BOSTON — The Chicago Blackhawks haven’t just taken control of the Stanley Cup Final, they’ve done it while Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara was on the ice.
The Blackhawks have scored eight of their nine goals in winning the last two games against Boston while the 2009 Norris Trophy winner was defending.
“I don’t think there was one thing said where we really wanted to attack him or go at him or try to hit him or anything like that,” said Chicago forward Patrick Kane, who scored two goals in Game 5 with Chara on the ice. “I think we’re just playing the way we have.
“Sometimes you worry about one player who you’re matched up against on the ice, and I’ve said this before, it goes to your disadvantage because you worry too much and don’t play the game you should be playing. I think we just got back to playing the way we have and the way we know how to.”
In Game 4, when the Blackhawks beat Boston 6-5 in overtime, Chara was battling in front of the net with Jonathan Toews when Brent Seabrook’s shot from the right point beat Tuukka Rask for the game-winner.
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville felt his team needed to get more chances at the net after being shut out in Game 3, even when Chara was playing.
“We’ve felt not so much being physical with him, but in the offensive zone we needed to have better possession time and more time in their end,” he said. “Whether it was absorbing hits or finishing checks or going to hard areas and not necessarily worrying about him, I think it was getting to the net was our focus.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien knows the Blackhawks are challenging Chara, but expects his star defenseman to bounce back for Game 6 tonight.