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Random Thoughts from the Bruins 4-0 win against the Canucks in Game 4

June 8, 2011

Towards the end of the game I looked the score sheet over, trying to find which Bruin had a bad game just for fun. I looked at each name, tried to remember a negative and really couldn’t. We all knew the 8-1 game wasn’t going to happen again but a 4-0 drubbing is about as good as anyone could have hoped for. The Bruins played a near perfect game to tie the series and got in the Canucks head in major ways in doing so.

Examples being: the penalties and scrums late in the game. Kesler took a hack at McQuaid that nullified a penalty, Lapierre did the same to Thornton. After 50ish minutes of getting nothing accomplished the Canucks clearly were frustrated and that’s great for the Bruins going forward. The Sedin’s have not showed up in Boston, really at all yet and Kesler has been a negative influence far more than a positive one as well.

Furthermore the Bruins are in Bobby Luo’s head, big time. 12 goals against in two games, a bunch of softy’s and Luongo clearly looking for answers. To make matters worse for Vancouver Schneider played well off the bench. Pierre McGuire said that fans at the Rogers Arena were applauding Luongo being pulled. Not a great vote of confidence from the fan base. If Luo gives up a few softy’s in Game 5 the crowd could turn on him and pour gasoline on that fire.

As for the cheap stuff at the end, it probably only further motivated the Bruins. The Burrows cheap shot was stupid and selfish. If the Bruins were getting complacent towards the end of the game having a forward go after their goalie would only keep that flame burning.

I was just asked about my confidence level in the Bruins and instead of hopping on the momentum bandwagon I tried to take a step back. I think the Bruins clearly have momentum now and they may even be in the Canucks head after G3 and G4 but I honestly expected them to play well at home. Not this well, but markedly better than on the road. When you can match up Z and Seids against whoever you want with the last change that usually nullifies whoever goes against them. On the road they need to employ a different strategy, one that’s been tricky for the Bruins. One plus to look at is that the Bruins have had slow starts to series before getting to know their opponent and get better. This shouldn’t be much different.

All that being said, Game 5 is mammoth. It’s essentially the series. If the Bruins can steal it and come back home with a chance to win it that would be huge. We’ve seen how good they are at home. If the Canucks can get a win, in any fashion, it makes it very difficult on the Bruins.

Give credit to the Bruins PK tonight. Late in the game they had every chance to concede a goal just by not caring but they knew that it was a huge mental factor in the game and series and bit down on the Canucks PP (that sounds funnier than I intended but I’m leaving it in), and kept them off the sheet once again. The Bruins power-play didn’t score but as long as the PK can counter that it’s advantage Bruins. Now the Canucks may start doubting their power-play which is key. After all, the Bruins made them look very mediocre on the PP tonight.

Oh yeah! Versus said that Kesler was one of the few Nucks who played a good game tonight. Really? I thought he was more bad than good, by a good margin. I don’t know why but I usually key in on Kesler when he’s out there, maybe because he’s so highly touted and because he’s American but he hasn’t done anything since Game 1. He was good on the dot tonight but aside from that the Bruins made him look bad. They beat him up along the boards, won battles and generally had an easy time defending him. He was -1, was defending on Peverley’s boot of a goal, getting beat on the backcheck. He also took a frustration penalty late which must have the Bruins secretly smiling.

I thought Luongo should have started the third period, and should have last game but he didn’t do much to prove me right. In both instances he wilted under the spotlight whereas Tim Thomas gets better. The media is already asking about Game 5’s starter so Luongo’s fragility could linger.

Most over-talked about topic tonight: The ice. Versus seemed to almost be making excuses for the Canucks while not mentioning really how it was hurting the Bruins. Ryder had juicy pucks jump on him in the first period but after that the Bruins adjusted well, the Canucks did not. It clearly goes in the Bruins favor because the team is a hard-working team and not as skilled. They can hack away at pucks and not have much of a drop off in play where it seems to make all the difference for the Canucks. All in all, both teams play on the same sheet and need to deal with the same things. The Bruins did it better tonight.

Keith Ballard sucks, huh? I can see why Vancouver hasn’t wanted to play him much this postseason. He was responsible for the Marchand goal, flopping on the ice and looking for a call only to get beat when he got back up. He was -2 in 15+ minutes and is perhaps worse than Kaberle. He makes a ton of money, doesn’t play, doesn’t care that he doesn’t play and I get the vibe that he’s not liked/wanted in Vancouver. Not what you want to be dealing with in the SCF.

His and the rest of the corps bad D led the Canucks to lean heavily on Bieksa and Edler. The Bruins wore them down along the boards and it showed up on the sheet.

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