There’s no denying that while the Bruins were an underdog coming in to the Eastern Conference Finals, many still gave them a shot. Little did anyone know that the Black and Gold would have that 3-0 series lead and a chance to win their second Stanley Cup in three seasons.
The B’s have the Penguins on the ropes now. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are still without a single point in the series. Norris Trophy candidate Kris Letang looks as lost as Tom Hanks in the movie “Cast Away“. Tomas Vokoun, despite playing his best game of the series, could not stop the bleeding in Game 3.
More importantly, the Bruins, despite playing their worst game of the series by far, still came away with the double overtime victory, while the Pens, who played their best game of the conference finals, are left searching for answers.
That’s not to say that head coach Claude Julien will have to make some important decisions prior to Game 4 Friday night. The first of which will involve replacing Gregory Campbell, who is out for the rest of the postseason after suffering a broken right fibula.
Regardless, the B’s are in a great position, again, to clinch another series. But unlike their previous two series with the Maple Leafs (up 3-1) and Rangers (ahead 3-0), they’ll hope to clinch the series against the Pens early and sweep away any hope of a comeback.
With 17 players still on the roster from the 2011 team, the experienced Bruins squad knows that the fourth win is always the toughest one to get. And they’ll also need a better performance in Game 4.
“Well, we’ve been through it with the Rangers, we were up 3-0 and we know how hard that last game was to win,” Julien said 12 hours after the Bruins’ 2-1 victory. “That has to continue to be our belief, and the one thing we do know is we’ve got to play a better game than we did last night. We might have won the game, but we’re certainly not pleased with the way we played. We know they played better but I don’t think we did, and we’ve got to make sure we’re at the top of our game tomorrow.”
The Hub of Hockey will be on the edge of their seats in anticipation for a celebration Friday night. But, to quote a new Daft Punk single, the talented Penguins hope to “Get Lucky” with a bounce or two and extend the series.
Certainly, Boston is buzzing about another Stanley Cup appearance. But before the Bruins start thinking about their plans with Lord Stanley, they know there’s a task in front of them that they need to care of.
“We’re not even thinking about [the Cup] right now. It’s one win, but a very long ways away,” Brad Marchand said after Game 3. “We have to make sure that we do everything to prepare for the next game and come out very hard because we know they’re going to.”
To reference another Daft Punk single, if the Bruins can defeat the Penguins “One More Time“, then they can start looking ahead.