Q. With all of these overtime games, does either team have an advantage when things go beyond regulation time?
A. The conditioning level for both of theses teams is incredible, so that’s not a factor.
Truth be told, I think where the Blackhawks have an advantage — and where they have all season long — is in their team speed and the ability to come at you with a great intensity and a great pace.
But when that pace starts to waver — whether it’s in an overtime or if fatigue starts to set in — then the game starts to slow down and in some ways I think that is an opportunity for Boston to execute its style a little more.
When you’re chasing the Blackhawks, it’s tough for teams to handle because there’s a whole lot coming at you. But the longer games go on, that pace and that tempo starts to slow down — that’s just the physical reality of it — and it becomes more of an even playing field for teams playing the Blackhawks.
Q. How in the world can both teams look so different sometimes from period to period in this series?
A. It’s a hard explanation. In Game 2, it was a good time for Boston to get in for that first intermission, regroup and collect their thoughts. As a team, they came out in the second with a better idea about what they needed to do.
For the Blackhawks, I thought they had an opportunity in the second period — if they continued to push the pace — to keep the Bruins back on their heels. But they weren’t able to do it and in the end, Boston was able to execute their style of play a little bit better.
It was a hard-fought hockey game. Boston had some great chances and they probably deserved to be the winner.
Q. If this series is going to continue to play out like this, is it going to come down to which team is stronger mentally?
A. There is a lot that has to do with the mental side.
Who keeps their focus? Who sticks with the game plan? Who stays disciplined at critical times?
It’s a battle of wills out there. You’ve got two great teams; if you make little mistakes, with the skill and talent level out there, they’re going to make you pay.
You have to have that focus. You have to have the ability to keep yourself involved in the game. Anytime you waver mentally or make mistakes … that could be costly.
Q. The Hawks haven’t won a Game 3 in the playoffs. How do they change that tonight?
A. It doesn’t matter what’s happened in the past.
You know Boston is going to come out at home. They’ve got a great crowd and a great anthem singer that gets their team and their building revved up, so the Blackhawks know what’s going to come at them.
They’ve got to be prepared to fight an uphill battle at the beginning of that game. They’ll have to survive the first few minutes, all the emotion.
It’s going to be tough, but they’re aware of it. They’ve been in tough buildings before.
ŸTroy Murray is in his 13th year as a member of the Blackhawks broadcast team and his eighth year as the color analyst for the team’s radio broadcasts. The Selke Award winner was a five-time 20-goal scorer and a veteran of 15 years in the NHL, playing in 915 career games.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.