Game 4 Preview

There are a lot of new angles and plot lines heading into tonight’s Game 4 between Boston and Vancouver. The most important question fans will have is if Vancouver can bounce back after getting their butts handed to them Monday night?

That answer can only be found in the Canucks locker room. There hasn’t been a blowout like that in the Stanley Cup Final since Colorado thrashed Florida 8-1 in Game 2 of the 1996 series. The Avalanche went on to sweep the Panthers, but the Bruins did it to make the series 2-1. The Bruins have the momentum and they might have a chance to even the series, which would be huge for them. Canucks bench boss Alain Vigneault didn’t pull Roberto Luongo and the last three goals he allowed at the end of the game might get into his head if the Bruins happen to score first.

After the hit by Aaron Rome on Nathan Horton has a lot of dynamics. In my opinion, the hit was dirty. While it was dirty, blame goes to both players. Rome left his feet and took advantage of as vulnerable Horton. Horton gets some of the blame because not only was his head down in the middle of the ice, he spent too much time admiring the pass he made instead of keeping his head up to avoid the check. Horton was a solid player who had 17 points in the playoffs, and his offense will be missed. Claude Julien has yet to announce who will replace him, but the player likely to return to the lineup is Tyler Seguin. Seguin missed Game 3 as a healthy scratch, so look for him to see 10-12 minutes of ice time as well as action on the power play.

While we are on the topic of special teams, where is the Canucks power play? The went 9-24 against San Jose and had one of the best power play units in the league all season long, but against the Bruins they are 1-16. We had made fun of the Bruins got having a PP success rate in the single digits, but in their last two games they have scored three power play goals and two shorthanded goals. Vancouver is getting shots on goal, but they are being careless with the puck with bad passing and turning the puck over. They have to make quick passes, find the open man slashing towards the net and keep the puck in the Boston zone.

Game 4 has an 8:00 p.m. start on Versus.

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