Stanley Cup Final: Boston Bruins vs Chicago Blackhawks Game Four Preview
By Mitch Cole (@DirtyWaterBuzz)
With a 2-1 series lead, the Boston Bruins are looking to put the Chicago Blackhawks in a strangle-hold tonight before they return to Chicago for Game Five.
The Bruins took Game Three 2-0, and the Blackhawks began to show frustration at the end of the game. Bryan Bickell got into it with Zdeno Chara, and Andrew Shaw dropped the gloves with Brad Marchand at the same time.
“I think emotions are part of the Stanley Cup Final”, said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. “I think when you’re at this stage, there’s a lot of emotions. I think, if anything, the emotions have been checked pretty good so far in this series.
There’s times in the game when those kind of things happen. You saw it in the scrum. You saw it at different times. You have to try to keep your team in check as best you can. As far as I’m concerned, that’s what I’m trying to do with my team. Maybe you get a better look at their bench, what’s happening there, but I don’t.”
The Bruins will need to stick to their game plan and limit the Hawks’s chances offensively, and continue to frustrate a team that has faced little adversity throughout the shortened season and playoffs. The Bruins would also benefit from the using the home crowd to their advantage.
“Having your fans behind you is always key.” Julien said. “This is a building here that we deem as our home, a home that we don’t want any other team to be comfortable in. It’s important for us to continue to play the way we did last night.”
Boston’s new third line will, once again, be a key to this game. The new look line of Daniel Paille, Chris Kelly, and Tyler Seguin has stepped up in a big way since being put together in the midst of Game Two. Chris Kelly had the tying goal in Game Two, and Tyler Seguin has stepped up his play and not only has contributed with assists, but his two way play has been very good. But the real story of the third line has been the play of Daniel Paille. “I guess we found out the problem, me and Thorty (Shawn Thornton) have been holding him (Paille) back”, said injured Bruins forward Gregory Campbell with a smile. “He’s been big for our team. I’ve gotten the opportunity to watch him now that I’m not playing with him. He does a lot of things that really help out a team in the playoffs.
“Playoff hockey is really where he shines. I can relate to that. It’s the simple things that might not draw a lot of attention during the regular season, but when it really matters in the playoffs, he’s been there for us. For Danny (Paille) to really step up and really be a leader in that sense, I’m extremely happy for him because he’s one of the better guys I’ve played with, nicer people. But he works hard and he deserves to do well. I’m glad that he’s helping the team.”
Paille scored the overtime goal in Game Two, and had the game winning goal in Game Three as well. His two way play, both on even strength and the penalty kill, has been great for the Bruins, and he and his linemates will take some pressure off of the top two lines.
The Bruins have a chance to put the Blackhawks in a do or die position going back to the Windy City, and if these playoffs have told us anything, it’s that the Bruins will do their best to do just that.