Stanley Cup Playoffs 2013 – Day 49

OK Coach “Q”…WE GET THE POINT: Sometime Coaches coach and sometimes Coaches out-coach themselves. Why Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville has decided to “Healthy Scratch” Viktor Stalberg –arguably the fastest skater in the Chicago line-up–is beyond me?

He did it in the Detroit series and got completely burned in Game-2, when the Red Wings returned to United Center following a few days rest with fresh legs, and won every race to a loose puck and climbed back into the Series. Then, Coach Q’s Hockey-IQ kicked-in…Stalberg was eventually re-inserted…and just ask the Red Wings–who blew a 3-games-to-1 Series lead–what that meant???!!!

So, what does Quenneville do when the Hawks reach the Final? He pulls the same stunt!!!

Why? To match the Bruins toughness. Are you kidding me? At one point during the Bruins Game-2 Overtime victory, the “B’s” were out-hitting the Blackhawks 39-13! Guess what? You’re probably not going to out-hit ’em!

Furthermore, please allow me to take you back to Daniel Paille‘s GWG.

It was the Blachakws Brandon Bollig who failed to get to the half-wall in time, allowing Boston’s Adam McQuaid to seal the point and keep the play alive. That 1-1/2 to 2-stride difference between Bollig and Stalberg would have made all of the difference in the world.

Now, fans of Bollig and fans of Stalberg may point to the Stat’s:

Stalberg has zero goals, three assists and a minus-one rating in 15 playoff games this season. He had nine goals and 14 assists in the regular season.

In Game-1 v. Boston, Bollig played on the 4th-line and had 25 shifts and 14:24 of ice time with three shots on goal, nine hits and a zero plus/minus rating in the Blackhawks’ 4-3 3-OT-victory. In Game-2, Bollig played 14 shifts and logged 8:42 of ice time, with zero shots on goal, zero hits, two giveaways and a minus-one rating.

Granted, neither guy its tearing-it-up offensively in the Post Season. But this comes down to an intangible–SPEED! And if there is an asset that Chicago has over the Bruins it is SPEED…and oh, how speed, compliments SKILL.

THE NUMBERS ARE WITH BOSTON: By virtue of their OT victory to knot the Series at a game apiece, the Bruins took away home ice advantage. And the B’s enjoy playing this Post-Season at Boston TD Garden. Boston is (7-2) on their Home ice in these playoffs and has won six straight…meaning…they haven’t lost a game at Home in over a month! (Last loss: Game 5 of the Opening Round against Toronto on May 10)

Furthermore, roughly 75 % of the teams to win Game 2 of finals series since 1939 went on to hoist the Stanley Cup. (But, then again, roughly 77% of those teams that win Game-1 win the Cup!)

BTW,The Bruins will also host Game-4 on Wednesday night.

MEANWHILE: Three times the Blackhawks have played Game 3’s during this Post Season… ..and 3-times they have lost (Minnesota, Detroit, LA).

SEATTLE COYOTES?: Tomorrow marks a big day in the history of the Phoenix Coyotes. The The City Council of the City of Glendale will decide if they can “bridge the gap” between the actual budget established to run the Arena and the desires of potential new owners–Renaissance Sports and Entertainment (RSE) , the ownership group headed by George Gosbee and Anthony LeBlanc.

Reportedly, the City has budgeted $6-million…RSE is reportedly seeking $13-15-milion.

“IF” and that is a big IF…a deal cannot be reached, the decision by the Vancouver Canucks to move their AHL affiliation to Utica, New York may be a big clue as to where this team may headed. Sources have indicated that the Canucks were told Key Arena in Seattle (which makes total sense for Vancouver from a proximity standpoint) “was not available for hockey”.

Another report claims the Mayor of Seattle has confirmed that he has had discussions with officials from the NHL.

Hence, a “Plan B” may be in the works, should the Glendale deal go south…and that is to go North to Seattle.

According to Hockey Night in Canada’s Glenn Healy, if the the City of Glendale, fails to come through by July 2nd, then they would move the team to The Emerald City. Furthermore–according to Healy–former NHL-er and current NBC Analyst Jeremy Roenick, who be part of the ownership group and would help run the hockey operations department.
And you thought things ON THE ICE were interesting…and competitive?



(Series tied 1-1)

Chris Madsen