Times guest blogger Corey Perry breaks down Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals
Hello from London, Ontario! Well, it’s a best-of-three now after last night’s 4-0 shutout for the Boston Bruins. I think Boston came out and dominated right from the start. They’ve been the more physical team and I think it’s starting to wear down Vancouver. It’s the Stanley Cup Final and everything’s on the line. Everyone is playing with their hearts on their sleeves.
It was great to see Rich Peverley come out and get those two goals. I played with him over at the World Championships last year and he’s just a great guy. He’s a guy that gets it…he goes out there and does whatever he can to win. He battles hard and puts everything on the line. It showed last night. Those are the bounces you’re going to get if you go to the greasy areas. He has found a way to step up his game. Missing a guy like Horton is obviously a huge blow to their team – but there are guys in their dressing room that are going to step up.
I heard that Peverley got the “team jacket” after last night’s win – and it must have been extra special that Horton was the guy that handed it to him. Those are team-building things that guys look forward to. You want to be the guy at the end of the game getting that jacket because you want to go out there and do whatever you can to help your team. It’s great when your teammates notice that.
I think Tim Thomas has really stepped up as well. He got a lot of criticism for the overtime goal in Game 2, where he came out and challenged Burrows. But that’s his style of play and he’s going to use it to his advantage. He’s an acrobatic goalie and he fights for every puck and every rebound.
On the other side, Vancouver certainly needs to rebound quickly. Roberto Luongo made some big stops in the first two games, but obviously the last two games didn’t go his way. He can bounce back. It happened before in the first round against Chicago. Vancouver was up 3-0 and Chicago came back and took it to OT in Game 7. But he bounced back, made his saves and got his confidence back. Now it’s the Stanley Cup Final – he has all kinds of experience on the big stage, including the Olympics. In the Olympics, he wanted to step up and be the big goalie and that’s what he’s going to do now. He wants to make the big saves and get the big wins at crucial times in the series. Tomorrow is a different night.
It will be interesting to see how the Sedins rebound. They’re two guys that feed off of each other and confidence. Boston has done a great job of shutting them down. They’ve taken them out of their game and getting them into little scrums as you saw last night with Marchand. If you get them off their game, they’re not as effective. The Sedins want to go out there and dominate with the puck in the offensive zone. Boston is just putting bodies on them and handling them very well.
Obviously Vancouver is playing with a depleted defense with Hamhuis out and the Rome suspension. But they’ve dealt with adversity on the back end all year. One of the reasons why they were the number one team in the league all season is depth. Guys come in and are going to step up – they’re in the lineup for the reason. It’s the Stanley Cup finals and you’ve got to lay everything on the line. You only get a chance at it maybe once or twice in a career and you’ve got to make the best of it.
For Game 5, Vancouver just needs to go out there and play hockey between the whistles. They need to stop worrying about the after-the-whistle scrums. That’s taken them off their game and it shows in their frustration. They’ve got to play their typical and up-and-down, fast-paced game. I think they’ll rebound in Game 5…it’s going to be a good one.
For Boston, I don’t think you change anything. Go out there, try to intimidate and get under their skin. If they’re skating and being physical, they’re going to be a tough team to beat. If they keep playing the same way, I like Boston winning it in seven games.
The Times is pleased to have Ducks winger Corey Perry, winner of the Rocket Richard Trophy for most goals and a finalist for the Hart Trophy as league MVP, blogging for us along with Ducks teammates Bobby Ryan and George Parros, during the Stanley Cup Finals.
Photo: Corey Perry. Credit: Jeff Gross / Getty Images.