Found June 02, 2013 on Boston's Bettah:
At the end of the second period after a scrum involving Tuukka Rask, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara (one of these things is not like the others!), NBC brought up the difference in “hits” between the Boston Bruins and the Pittsburgh Penguins. At that time, the difference was way in the favor of the Pittsburgh Penguins. They were leading the hits category 26-12 and all the memorable and big hits taking place in the game were delivered by the Penguins. Even the biggest physical moment of the game, the fight between Patrice Bergeron and Evgeni Malkin, was won by Malkin when he got Bergeron on the ground and kept firing away punches. Normally, it is the Boston Bruins delivering the hits and starting the physical play, but it was pretty evident that it was the Penguins who came into the game hoping to establish a physical game and set the tone for the series. Sitting in my living room, the only thing my buddy Sully and I could think about the game at that point was that it was perfect. See, the Pittsburgh Penguins make their money on being the most fearful offensive team in the league and it was clear that they were a force to be reckoned with. I don’t think I could fully comprehend how terrifying the Penguins offense was from afar. Not until your team is playing the Penguins and they complete their first two line pass for a clean break on your goal or when Crosby or Malkin make a move off the boards and push hard toward the goal do you realize how good they really are. Hockey more than any other sport gives the fans a sense that something bad or good is about to happen on the ice. When playing the Penguins, every play feels like something bad is about to happen. That is one of the highest compliments I can give to a hockey offense. They aren’t a physical beast, though. They have power-forwards, but nothing like a Milan Lucic. They’re top defenseman, Kris Letang, is incredibly talented but is often referred to as a fourth forward for the Penguins. They aren’t the most physical team, but they were playing game one like they were a physical team. They were doing a good job of it, it’s just not their game. It was easy to see. The Penguins were more concerned with matching the physicality of the Bruins then on playing their own game. The scrum at the end of the second period highlighted it. Increasingly frustrated with getting stopped by a goalie playing incredible, the Penguins bumped him leaving the ice. It was a strange move from this Penguins team, something unlike them. If they were winning, it would kind of make sense in a move to tell the Bruins that not only were they winning on the scoreboard but also winning in the physical game, but they were losing. All it did was make the Bruins appear as if they were a team inside the head of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Instead of focusing on getting even on the scoreboard, the Pens were more concerned with playing physical with the Bruins. Point towards the Bruins. What was most evident last night was that this series will be just as advertised. The Bruins and the Penguins were the best two teams in the Eastern Conference and they showed that on Sunday night. It was fast, it was physical it was what playoff hockey is all about. The Eastern Conference Finals just for the sheer fact that they feature two similarly talented but polar opposite style teams, might just end up being the best series of the NHL playoffs.
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