Stanley Cup Finals 2013: Will Boston Bruins Find Steady Offense at Home?

Steve SilvermanFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2013

A return to the TD Garden should have the Boston Bruins stoked up and ready to put on an offensive explosion against the Chicago Blackhawks, right?

After all, they got the split they needed at the United Center and now they get to play in front of their own fans. The last time the Bruins played a Stanley Cup Final game at home, they hung up a five-spot in Game 6 from their memorable 2011 championship run against the Vancouver Canucks. In their other two home games in that series, the Bruins totaled 12 goals.

However, an offensive explosion at home is unlikely this time around.

The Chicago Blackhawks are not the Vancouver Canucks and Corey Crawford (1.72 goals against, .935 save percentage) is not Roberto Luongo. The Blackhawks have not given up more than three goals in any road playoff game this year.

The Bruins have not given any indication that they are an offensive juggernaut in their home games either.

They have a 7-2 record at home in the postseason, and they have won six straight home playoff games since dropping Game 5 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, it has not been because of they have been lighting up the scoreboard. The Bruins have scored three goals or less in six of their nine home playoff games.

The Bruins have shown the ability to score clutch goals at home, but they are not an overwhelming offensive team when they take the ice at TD Garden.

When it comes to scoring, the Bruins had their biggest offensive showing on the road. The Bruins hammered the Penguins 6-1 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Bruins also scored five goals in a Game 3 win over the Maple Leafs in Toronto.

The Bruins have scored five goals twice in home playoff games. The first was the most memorable, in Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

This game has reached legendary status.

The Bruins were trailing the Maple Leafs 4-1 in the third period after Phil Kessel and Nazem Kadri had banged home third-period goals for the visitors. With less than 11 minutes left, the Maple Leafs were counting down to a conference semifinal appearance, and the Bruins were on life support.

Boston's Nathan Horton scored near the halfway point of the period. That stopped the bleeding and gave the Bruins a bit of confidence.

The Maple Leafs maintained that two-goal lead until the final two minutes. Coach Claude Julien pulled goaltender Tuukka Rask in favor of an extra skater, and Milan Lucic slammed home a Zdeno Chara rebound to turn it into a 4-3 game with 1:22 remaining.

Patrice Bergeron tied the game and sent the TD Garden into a frenzy when he wristed home a shot from the point with 51 seconds left. Bergeron scored the fifth and decisive goal in overtime, and the Bruins advanced.

The Bruins also scored five goals in the opening game of the conference semifinal series opener against the New York Rangers. They scored four goals in the playoff opener against the Maple Leafs.

The Bruins are much more likely to play dominating defense at home. The Bruins have held their opponents to two goals or less in seven out of nine home postseason games. The Maple Leafs scored four goals in Games 2 and 7 of their series, but no other opponent has scored as many as three goals in Boston.

The Rangers scored four goals in three road games, while the Penguins scored one goal in their two road games against the Bruins.

The Bruins will undoubtedly get a rousing reception when they take the ice at home, and they will likely try to establish their dominance.

Based on their performance in this year's postseason, they are more likely to put on an overwhelming defensive performance than a light-up-the-scoreboard offensive showing.

They have proven they can score clutch goals at home, but don't expect anything more than that.