Give Bolland credit for keeping his team's 6-5 victory over Philadelphia on Saturday out of the no-spin neutral zone. The way the Blackhawks see it, they played poorly and still took the opening game of the Stanley Cup Final. Nowhere to go but up, even while up 1-0 in the series.
"We won the game while not playing a very good game," said Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, who was pointless and minus-3 in over 19 minutes of icetime. "We'll be much, much better on Monday."
They know they'll have to be. As shaky as their game was, the Blackhawks are certain the Flyers will be tighter in the defensive zone. And whether it will be Michael Leighton or Brian Boucher between the pipes, Philadelphia goalies are guaranteed to make a few more stops after allowing six goals on 32 shots in Game 1.
Blackhawks vs. Flyers Series Page
Besides the scoreboard, the only aspect of the game where Chicago was dominant was in the faceoff zone, winning 40 of 64 draws from the Flyers. Toews brightened a horrific personal statline for the night by going 18-for-24 in the faceoff circle. After that, looking for silver lining for the Blackhawks is a stretch.
And still, the home team won when Tomas Kopecky scored the only goal in the third period after the game was tied at 5-5 through two.
"We'll take it," said defenseman Brent Seabrook. "You could look at the game a lot of different ways, but the bottom line is we scored the last goal. We spent today going through all the areas where we need to be better, especially defensively. Take the win and think about how good it will be if we put a complete game together."
Toews, the captain, was looking forward to Game 2 on Memorial Day and looking in his rearview mirror.
"We chased the puck too much," said Toews. "We made it too easy for the Flyers to get into our end. We made some dangerous passes that cost us. But we're leading the series and Monday will be a different game. The less we think about last night, the better."