Boston Bruins fans sensed it at various points in last night’s Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks. Something seemed off with the team–actually, a lot of somethings–and in a thoroughly uncharacteristic Bruins game, they still fought hard to get back from behind and tie it up, though they faltered in overtime by a 6-5 score.
Yes, 11 different goals were scored off 10 different sticks in this bizarre game that was pretty much the exact opposite of Game 3. The Bruins gave up the first goal of the night in just one of many examples of defensive breakdowns, times when they strayed from the game they usually play. Rich Peverley did redeem himself with a goal later in the first period, coming off the end of a thoroughly lackluster power play, not long after he’d bungled a two-on-one chance. At least this time the Bruins began to turn around a bad first period while still in the first period.
Tuukka Rask, whose stellar stats took a bit of a dive after this game (in fairness, so did Corey Crawford‘s), was hung out to dry on Chicago’s two quick goals in the second. This, though, was the start of Boston’s first attempt to fight their way out of the hole they dug. Milan Lucic began the comeback, although it seemed very fleeting when Chicago restored a two-goal lead not long thereafter.
But then there’s Patrice Bergeron, who managed to get the game all knotted up at four apiece in the start of the third and even scored on the power play. Johnny Boychuk got the home team all tied up once again, this time at a handful of goals for both sides, and so the third overtime game of this series was played. It’s too bad that effort fell just short, though, in the extra time–not for lack of trying, though.
This was still a thoroughly ugly game and a rather inopportune time for the Bruins to look like they lost their minds out there, though there were a few positives to take out of it. For example, the Bruins discovered that Crawford’s glove hand is very weak and exploited that weakness. When asked about it later, Crawford said he wasn’t going to think about it. But you know what, the Bruins should continue to do so!
This team also showed their ability to fight back and dig out of holes, even though it didn’t work all the way this time. However, this still wasn’t their game at all. At least they have two days between this and the next game, right? That one will be Saturday night at 8 p.m. on NBC.