Chicago's woes don't end with Hossa
There was no sign of the one Blackhawks player of utmost concern on Tuesday: Marian Hossa. Bolland, for instance, wouldn’t even say he’s seen Hossa, who was an unforeseen scratch before the Bruins’ 2-0 victory in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday.
“I don’t know,” Bolland said.
“I don’t know if I’ve seen him,” Bolland smirked.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville told reporters Tuesday that Hossa (upper-body injury) will “likely” be back in the lineup for Game 4 here at TD Garden on Wednesday. Chicago's troubles, however, extend beyond an ailing Hossa, although the team certainly missed the talented winger in Game 3.
The 'Hawks haven’t scored in 122 minutes, 26 seconds, they’ve been outshot 59-43 since the first period of Game 2 and the power play hasn’t scored a goal their last 20 chances, including the 11 in the finals.
“We are doing a good job entering their zone 5-on-5 and directing pucks towards their net, but we need to get on the inside a little bit more,” Sharp said. “We need to get those second and third opportunities. They do a good job of protecting their net, so it’s tough to do that.”
For that to happen, Chicago will need to win a few more face-offs. The Blackhawks were 16 of 56 in the circle in Game 3 (29 percent) and won only one of seven draws on their five power-play opportunities. Bruins center Patrice Bergeron was an astounding 86 percent on draws in Game 3, victimizing Bolland and Toews with regularity.
“I know it’s ugly sometimes out there,” Sharp said. “People can look from the outside and say the series is lopsided and whatever. If we win Game 4, we’re in great shape. That’s our focus.”
The 'Hawks have some recent experience when it comes from extricating themselves from deficits. The Detroit Red Wings were up 3-1 on the Blackhawks in the second round.
“I think we're in a tough spot,” Quenneville said. “In the Detroit series we found a way to get ourselves to get back into it. That's what we're looking for. Tomorrow is a very important game, like we have to win tomorrow night.”
Added Bolland: “We’ve been through this before. It’s nothing for us to worry to about. We’re confident and ready to win tomorrow.”
Quenneville shuffled lines as Game 3 progressed and not just because he had new personnel. (Ben Smith made his 2013 postseason debut in place of Hossa and Viktor Stalberg replaced Brandon Bollig.) Quenneville was looking for a spark.
Quenneville tossed Toews and Patrick Kane — neither of which have a goal in the finals — on the same line when the 'Hawks trailed against the Red Wings, a move that helped jumpstart the team’s offense. (Sharp was on the opposite wing of Kane.) That appears to be at least a possibility outside of special team situations where the two typically play together.
“We’ll see how we go along here (and) what the lines will be,” Quenneville said.
That could again come down to whether there will be a Hossa sighting on the ice during Game 4, not just in warmups like on Monday.