Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals kicks off this afternoon, with Boston looking to take a commanding 3 games to 1 lead. It will not be easy, as the Lightning is sure to play better today than they did in Thursday’s 2-0 loss.
Three things Boston must do to win …
1. Play “Bruins” hockey: This means physical, grind-it-out, defensive hockey. When the Bruins play this way, they are hard to playa against and, therefore, hard to beat.
2. Get solid play from all four lines: Boston is fortunate enough to have four pretty solid lines. The more quality minutes its fourth line can provide, the better Boston’s chances of winning.
3. Be aggressive in the neutral zone: Boston’s defense forced a bunch of turnovers and several offsides by attacking at the defensive blue line. It certainly confused Tampa’s forwards.
Three things Tampa Bay must do to win …
1. Play with energy: The Lightning looked flat and, after the first few minutes, didn’t hit anyone, didn’t get after loose pucks, and didn’t win many battles. You can’t beat Boston if these things aren’t done.
2. Be aggressive on the forecheck: This builds off No. 1. Boston tends to trap itself in the zone with the constant reversals, and teams that use a quick, attacking forecheck can cause the Bruins fits.
3. Do a better job in the neutral zone: Tampa didn’t create any turnovers in the neutral zone in Game 3, and the Lightning turned the puck over (or went offsides) more often than not in Game 3.
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