Well, it's only three games in, but it sure is starting to look like the strong defensive play of the Bruins' D corps is taking over in this series. The Chicago Black Hawks' vaunted offense has gone silent, the supposedly superior Chicago transition game and puck possession game looks enemic; in fact, the Hawks pretty much got schooled tonight by the Bruins on puck possession.
I note that my pointing out of the advantages the Bruins defense have in the areas of hits and blocked shots was mocked and belittled, mostly by the Chicago trolls, but now it seems that it's starting to show it's true value towards the Boston Bruins' success, as the Bruins continually frustrate the Hawks with their strong play in their own defensive end, while out-playing the Hawks in the transition aspect, by efficiently moving the puck out of their own end.
Looking at the Hits and Blocked Shots stats so far, here's what we see:
Boston's defensemen have a total of 74 hits and 48 blocked shots through three games. Andrew Ference leads the hit parade with 19, followed closely by Johnny Boychuk and Adam McQuaid, with 15 hits each. Dennis Seidenberg is by far the best shot blocker in this series, notching 20 blocked shots alone in just three games. Ference is a distant second with 9 blocked shots.
By comparison, Chicago does not even compare. Their defense has only recorded 37 hits and 31 blocked shots. Brent Seabrook is their best checker, recording 13 hits for the series so far, while Johnny Oduya is second with 9 hits and also leads Chicago with 9 blocked shots. Nick Leddy has put up the Hawk's most enemic effort amongst their defensemen, with only 4 hits and zero blocked shots.
But hey, y'know; hits and blocked shots don't matter when you are comparing defense, huh? Being the more physical D corps doesn't matter, either. Frustrating the opposition and wearing them down by constantly hitting them and blocking shots doesn't help you in a tough playoff series.
What do I know? I only played the position for over 12 years. I wonder how many of those Chicago trolls ever even laced on a pair of skates?