Stanley Cup Final Game Day Thread: Game 4 – Boston Bruins @ St. Louis Blues

It’s the final round of the playoffs, and the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues continue with game 4. Tonight, on NBC.
LET’S GO BRUINS!

There is another Stanley Cup Final game today!

The Bruins started off a little slowly in game one. They missed a lot of passes, spent a little too much time moving the puck east-west instead of north-south, and didn’t play a particularly physical game. They fell behind 0-2 including a bad gaffe by David Pastrnak.
However, after that, the Bruins remembered “hey, we’re faster and deeper than these guys!”, drawing a couple of penalties, & stopping the Blues from having any shots on goal for nearly 7 minutes. Sean Kuraly would pot the go-ahead goal, and Brad Marchand would toss in an empty-net dagger. Bruins would win 4-2.

In game 2, the Blues battled back, putting pucks where Bruins wouldn’t get to them, and making more hits. They flipped the script, keeping the Bruins from taking shots for much of the game, and hanging on for a 3-2 overtime win. During the game Blues 4th-liner Oskar Sundqvist would make a dumb-ass hit that would cause
Matt Grzelcyk to leave the game for the hospital. Sundqvist got a 2 minute minor in game (injury only adds 2 minutes for stick fouls) but was suspended for a game by Dept of Player Safety. Grizz is out with a concussion.

In game 3, the Bruins decided that they were in this for real, but Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington did not come to the same conclusion. The Bruins would score 4 goals on their 4 power plays (all from the first PP unit), and chase Binnington from net. Final score: Bruins 7 Blues 2. Defenseman Torey Krug would score 4 points in the game (1G 3A, all on the power play), putting him in elite company for a D-man in a Stanley Cup Final game

So the Bruins are now ahead 2 games to 1 in the series.

What will be the lineup tonight?

Less than we would hope, but still not horrible. The Bruins are down by a few depth guys.

Most recently, Matt Grzelcyk is out with a concussion from the Oscar Sundqvist hit in game 2. He will miss game 4 and be reevaluated prior to game 5. The older injuries are still out there – Chris Wagner has been out since late in game 3 of the Hurricanes series with a forearm injury. Kevan Miller (remember him?) is still out of the lineup after suffering a setback during the Canes series to his never-ending knee injury.

So the forward lines from the last game should make a reappearance, and John Moore will continue replace Matt Grzelcyk on the 3rd defensive pairing.

Tuukka Rask will be in goal.


Bruins Forward Lines
Brad Marchand

Brad Marchand

Patrice Bergeron

Patrice Bergeron

David Pastrnak

David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk

Jake DeBrusk

David Krejci

David Krejci

David Backes

David Backes

Marcus Johansson

Charlie Coyle

Charlie Coyle

Danton Heinen

Danton Heinen

Joakim Nordstrom

Joakim Nordstrom

Sean Kuraly

Noel Acciari

Noel Acciari

Bruins Defensive pairs
Zdeno Chara

Zdeno Chara

Charlie McAvoy

Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug

Torey Krug

Brandon Carlo

Brandon Carlo

John Moore

John Moore

Connor Clifton

Connor Clifton

Bruins Goaltending
#40 Tuukka Rask (#41 Jaroslav Halak)

The St. Louis Blues are the opponent for this Stanley Cup Final. You may remember them from their previous Stanley Cup Final appearances in… (looks up on teh intarwebz) 1968, 1969 & 1970. Those appearances did not go as well as they might have hoped, with the Blues losing 0-4 in three consecutive postseasons.

St. Louis Blues hall of fame goaltender Glenn Hall in his most iconic photograph from the 1969-70 Stanley Cup Final


However, this team is not those teams, and the Bruins team they face is different from the 1970 Bruins. One advantage for this Bruins team should be playoff final experience – none of the Blues have played in the finals, while much of the Bruins leadership has. But the Blues do have plenty of other playoff experience, having made the playoffs for 4 of the last 5 seasons.

The Blues have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL since the new year, firing head coach Mike Yeo and bouncing from the bottom of their division to 2nd in the Central and winning 3 rounds of playoff games. They came into the series rather healthy, with only D-man Vince Dunn on the injury lists, after eating a biscuit in the Sharks series. Dunn is expected to return tonight, displacing Bortuzzo, in spite of the fact that there are still some wires in his mouth. Robby Fabbri was pulled in game 1 in favor of rookie Robert Thomas — the recipient of a colorful Torey Krug check. Thomas is now out, though apparently not due to that hit. Fabbri reappeared but will probably be pulled in favor of Zach Sanford, with a probable swap with Sammy Blais. Oscar Sundqvist – who got himself suspended for game 3 – should return for game 4. This reconstitutes their 4th line which has served the Blues well during the playoffs.
Their most notable performer has been their former backup goaltender Jordan Binnington, who has put up a respectable GAA of 2.37 and save % of .914., but much higher numbers in the games leading to the Final. He’s actually been off & on, alternating between poor performances and very good performances. They’ve also been celebrated for their depth, generating points up and down their lineup. Their top playoff scorers are Jaden Schwartz, Ryan O’Reilly, Vladimir Tarasenko and David Perron with 17, 14, 13 & 13 postseason points respectively, and D-man Alex Petrangelo, who’s been the master of assists with 11.
(h/t Louie Korac at NHL.com)

Blues Forwards
#17 Jaden Schwartz — #10 Brayden Schenn — #91 Vladimir Tarasenko
#12 Zach Sanford — #90 Ryan O’Reilly — #57 David Perron
#7 Patrick Maroon — #21 Tyler Bozak — #9 Sammy Blais
#49 Ivan Barbashev — #70 Oskar Sundqvist — #20 Alex Steen

Blues Defense
#6 Joel Edmundson — #27 Alex Pietrangelo
#19 Jay Bouwmeester — #55 Colton Parayko
#29 Vince Dunn — #4 Carl Gunnarsson

Blues Goaltending
#50 Jordan Binnington
(#34 Jake Allen)

LET’S GO BRUINS!
WHOOOO!

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Fudge

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Nordstrom has more stops than Tuukka in this series!

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Dive!!

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Zee back!!