On the one hand, you have the Blackhawks.
They very much enjoyed their day off after winning a game that lasted 112 minutes.
“It’s definitely a good feeling winning in the third overtime when it does go that long,” Patrick Kane said Thursday. “Huge win for sure.”
On the other hand you have the Bruins.
Equally exhausted, but staring at a 1-0 deficit in the Stanley Cup Final, they’re now facing a locker room controversy after goaltender Tuukka Rask made some unwise comments following the game early Thursday morning.
“We had the game. We were up 3-1 in the third,” Rask said. “A terrible turnover leads to the second goal and then a puck bounce leads to the tying goal and then we just gave it away. We’ve got to be better than that.”
You have to wonder about how that will affect a defensive corps that blocked 40 shots — yes, 40 shots — in front of the Boston goalie in Game 1.
Rask was upset about a giveaway from rookie Torey Krug that led to the Hawks’ second goal and a brilliant pickoff and pass by Andrew Shaw, and then a Johnny Oduya shot that banked in off the left skate of Andrew Ference and past Rask for a 3-3 tie in the third period.
“I don’t think he was blaming Krug,’’ said Boston coach Claude Julien with a straight face. “It wasn’t a good turnover. But mistakes are part of the game. Whether he made that turnover, he still scored 4 goals for us in the (New York) series where we needed him to score. I think if you balance it out, there’s a lot more positives in Torey’s game than there is in that one mistake.
“There are a lot of mistakes that are made. Some end up in goals, some you’re able to recover from. Certainly, we shouldn’t look and judge this player on one game where he might have been average instead of real good, like he has been.”
The 22-year-old Krug had played three regular-season games before being thrown into the Rangers series, when he scored 4 goals in five games. There’s a bit of a learning curve here, and having the goalie trash him publicly probably isn’t going to help the kid make better decisions.
“I’d probably try it again in the future,” Krug said. “I would just execute it differently.”
Like an NFL cornerback, puck-moving defensemen take chances to make big plays.
“High risk, high reward,” Krug said. “For me, playing that way you have to have a short-term memory. I think the best players do. I’ll quickly forget about it.
“I’ll learn from it. You have to make sure that you’re taking care of business to be risky. I think defensively, if you can’t recover from those risks, then you’re not going to be able to take those risks and get ice time.”
Ference, who also took a poke from Rask, backed up the kid.
“We’ve all been there. Everybody has made passes that don’t work out,” Ference said. “So what? That’s the game. I mean, nobody expects perfection.
“You know the other team is going to get chances. You move on. What’s done is done. I think we’ve always been successful at not paying attention to what’s happened, what’s gone on, whether it’s history from 50 years ago or what’s gone on in the last shift. That’s been a good approach for us.
“Whether it’s experienced guys, young guys, the general atmosphere in the room is fairly consistent. They scored. That play happened. But he also scored big goals for us and made great plays.”
That was the theme of the day for Boston, trying to put out a fire started by Rask, who’s received spectacular support from his coaches and teammates. Now, the focus is on keeping Krug from dwelling on a single play.
“It’s part of a player getting better,” Julien said. “Doesn’t mean we lose confidence because we still had the confidence to put him out there in that game, in overtime. He’s also the kind of guy that can produce that goal that you needed.
“Yes, it was a mistake to throw that puck up the middle. If you look back at the play, I didn’t think we had a great line change and he didn’t have a ton of options. I think there could be some blame shared on that goal.”
When this series is over, you wonder how the Bruins will look back on that game — and a single quote from their goaltender.
ŸListen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score’s “Hit and Run” show at WSCR 670-AM, and follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.