The Bruins need to be on top of their game to come out of Game 5 victorious
Boston will be heading into Chicago tonight after a riveting Game 4 loss that evened the series at 2 games apiece. The Bruins defense was not on top of its game on Wednesday night, and allowed 6 goals to the attacking Blackhawks. In order for the Bruins to get back to their winning ways and steal Game 5 in Chicago they need to do a few things.
The defensive strategy that worked so well for Boston against Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference Finals had multiple layers starting at center ice back to the blue line. It made it difficult to enter the offensive zone on the fly, and prevented the Penguins' start players from gaining the zone with speed. The Blackhawks were able to break that down easily in Game 4, and were able to have sustained zone time way too often. The Bruins need to get back to the basics on their defensive layers if they want to slow down Chicago.
Zdeno Chara and company need to play more physical with the Chigaco forwards and win puck battles deep in the defensive zone. They also need to be able to clear traffic in front of Tuukka Rask so he can have a clear line of sight to any pucks coming at him. The net traffic in front has resulted in too many goals off deflections in this series for Chicago, and Boston needs to be able to contain that.
On the offensive side of the puck, the 1st line of David Krejci, Nathan Horton, and Milan Lucic needs to get going. Chicago's defense has done a strong job of slowing those three down in this series, and they need to step it up for Boston to get a win tonight. I anticipate they will, and I expect at least 1 goal by that line tonight.
These two teams are so evenly matched that the game is most likely going to come down to a scrappy goal and a crucial mistake by one of the teams. Hopefully the Bruins will be able to capitalize on and Blackhawk mistake, and will be able to come out victorious, and head back to Boston up 3 games to 2.