Cup Finals: Game 4 Thoughts

Thursday, 06.09.2011 / 10:25 AM
By Tom Callahan - Nashville Predators / Tom Callahan's Summer 2011 Blog

I guess the very first issue that comes to my mind after watching Game Four centers on goaltending for Vancouver. As we talked about in the last installment it was going to be a key for the Canucks to get a strong game from Luongo. I’m not saying he played poorly, because he didn’t. One bad goal doesn’t lose you a game. But the weight of each successive goal going in coupled with the Canucks not scoring created a situation where Alain Vigneault felt that by pulling him out things would change.

They didn’t.

At no time did Vancouver get its mojo back in that game. Boston simply took it from them like candy from a baby. Now it’s time for the Canucks to look inside and see what they have left in the tank. Truth be told, they may be running on fumes. Long travel season, the grind of the playoffs, and Boston simply holding the Canucks’ feet to the fire physically are all taking a toll.

Boston definitely stuck to the game plan of leaning on Vancouver, although it would have been hard to match the manic pace of both scoring and hitting in Game Three. The Bruins simply suffocated the Canucks offense as best as they could – but Vancouver still managed 38 shots. Tim Thomas had to be very good again, and he was. But now instead of the Canucks getting under Boston’s skin, it’s the other way around. Alex Burrows tried and got buried at the end of the game. Boston is playing a good brand of “team tough” right now, and it is bringing them success.

I can’t imagine that we won’t see Luongo back in for Game Five in Vancouver. The Canucks will grab some energy from heading home, but they’ve got to find the keys to a suddenly-dormant offense. More than anything, the Canucks need to take the game to the Bruins, which is something they have not done in the last two contests for any extended period of time.

By the way, the last team to win Games Three and Four by a combined 10+ goal differential? The 1984 Oilers. That has nothing to do with anything – but it’s a fun stat.

Also, congratulations to former Pred Rich Peverly for scoring twice in the game. He showed in Atlanta he could put some points up when moved to the top unit, and did so for Boston in Game Four. Nice to see a good guy do well.

So Game Five heads back to the Great White North – I’m just wondering who gets to hit the panic button next. It’s going to take a monster effort for me to be convinced it’s not the Canucks.

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice!

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