Game four on Wednesday night started typically how the other three games started, a tight defensive battle, along with great goaltending. The world wasn’t prepared for what would happen next, as the flood gates would open in the scoring department. Neither team was playing well defensively for most of the game, especially the Bruins who are praised on how well of a defensive team they are. Fans knew that eventually we could possibly see a game like this in the series, but don’t get too comfortable because it probably won’t happen again.
With the first two out of three games going to overtime, it was always the possibility that there could be a third. Both teams have a “never quit attitude”, and put forth maximum effort to try and will their team to victory. The biggest difference going into this overtime game was the way the two teams got there. Tuukka Rask went into game four with a 1.64 goal-against-average, and an impressive .946 save percentage, but would allow post-season high 6 goals on the night. He wasn’t the only one who would have a letdown game though, as Zdeno Chara would finish the game with a terrible (-3) overall, which was his second worst performance all season. Some encouraging things could be salvaged from this game, as the Johnny “Rocket” Boychuk would have a monster game for the B’s, while lighting the lamp for a huge goal. The Bruins found themselves trailing for the entire game, and at one point were down by as many as two goals.
We have to give the Bruins credit for not folding under pressure. During the second period the fans saw a total of five goals scored. The deficit was 3-1, when Milan Lucic would restore order for the B’s, and bring them closer by netting one to make it 3-2. The comeback celebration would be stopped only 49 seconds after though because Blackhawks Marcus Kruger would wrist one by Rask to make it a 4-2 game. The life seemed to be sucked out of the building, as it seemed the Bruins just couldn’t keep momentum long enough to make a push to tie the game. However, only two minutes later Patrice Bergeron would net his first of the night, and once again the Bruins found themselves back within one goal. Bergeron wasn’t done there though because at the 2:05 mark of the third period he would even the game at 4-4.
The penalty-kill for the Bruins had been second to none in the postseason, as they had killed off the previous 31 kills they had faced. All good things come to an end at some point, and Patrick Sharp would end the Bruins excellent run in the middle of the third period to give the Hawks the lead again. The story of the game at that point was this; when one goal is scored expect another goal to happen quickly. The Bruins kept true to that story because they would score their next goal only 55 seconds after the Sharp goal. Johnny Boychuk whistled a rocket passed the glove-side of Crawford with only 7:46 left in the game.
The game would eventually go to overtime, which was familiar territory for both teams. It all boiled down to mental mistakes, and in this game the Bruins made one too many. The Bruins failed to clear the zone, which would lead to Brent Seabrook netting the game winner with a slap shot that sneaked past Rask. Overall, the game was very exciting for the casual fan with both teams rushing up and down the ice constantly. From a fundamental standpoint the game was just atrocious for both teams, as there was very sloppy defensive play on both sides. The Bruins effort was there, but the play itself was just plain average. Coach Claude Julien would second that statement as he would say in the postgame press-conference “There was a lot of our game tonight that was just average and average just isn’t good enough at this stage of the season.” Good news for the Bruins though, as they will have two days to prepare for the game five showdown in Chicago. I expect that we will see adjustments made, and the game will be played at a much slower pace. Game 5 is slated to be played this Saturday, and hopefully we will see a much better Bruins team take the ice.