Jun 8, 2011, 7:24 PM EDT
If unbiased fans were sitting on the fence going into Game 3, it’s likely that the Aaron Rome late hit on Nathan Horton might have pushed them in one direction. Forgive the generalization, but it might be safe to say that the Vancouver Canucks will be seen as the villains while the Boston Bruins are likely the heroes by default going forward.
Of course, Game 4 could bring about all kinds of ugly situations from both teams that might swing things the other way. The word is that Canucks fans might be advised not to wear their team colors in Boston, although Milan Lucic thinks that ugly fan backlash is a two-way street. This series started off pretty rough for two teams that didn’t know each other particularly well, but the vitriol level is rising with each game.
Vancouver @ Boston (Versus) – 8 p.m. ET; Canucks lead series 2-1
It’s a good thing for Vancouver that cumulative scoring means nothing in the NHL playoffs. After winning two heart-stopping one-goal games at home, they were unceremoniously throttled 8-1 in Boston on Monday. Maybe it’s merely circumstantial, but it seems like the Canucks don’t play as well when the stakes are much lower for them than their opponents. (They were pretty lucky to beat San Jose in Game 5, too.)
With all the positive momentum for Boston, the brutal truth is that they still need to win Game 4 to really be “in” this series. They’ve been a scrappy bunch all playoffs long, but winning three out of four games against Vancouver might be their biggest test yet.
Let’s take a look at some of the best PHT content going into tonight’s game, then.
- A recap of Bruins’ punishing 8-1 win in Game 3. Joe provides his Five Thoughts on the contest in this post.
- Coverage of that Rome hit: Horton won’t play another game in the playoffs and Rome won’t either. Mike Murphy spoke with Brian Burke about the suspension, which brings up possibly a bigger question: could this situation have been avoided if the league handled earlier hits differently? Finally, watch video of the hit if you’d like to decide if the NHL did the right thing.
- Tired of all the taunting? The NHL is, so they will impose harsher penalties on it. In a way it feels a bit like the “Sean Avery rule,” doesn’t it? Meanwhile, Dallas Stars enforcer Krys Barch isn’t a fan of Maxim Lapierre, either, by the way.
- A bad power play and plenty of turnovers doomed the Canucks in Game 3.
- Interesting stats, facts and figures from Game 3 and the series itself.
- Boston was louder in Game 3 than Vancouver was in Game 2.
- Neither goalies want to change their ways, but the Canucks hope officials keep Tim Thomas from being a more lighthearted version of Billy Smith.
- Lineup notes: Bruins bring Tyler Seguin back while Canucks await the return of Keith Ballard.
- Five things to watch in Game 4.
- Want more content? Check out the other primers for the three previous contests: Game 1 and Game 2 and Game 3.
- Blackhawks’ Sharp: ‘We knew we had to get two points’ 5
- Video: Brian Engblom takes a puck to the head 9
- Flames jump back into third in Pacific, beat Preds 6
- Letang concussed, Penguins will dress five defensemen 17
- NHL on NBCSN: Sharks desperate for wins, Penguins seek definitive end to slump 7
- Video: Bolts lose Garrison, Paquette in loss to Wings 4
- Bruins ruin Lundqvist’s return 28
- Video: Letang hospitalized after Doan hit (Update) 48
- Bruins chalk Rask’s absence up to dehydration (Update) 4
- Happy returns: Datsyuk plays for Detroit 2