Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/23/13 at 08:27 AM ET
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The 2013 Stanley Cup Final has turned torturous for the Trencin Tower of Power. He was on the ice for five of Chicago’s six goals Wednesday night in Boston. He was on the ice for all three here in Game 6, including a pair by the clever, opportunistic Patrick Kane, and the empty-net dagger by Dave Bolland with 14 seconds left.
The Bruins are in a predicament, but that’s not solely because of their 6-foot-9-inch defensive zone monster. Hardly. Chara has not played well the last two games, but that’s a three-part issue: his own play, that of his teammates, and that of a rejuvenated, speedier Chicago attack that picked up its pace and pluck once Kane and Jonathan Toews were reunited on the same line for the start of Game 4.
The Hawks have played to their strength — their speed — and that has caused Chara to be uncharacteristically flat-footed a few times in the last two games. On Kane’s second goal Saturday night, Chara was near the Bruins’ goal line, fishing with his stick as Bryan Bickell dished out the pass that Kane expertly sent to the top shelf with a quick backhand lift.
A confident Chara would have reached Bickell in time, eliminated him on the spot, and instead of a pass to Kane, the play would have been headed out of Boston’s end. Chara knows that. We’ve seen it a million times in his years in Black and Gold. But we’ve also seen that if he struggles at all, it’s when small, skilled forwards zip around in Boston’s end and create options or skate into options.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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