The Boston Bruins have lost Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. With the series tied at one apiece heading to St. Louis, the Bruins fans would probably welcome a 2-2 tie after Game 4 going back to Boston. But losing Game 4 on Monday night had a different feeling than a “scheduled loss”.
The Bruins seemed to fall into the same old trap, repeating the same mistake again in the 4-2 loss. After a great Game 1, outshooting the Blues 38-20, the Bruins failed to show up in the following game. Being outshot 23-37, the Bruins deservedly lost in overtime.
Boston responded with a huge 7-2 win in Game 3. It was a good time to not repeat the same effort from Game 2 heading into Game 4 as the Bruins embraced the opportunity. However, they failed to take a lesson from that Game 2, as they lost in similar fashion, being outshot 23-38.
Wash, rinse, and repeat. Game 5 has to be like Game 1 or Game 3, right? A Stanley Cup win still might happen, but a decisive win in Game 4 on the road would’ve gone a long way towards easing fans’ concerns. But similar to Game 2, mistakes and lack of urgency ended up costing them.
The Bruins gave up all of their three goals against after bad rebounds. The defense has to do a better job jumping on the loose pucks. Zdeno Chara went down at the beginning of the second period and never returned to the ice. Another similarity with Game 2, as the Bruins had to finish the night with just five defensemen.
No one is panicking just yet, of course. But why is this Game 4 so concerning? Since 2010, the Bruins have won 13 Game 4s. They have been 11-1 in such series. But in that same span, the Bruins are 2-5 in series when they lose Game 4.
The Stanley Cup Final in 2013 has been the most interesting example of that. The Bruins lost Game 4 in overtime at home and then lost the next two games to see the Chicago Blackhawks hoisting the Stanley Cup at TD Garden.
Meanwhile, the Blues tied their series with San Jose at two apiece with Game 4 victory at home in the Western Conference Final and then crushed the Sharks in Game 5 on the road.
History teaches us that Game 5 for the Bruins might be problematic. Rationalism teaches us that the Bruins should bounce back and come out with much a stronger outcome in Game 5 played at home. The last three teams to win Game 5 with the series knotted at two apiece in the Stanley Cup Final closed it out in Game 6.
The next game is going to be huge. There is just one more fail allowed for the Bruins in the series. It has all come down to this. The Bruins have to start pouring more shots on goal. After 38 shots in Game 1, just 23, 24, and 23 followed in the next three games respectively.
The Bruins have to demonstrate they are the better team and go all in in order to get the chance to win it all. From now on, no passengers are allowed for them. It’s time for people to step up.