After a lockout shortened season we were treated to another great Stanley Cup Final. Even though the Bruins fell apart with under 2 minutes left and failed to give us a 7th game, the series was tight and the teams were only separated by 2 goals (one being an empty netter) for total goals scored.
5 Things We Learned from the 2013 Playoffs
1. Jaromir Jagr can still play…in the offensive zone. After the Bruins failed to get Jarome Igilna and turned their sights on Jagr the hockey world thought they got a consolation prize. After the Bruins swept the Penguins people believed the opposite. While Jagr played well with Bergeron and Marchand he looked out of sorts in the Bruins zone. Jagr played excellent against the boards in the offensive zone and was able to shake off checks and make great passes to his linemates, he was terrible in his own zone and ended the playoffs at a Minus 1. It will be interesting to see if Boston brings him back or if he can draw another 1 year deal from another NHL team.
2. Zdeno Chara is human. Chara was a Plus 7 for the playoffs but was on the ice for 9 of the final 10 goals scored by Chicago. He was caught out of position a number of times and had a hard time keeping up with a few of the faster Chicago skaters. Was he hurt or just worn down from a physical Stanley Cup run?
3. Tuuka Rask is a #1. Bruins fans wondered if Rask could pick up where former fan favorite Tim Thomas left off. He did. Rask ended up with a .940 save percentage and tied for the lead in shutouts (3). His GAA was only .04 above Corey Crawford’s playoff leading 1.84. Rask is a RFA this offseason and will expect a significant raise.
4. Hockey Players are tough. Patrice Bergeron plays with a broken rib, separated shoulder and torn cartilage. Jonathan Toews comes back from having his head bounced off the ice to score a key shorthanded goal in game 6 as well as an assist on the tying goal and Andrew Shaw takes a shot to the face, misses maybe 1 shift, and plays the rest of the game. He had to wipe the blood off of his face prior to winning a key defensive zone faceoff late in the game. I’m sure more injury reports will come out as the summer progresses.
5. Patrick Kane can score. Much was made of Kane’s partying ways over the past off season. (See Deadspin for more) Kane ended up leading Chicago in points in the playoffs and the regular season. Kane scored 2 key goals in game 5 and his speed gave the Bruins defense fits all series. Kane has 2 years remaining on his deal and at 24, Chicago would be smart to sign him at least until he’s 30.