Stanley Cup Game 4 Recap
Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final definitely had a weird vibe to it, from a Bruins fan’s perspective. Coming into the game the Bruins had a chance to bury the series by going up 3-1, and that felt very likely considering the Bruins dusted the floor with the Blues in game 3. But instead, that didn’t happen and just like Game 2 when the Blues bounced back from a bad loss the game before, they did it again. And they did it in pretty convincing fashion. Ryan O’Reilly got the Blues off to a flying start with a wrap around goal 43 seconds into the game. It wasn’t Tuukka’s best moment of the series, that’s for sure. The Bruins were able to bounce back with yet another goal from Charlie Coyle but finished the 1st period down 2-1 after Vladimir Tarasenko pounced on a poorly handled shot from Rask. Tarasenko has to be your MVP at this point should the Blues go on to win the series. Early in the 2nd period, maybe the biggest series altering event occurred when Zdeno Chara took a puck to the face. He would head for the locker room and return shortly after with a full masked helmet, but saw little to no ice time for the remainder of the game. It is reported that he’s suffered a broken jaw and his status is currently up in the air for the remainder of the series. Despite the big blow the Bruins were able to tie the game up heading into the 3rd thanks to a Brandon Carlo goal. In the third period it was a lot of back and forth until the Blues struck with the eventual game winner courtesy of Ryan O’Reilly for his second of the night. After the goal the Blues were able to outclass the Bruins and burn the clock. I honestly can’t remember one good chance in the final 10 mins from the Bruins. The Blues would eventually grab an empty netter and game 4 would finish 4-2.
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There’s a lot to talk about following that game but let’s start with the Blues performance. They were still very physical but this time were able to cut down on their penalties. I said in my game 3 recap that it might be a good idea for the Blues to dial back the penalties a bit considering how terrible their penalty kill has been. Well the Blues went from 7 in game 3 to 3 in game 4 and didn’t allow any powerplay goals last night. Now I don’t know if they played smarter or were just lucky, because they were just as physical in this game as they had been but somehow avoided as many penalties. And I would be lying if I didn’t say that I’m slightly nervous that the Bruins are too reliant on the powerplay so far in this series. Outside of the penalties, the Blues also outshot the Bruins. And by outshot I mean they nearly doubled the Bruins shots on goal with 38 shots to 23. Outside of game 1, the Blues have outshot the Bruins in every game. And the issue isn’t with getting outshot by 5 SOG like in game 3, it’s when the Blues are nearly doubling the Bruins shots like in game 2 and 4. The Bruins have to slow down the Blues and retain more possession going forward. But in the end, we’ve seen 4 games thus far and each one has been a huge contrast compared to the prior. So we are faced with the question again, is this a team turning the tide in the series or just a team simply bouncing back from an embarrassing defeat? It’s a best of three series to finish out this Stanley Cup. Game 5 starts at 8 o’clock on Thursday.