Bruins Win again, Chase Luongo
It’s not time to panic-yet.
However, after a 4 to 0 loss for the Canucks, beads of sweat are starting to form at the foreheads of Canuck fans everywhere. It’s not that the Canucks played badly in Game 4, it’s that they peppered Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas with 37 shots with minimal results.
It’s that Ryan Kesler and Henrik Sedin are clearly playing injured, taking out the Canucks best two offensive threats. It’s that Roberto Luongo had his second poor outing in a row, and Thomas is outplaying him badly. It’s that their once vaunted powerplay is suddenly shooting blanks, while the Bruins once dismal powerplay is suddenly on fire. It’s that their best offensive defenceman, Christian Ehrhoff is playing like he’s afraid and their top shut down D-man, Dan Hamhuis probably won’t play again this series.
Finally, its that the Bruins are missing their top offensive player in Nathan Horton, but they are still lighting up Roberto Luongo like a Christmas tree. Still though, the Canucks have been in much worse shape than a 2-2 series with the next game at home. However, one has to think the next game will be the most pivotal.
It all started in the first period, when the Bruins got on the board even though the Canucks seemed to be carrying the play. Rich Peverly skated in alone on Luongo who was too aggressive, going down in the butterfly early, allowing Peverly to slip the puck five hole, directly in the spot Luongo’s stick should’ve been.
The Canucks finished the period weakly, with the Bruins coming on strong. It continued into the second, where the Bruins scored twice, reminiscent of their second period dominance in Game 3. Michael Ryder scored on an awful, awful goal. From the wing, he simply wristed a puck that went through Luongo and gave the Bruins all sorts of life. With Thomas playing the way he was, it seemed like curtains already for the ‘nucks. Brad Marchand made matters worse when he pounced on a Keith Ballard turnover and flipped the puck high over Luongo’s shoulder on the backhand.
In the third, Rich Peverly scored his second of the night on a weird scramble in front of the net that saw the puck lightly deflect off of his glove and past Luongo.
That was it for Luongo. While cheers and jeers rained down from the rafters of the TD Garden, Cory Schneider put his mask on and entered the game.
So this is it. Game 5 in Vancouver, with the winner of that game likely winning the cup. All I can say for the Canucks is, you’ve played your entire lives to get to this point. Show some god damn backbone. Luongo, if you even start game 5, stop the freaking puck. Tim Thomas is a calming effect for his team, you are a source of anxiety. To the Sedin Twins, shoot more. Enough with the pretty little plays. Get in front of Thomas and shoot. To the second line; Ryan Kesler, shoot more. To the defense, yes it sucks having Hamhuis out. Tough. Deal with it. Come together and stop making it so damn easy for the Bruins to score.
Win on Friday and prove to everyone out there doubting you that you still are a hockey team, and not a team full of chokers.