Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Game Four... Can the Bruins Tie the Series Up?

xThe teams are getting right back at it on Wednesday night, as the Bruins will try and ride the momentum of Monday night's stomping, while the Canucks are trying to forget quickly and regain the focus they had at home.  Game Four should be exactly like seven of the nine full periods we've seen in this series already, where the tension is so thick, but the skating is so fast and fluid.

In the Game Three preview, I had said that I didn't think the Bruins had been outclassed in the opening two games of the series and they were right there with the Canucks heading home.  That was very much the case and the Bruins showed that they were ready to use their own crowd, find a rallying point in the loss to Horton and really take the play to Vancouver.  This will all have to happen again, except for maybe losing another player, because no one really wants to see something like that.  A hard-nosed, gritty effort is what the Bruins need to tie this series up on Wednesday night.  The loss of Nathan Horton will be a big blow to their clutch offense, as Tyler Seguin should be checking back in for the Bruins tonight.

For the Canucks, in Games One and Two, plus the second half of the 1st period in Game Three, they controlled the tempo of play, kept the forecheck and neutral zone pressure up and then let the offense work whatever magic they needed to get the job done.  This is the kind of game that they will need to play tonight, if they wish to be successful again, especially on the road.  The Canucks are no strangers to having players rotate in and out of their line-up, so some changes on defense should not hurt this team.

Capitalizing while your team has momentum, that will be the key to this game.  Both teams will carry the play at times during the evening, it will be the team that scores when they do carry the play, keeping momentum shifts from happening too soon and then being able to defend when the swing does eventually swing the way of the more desperate team.  This could be the formula of success for the rest of the playoffs, the first three games have been all about this thought process.

River Dogs
All She
on the
294 points-1 points-16-25-27-27-29-30-30-31
Daniel Sedin (1)xxxxxxxxxx
Henrik Sedin (2)xxxxxxxxx
Ryan Kesler (3)xx
Christian Ehrhoff (8)x
Roberto Luongo (12)xxxxxxxx
Patrice Bergeron (13)xx
David Krejci (14)xxx
Milan Lucic (15)
Nathan Horton (16)xxx
Michael Ryder (18)xxx
Brad Marchand (19)xxx
Tomas Kaberle (20)x
Zdeno Chara (21)xxxxxx
Johnny Boychuk (23)x
Tim Thomas (24)xxxxxxxx

Well, now that Nathan Horton is out of these playoffs, there is going to be a lot of pressure from pool teams onto their healthy players for some scoring to help them get into the money, stay in the money or win the whole pool.  Horton appears three times in the top 10 teams, landing as high as 2nd place with the Langdon River Dogs, who are now down to David Krejci going up against Zdeno Chara and Johnny Boychuk for the pool win.  Remarkably, it has been the two defensemen that have done a lot of the scoring in this series already for the pool and Tryst'n'Grant has been taking advantage of that fact.

The top 10 had a minor change again, as Pucking Luck moved back into the table, while Jack_Bit_Gary fell out of it again.  Without Horton in the line-up, it looks like the Thieves of the Cheechoo Express are poised to fall out of the table, while Kalenab also will have trouble staying in the money race tonight.  Both teams could have the hockey gods smile on them a little, by their other players scoring, but the loss of a player does lessen their chances substantially.

Lots at stake tonight, I'm sure that Superstar is hoping for a Canucks win, their somewhat improbable stay iin the top five could only be benefited by a quick series.  A quick series that isn't aided much by a Henrik Sedin-led offense.

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