BOSTON -- The Bruins have a chance to tie the Stanley Cup finals at 2-2 tonight with another win over the Vancouver Canucks. But just because they cruised to an 8-1 win in Game 3 doesn’t mean that winning Game 4 will be a breeze. The Canucks have pride and plenty of talent. They also showed against the Blackhawks in the first round. So here are three keys to the Bruins getting another win over a Vancouver squad that will be looking for redemption:
Keep the game-by-game approach: We’ve listed this as a key so many times here, and yes it comes off as a cliché, but because the Bruins have practiced what they preach and followed this approach on the ice, we’ll list it as a key here again. They must isolate this game and not look back at the 8-1 win in Game 3 or look ahead to Game 5 in Vancouver on Friday. The Bruins must stay within the moment and keep their focus on Game 4 and what they need to do to win.
Keep up the traffic in front of Luongo: The Bruins finally made life miserable for Roberto Luongo in Game 3, creating traffic and havoc in front of the Vezina Trophy candidate, who had shut them down and allowed only three goals in the first two games of the series. They need to continue to produce that traffic jam of bodies in front of him and create deflections and “dirty” goals. That’s what they did in Game 3 and that’s why they were able to open the floodgates in Game 3.
“I think we had a really good idea about Roberto's play even before last night,” head coach Claude Julien said after Game 3. “We just didn't do things that we had to do to have success here. We have talked about that. We didn't have a really good net front presence in the first couple of games. We were there, but on the sides. We had to make it a little harder for him to see those pucks. I thought our guys did a pretty good job. Those kinds of things gave us some opportunities. I don't think it was us figuring him out after two games more than we had to do different things.”
Continue to play physical but disciplined: The Bruins finally played their physical brand of hockey in Game 3 and it seemed to rattle the Canucks a bit. Until that game, it was Vancouver that had dictated the physical play. But the Bruins took the body in Game 3 and as they have all season, they clearly fed off that energy. They must continue to do so in Game 4, but at the same time, they must do it in a disciplined manner. If they can come out and set the tempo like they did in Game 3, the Bruins should be in good shape tonight.