by Ryan Wagman
If there is one area wherein the Bruins have a distinct advantage over Chicago in the upcoming Stanley Cup finals - at least in so much as the playoffs have been concerned - it is offense from the blueline.
Through three rounds of playoffs, there have been 74 goals credited to defensemen. 17 of those 74 were scored on the power play and the remaining 57 were potted at even strength. Of all 16 teams in the playoffs, none can come near the 15 blueline goals scored by members of the Boston Bruins. In fact, no other team has more than eight goals from the backline, with the Penguins and Kings tied in the bridesmaid spot.
That advantage, of course, may not play out in the Finals. Regression can be, and usually is, swift, and four of the six Bruins who have scored (McQuaid, Krug, Redden and Boychuk) have shooting percentages in excess of 10%.
As a point of reference, only six Blackhawks skaters (all forwards), have scored on at least ten percent of their shots. Further, during the regular season, both combatants received 23 goals from their respective bluelines.
To summarize, although the Bruins will pose the toughest challenge yet to the rampaging Blackhawks squad, were I a betting man, I would be in agreement with Timo and pick the Blackhawks to add another banner to the rafters of the United Center in the next 10-14 days.