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Game 4 preview; Bruins look for stranglehold in Tampa Bay

May 21, 2011

After a 2-0 Game 3 win it seems that the Bruins are back to the kind of game that they want to play against the Lightning. The Bruins were lucky to come away with a 6-5 win in a run-and-gun Game 2 but got back to Claude Julien hockey, shutting down the explosive offense of the Lightning, staying disciplined, and grinding out an early lead.

The win got the Bruins in high spirits and even had the coach joking around about Patrice Bergeron‘s status for Game 4 at the podium. Bergeron played like a guy who hadn’t missed a second of time, winning 18-of-28 faceoffs and playing the all-three-zone hockey that makes him the best complete player on the team. The joking of Claude Julien does have me worried just a little bit, mainly because I worry about everything. Julien has always preached ‘not too high, not too low’ and joking midway through the Eastern Conference Final hopefully doesn’t indicate a level of complacency in him.

I hope the Bruins realize how big of a game this is. A win today, in any fashion all but puts a bow on this series, but a win by Tampa Bay, especially if they score frequently, could complete change the outcome of the series. It’ll be important for the Bruins to continue to play sound defense and focus on the Bolts’ top line talent. The Bruins did a great job of shutting off Marty St. Louis and shadowing Steven Stamkos in the last game. That all starts with faceoff wins, which the Bruins won last game.

Expect this to be the toughest game of the series, folks. After all, the boys should be playing like there’s no tomorrow, because well, there is no tomorrow. (You know I had to get a Rapture joke in there somewhere.)

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