Playoff Game of the Night

2011 Stanley Cup Finals
Game 4: Vancouer Canucks vs. Boston Bruins @ TD Garden
0-4 Final; Series is tied 2-2

In the break between Game 3 and 4, both teams loss a player; the Canucks lost Aaron Rome (suspended for four games [which will be carried into the season if the series is shorter than seven games]) and the Bruins lost Nathan Horton to a severe concussion. Many changes are to be seen from both teams to fill both gaps.

Now that the stage has been set and each teams have warnings on their aggressive/antagonistic play, how will the teams react? How will they all play?

After being pretty much slaughtered, the Canucks look to bounce back in a bigger, badder way. Boston look to continue being the bigger opponent and look to win another to make the series badder than it is.

Changing the way this game started, Ryan Kesler took part in some extracurricular activities right from puck-drop. Chirping, hitting, and just plain agitating was how Kesler started it and it ignited a spark in the Canucks, looking better than Game 3 already.

But despite the good start, the Canucks ended up down a goal at 11:59. Rich Peverley took the chipped puck from David Krejci and went off to the races. Cheating just a bit, Luongo went down early and didn't use his stick and was unfortunately beat five-hole.

Unlike in Game 3, the Canucks came out of the first intermission with an extra spring in their step and thus won the second period's opening face-off. But the Bruins played up to the Canucks and kept the pressure even. But despite that, they end up down another goal. On another partial breakaway, Michael Ryder snapped the puck from the top of the face-off circle and beat the shoulder of Luongo to put the home-team up two goals.

A bit scrambled in front of the net, Luongo let another one slip past him. Brad Marchand corralled the loose puck and flipped it over Luongo.

In the third, despite the score not looking in their favour, Mason Raymond came out onto the ice looking like a Flash. Raymond had zip in his step and had a couple of short-handed chances while on the penalty-kill.

No matter who came out with the zip and who had the better statistics, the Bruins got another goal past Luongo by means of Peverley. Batting it out of the way, Luongo's batted puck ended up taking a deflection off of Peverley's glove for his second goal of the night and into the net, causing a lot of people to stutter in thought. Putting the last game in the Garden and today's game, Alain Vigneault pulled Luongo to the bench and unleashed the ginger, Cory Schneider.

And then the dirty acts came out at 17:33. Marchand delivered a clip/clothes-hanger to Christian Ehrhoff. And then Adam McQuaid hip-checked Daniel Sedin behind the Canucks' net which stopped the play and made the fists fly for both aggresive actions! And then down in the other end (at 18:09) another scrum ensues in front of Tim Thomas, just because we tried to make a play happen.

Unlike the other nights, the Canucks were shutout in this one. Bright side of this all, the decision game won't be on my graduation night and my bet is still alive (I called Canucks in six games). I was prepared to lose two and we have. Now BRING IT HOME, CANUCKS!

3 stars:
(1) Tim Thomas
(2) Rich Peverley
(3) Brad Marchand

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