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Bruins, maybe lying, say the whole glove-side thing is a coincidence 06.21.13 at 8:56 pm ET
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Shawn Thornton

CHICAGO — By now, the Bruins’ tendency to shoot (and score) on Corey Crawford‘s glove side is well known. Everyone knows it, and nobody can downplay it.

Crawford joked to the media Friday that his stick side was questioned against the Kings, so “both side are bad,” but there should be no joking about this. The Bruins have scored 12 goals this series and all but two have been shot glove side. One of the two that were stick-side was a rebound that was just jammed at the net with no spot picked, so basically when the Bruins are aiming, it’s for that glove. At least some of them.

“You’re asking the wrong guy,” Shawn Thornton said. “I’m just shooting the puck to shoot the puck most times. Maybe goal-scorers look up and see something different. I’m sure they do, actually. That’s why they get 50 a year and I get four.”

The Bruins are clearly trying to downplay the tendency, but they have to know that Crawford knows by now. Just like they have access to video, so too does anyone with YouTube. Then again, it’s not like you’d expect the Bruins to confirm that they know the opposing goaltender’s weakness.

“I think it might be a bit of a coincidence,” Thornton said. “… I know we’re not skating down the ice thinking, ‘Oh my God, if we don’t go glove-side we’re not going to score.’ It’s nothing like that. It’s just a bit of a coincidence. We’re trying to get pucks on net and create traffic and wherever that rebound pops out, for sure you’re trying to put it in. If it pops out stick side, I’m sure you’re not trying to do a spin-o-rama just to get it on his glove side. I’m sure it’s going to be whatever’s available.”

That’s true and it isn’t. Patrice Bergeron‘s power-play goal in Game 4 came from the puck bouncing off the glass and back in front of the net. Rather than just trying to jam it in, Bergeron fired a shot high glove side. It’s simply where they’re aiming.

“I don’t think it was done purposely on our end of it,” Claude Julien said of the Bruins’ five goals on Crawford’s glove side in Game 4. “We happened to shoot there because that’s where the opening was at that time. But I think you can score on other areas, hopefully, on Corey Crawford than just the glove. It’s one of those games where a lot of them went on that side.

“At the end of the day, you’re looking for ways to score goals, and whether it’s cross toss or tips or screens or whatever, it doesn’t really matter.”

For a closer look at the Bruins’ goals and the tendencies of their scoring this series, click here.

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A closer look at Bruins’ scoring — and Corey Crawford’s glove — in finals 06.20.13 at 7:21 pm ET
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The Bruins know to go glove side on Corey Crawford. (AP)

It’s kind of awkward that the book is now out on Corey Crawford, and everyone knows it.

Glove side. Glove side, glove side, glove side. The Bruins have scored 12 goals in the Stanley Cup finals, and 10 of them have beaten the Blackhawks goaltender’s glove. The Bruins played dumb on Thursday, a day after they scored four goals glove side on Crawford. Asked whether players might overthink it now when they want to go glove side and they know that Crawford knows they’re thinking glove side, the smart alecky Brad Marchand cut off the question.

“I thought it was five-hole,” Marchand said with a straight face.

Yeah, no. Glove side. Always go glove side. Tyler Seguin joked that perhaps the B’s will have to go stick side from now on to keep Crawford on his toes, but he tried that in overtime and it didn’t work. Go glove side.

Here’s a breakdown of each Bruins goal scored this series — who scored it, where they beat Crawford, and which Blackhawks were on the ice.

Game 1: Lucic at right circle hashmarks glove side  – Hjalmarrson, Sharp, Toews, Oduya, Hossa
Lucic slap shot glove side — Hjalmarsson, Handzus, Oduya, Bickell, Kane
Bergeron (PP) slap shot glove side — Keith, Hjalmarsson, Kruger, Handzus

Game 2: Kelly rebound of Paille shot, stick side with Crawford down — Leddy, Sharp, Handzus, Rozsival, Kane
Paille in overtime glove side wrist shot — Keith, Seabrook, Kruger, Bollig, Frolik

Game 3: Paille snap shot from right circle glove side — Leddy, Sharp, Smith, Rozsival, Bolland
Bergeron (PP) stick side from bottom of the circle — Seabrook, Toews, Oduya, Bolland

Game 4: Peverley (PP) glove side, Crawford missed it by a mile — Hjalmarsson, Saad, Handzus, Rozsival
Lucic backhand in front off Chara rebound glove side — Hjalmarsson, Sharp, Toews, Oduya, Kane
Bergeron (PP) rebound off glass in front, high glove — Seabrook, Kruger, Oduya, Frolik
Bergeron snap shot below glove — Hjalmarsson, Kruger, Oduya, Bolland, Shaw
Boychuk slap shot glove side — Hjalmarsson, Kruger, Oduya, Bolland, Shaw

—————————

Here are some takeaways and trends:

- Glove side.

- From rewatching the Bruins’ goals, it’s pretty interesting how little screens have had to do with beating Crawford. Unless you want to count Johnny Boychuk‘s goal in Game 4 as one, none of the Bruins’ goals have been from the point. Boychuk stepped up and was almost to the high slot by the time he released his shot. Nathan Horton was skating by late in the play, but Crawford saw Boychuk’s shot the whole way.

It hasn’t been about establishing bodies in front, but rather creating off turnovers (Chris Kelly‘s goal, Daniel Paille‘s goal in Game 3) and burying rebounds (Kelly’s goal, Lucic’s goal in Game 4, Bergeron’s goal in Game 4). Of course, burying rebounds as closely as the Bruins have means they’ve been getting to the front of the net, but they haven’t need to set up and screen Crawford so their D can beat him from the point.

- Even on the rebounds, the Bruins are going glove side. Watch Bergeron’s goal in the the second period of Game 4. The puck bounced off Crawford’s mask, off the glass and back over the net in front, but Bergeron’s instinct was still to go high glove rather than just trying to jam it in. These guys haven’t just read the book on Crawford. They’ve memorized it.

- The sequence on Rich Peverley‘s goal featured great plays from Andrew Ference and Peverley, but yowzers was that a softy.

- No Bruins goals this series have been redirected past Crawford. They’re beating him cleanly.

- Niklas Hjalmarsson was on the ice for all three Bruins goals in Game 1 and four of their five goals in Game 4.

- Johnny Oduya was on the ice for four goals against in Game 4, as was Marcus Kruger.

- Andrew Shaw was not on the ice for a Bruins goal until Bergeron’s second goal in Game 4. He was also on the ice for Boychuk‘s game-tying tally.

- Bryan Bickell has been on the ice for only goal against in this series. Part of that can be explained by the fact that he was on the fourth line in Game 3 and wasn’t exactly playing against top scorers.

- Duncan Keith has been on the ice for two Bruins goals. Zdeno Chara has been on the ice for six Blackhawks goals.

Read More: Corey Crawford, Patrice Bergeron, Rich Peverley, Print  |  Email   | Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
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