up Chara/Seidenberg for Vancouver, allowing the Sedins to dictate the scoring chances and that same split eventually meant Boychuk was on the ice for seventh straight Boston goal against. However the Western two-step to the box continued unabated and Thomas was rock solid for 59:43.
We also tabled that, much like the third round, Vancouver's speed and board work in the neutral zone would be a deciding factor. Boo-yeah.
Emotions got the better of both teams in Game One and I suspect you'll see a bit more composure (by which I mean I'd like to see a hockey game and not an attempt to out-thug...AWW BLOODY HELL). Special teams was a wash, but the Bruins looked confident and dangerous on their attempts. No reason to tempt fate there. Even strength is a different matter: as long as the Sedins continue to outwork Bergeron's line and Kesler and crew can neutralize Horton's, this will end up being decided with depth again, which makes it all the more vital to get Malhotra back in a sheltered 4L capacity. Lapierre's line schooled Kelly's and Hansen was the best threat all evening so expect Julien to make an adjustment there; unless Thornton draws in, Seguin for Perverley seems the most logical. Boston blocked 19 shots in game one, so better shot selection and patience all around will be paramount. The blueline will have to adjust without Hammer, but offensively it's still a unit that has chipped in 13 goals and two game winners so far. Alberts should be fine in his own zone and sizes up well against the larger Bruins forwards, but if shows any degree of rust or poor judgement, expect him to be stapled to the bench faster than you can say "why the hell is there another X-Men movie?"
Drive the possession, keep their shots to the outside and keep them gasping for air in their zone. But, above all, seriously stay out of the box. Let Boston keep those seats warm. In fact I think Marchand would love a couple minutes next to his new green friends to swap planking ideas and WOW cards.
Take the shortest route to the puck carrier, and arrive in ill humor.- Fred Shero
No excuses, no slacking, no split. Let's ship on out to Boston with a silver glimmer in the eye.
Now more than ever: earn this.