Game five outlook
Gregory Campbell jumps to victory ahead of game two with discarded reminders of the Celtics’ too-short post-season.
The Bruins will head into game five tonight having mailed in a horrendous performance of roughly 40 minutes, with some glimmers of hope and opportunity in there. I laid blame squarely at the feet of Thomas for game four, which may have been a little harsh. I am willing to rescind those comments, in part because I think the top line failed to execute effectively in all three zones. It came down to their errors, namely Lucic’s, but also a systemic failure to win puck possession. Krejci floundered in the face-off dot, which is strange, because if I recall correctly, he was over 60% in game three. What happened? Brain cramp? Bruin cramp? But let’s put that behind us. Because this is game five. And if there’s any team that can “turn it on” and “send a message” it’s the Bruins.
1. Hitting. Get the hitting game on again. Have Lucic throwing big hits, have Marchand rubbing guys out, get Campbell in there. The Lightning are a team that can throw and receive hits; use it to your advantage.
2. Dear Brad Marchand, please stay out of the penalty box. Marchand has established his reputation as a squirmy and dirty little fellow, much to the delight of all Bruins fans. He just needs to watch out for crossing that line. Because, well, he’s also one of the best penalty killers and short-handed goal-scorers.
3. Win face-offs. Just win them.
4. Fourth line blues. I think Campbell with Peverley and Paille bring a lot to the table, and though they won’t get more than eight minutes in tonight’s game, I’d like to see some production. Paille has been all but silenced for one reason or another.
5. Peel back the 1-3-1, if and when it occurs. Dump and chase, as hideous as it looks and is, is sometimes the best antidote. If they don’t use it, well, then Tampa will be out to sea anyhow since they fail without a solid system style. So, all good for the Bruins.