The answer to the question of what the Boston Bruins fundamentally need in the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals breeds the deeper inquiry of how they ensure more of the same winning formula.
As an addendum, what missing elements from the previous three rounds do they need to cultivate?
The Bruins stamped their passport to the final round with a sweep of the Eastern Conference’s top seed from Pittsburgh. Their only remaining challenge comes from the NHL’s top overall seed in the Chicago Blackhawks, who barely bested the Penguins in such areas as five-on-five success during the regular season.
Boston’s own David Krejci tops the league's playoff leaderboard with nine goals and 21 points while linemate Nathan Horton is second with 17 points. So far, each of Boston’s playoff opponents has managed to keep Krejci off the scoresheet for only one night in their respective series.
Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly are first and fourth, respectively, among qualified postseason faceoff leaders with 61 percent and 59.5 percent success. Behind them, goaltender Tuukka Rask is coming off an otherworldly conference final, surpasses all qualified leaders with a .943 save percentage and is in a footrace with upcoming Chicago counterpart Corey Crawford in goals-against average.
How can the Bruins ensure that these ostensible advantages remain advantages and open additional gaps in their favor? Here are four keys to the four remaining requisite victories for a title in 2013.
Unless otherwise indicated, all statistics for this report were found via nhl.com