The Bruins took Game 2 in Chicago to tie up this Finals series with the Blackhawks at one game a piece. Then Monday night at the Garden the Bruins took Game 3 to take a 2-1 lead and put themselves just two wins away from another Stanley Cup win.
Bruins head coach Claude Julien made some line adjustments after the Game 1 loss, moving Daniel Paille up from the fourth-line to the third-line. Paille has since scored two straight game winning goals.
During the warmup skate before Game 3 Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara crashed into each other and Chara went straight to the locker room following the collision. The national broadcast made a lot of this event, but glossed over the fact that Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa took one shot in the pre-game warmup and left the ice.
It was later learned that Hossa would not play in the game. This absence in such a big game left some to question the 34-year-old’s toughness.
“I try not to question a player’s toughness at this time of year,” 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Bruins color analyst Bob Beers told Toucher & Rich on Tuesday morning. “You don’t know what guys are going through. There’s guys that are playing that shouldn’t be playing and you know there’s always that player that you say, ‘Why isn’t he out here in this situation?'”
“And, if he’s day-to-day, which he said he was after the game and said that he might be ready to play on Wednesday, well then you kind of wonder why he couldn’t play here last night.”
As a result Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville had to shuffle up his lines a bit. Ben Smith, who only played one NHL game this season, replace the injured Hossa in the lineup. What do the Blackhawks lose by not having Hossa?
“Losing Hossa is such a big factor because he’s so good everywhere, all over the ice. He doesn’t get enough credit for being an all around player people see him as an offensive guy, but he’s somebody who hunts down pucks, he’s very good on the back check, he’s good in all zones. So, you lose him behind Toews probably their best all around player.”
Bruins fans will surely be watching to see if Hossa’s status changes come Wednesday’s Game 4.