Thursday, June 20, 2013
Five positives from Game 4
By James Murphy
BOSTON -- Although the Bruins lost Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals on Wednesday night and the series is now tied at 2-2, there were several positives to take away and carry into Game 5.
Bruins had a chance to win despite being "average": As Claude Julien said following the Bruins' 6-5 overtime loss, his team was "average" and the Blackhawks "were better than we were." Yet, the Bruins still had a chance to win. This team proved once again that no matter what type of game it finds itself in and no matter what the score, it never quits.
"Like I said, it was an average game," Julien said. "But give the guys credit. We battled back and gave ourselves a chance to win, even though it wasn't our best game. Sometimes you got to do that. We tried to do that tonight. But at the end, you know, it didn't happen."
Of course, some would say the Bruins had no business winning this hockey game. The Blackhawks came out of the gate looking like the team that dominated the Bruins in the first period of Game 2, but much like that game, the Bruins somehow positioned themselves with a chance to win. However, this time, the Blackhawks' intensity never let up and they were able to pull out a crucial win.
Patrice Bergeron scored two goals and was one of the Bruins' bright spots in Game 4.
Bergeron plays his game: While his teammates completely veered away from the team's tight defensive system and were scrambling throughout most of Game 4, Patrice Bergeron was, well, Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron's two-way game epitomizes what Julien wants the team game as a whole to be.
"Patrice has been extremely good for us throughout these playoffs," Julien said. "He's been good for us forever. He's a guy that comes to play hard every time. Nice to see him having some good success in the playoffs and being rewarded that way."
Bergeron had two goals and was clearly the spark the Bruins needed to hang in this see-saw affair. Once again, he was a leader and the Bruins can count on him every game.
Peverley looks like the Peverley of 2011:Rich Peverley was a key cog in the Bruins' 2011 Stanley Cup run. Peverley and Chris Kelly became critical two-way and versatile players, helping the Bruins shut down their opponents. Both, however, were non-factors for much of the season. And while Kelly found his game recently with a key goal in Game 2, Peverley remained lost until Game 4. Peverley scored the Bruins' first goal on the power play, tying the game at one 14:43 into the first period, and played the complete game that made him so valuable in the B's 2011 Cup run. If he continues that, it will make the Bruins' attack even deeper.
The Bruins know what they did wrong and can correct it: One thing about this Bruins team under Julien's reign is that with the exception of a period during the recent shortened regular season when they used the condensed schedule as an excuse for some losses, they usually hold themselves accountable and they've done that for all six losses in the playoffs. After the loss, the Bruins weren't hiding. They were front and center admitting their faults and already discussing how to correct their mistakes.
"I guess we didn’t communicate enough," Bergeron said. "We know they’re a good team. They have some good transition. We gave them time to, I guess, to get some speed and to attack on our defensemen with some good speed. We got to do a better job of that and look at videos and get back at it in Game 5."
Bruins can quiet the Madhouse: If, as expected, the Bruins do get back at it in Game 5, there's a good chance they can quiet one of the loudest barns in the NHL, "The Madhouse On Madison," and take the Blackhawks fans out of it. The Bruins have shown that home-ice advantage doesn't really exist anymore in the Stanley Cup playoffs. They are extremely good at playing the perfect "road" game. When they play their system, they have the ability to force the opponent to make mistakes and turn their own fans against them. They won the 2011 Stanley Cup on the road in a Game 7, and in convincing fashion.