Game Four is right around the corner as the Stanley Cup Finals has just gotten a lot more interesting.

The level of play has been raised, and the Boston Bruins are fired up and have momentum, while the Vancouver Canucks want to erase the memory of Monday's humiliating loss.

Both teams are coming in to Game Four hungry for the win and looking to get some vengeance on their opponents.

There's animosity between the two teams, beyond just being in the Stanley Cup Finals. Alex Burrows's bite on Patrice Bergeron in Game One and the series-ending injury to Nathan Horton means the Bruins are taking this series very personally.

During Game Three, Bruins Mark Recchi and Milan Lucic gave the Canucks good reason to be angry. Both players were strongly chastised by coach Claude Julien for taunting the Canucks by putting their fingers near the other players' mouths mockingly.

The Canucks probably don't need more than just the memory of an 8-1 loss to be fired up, but if they do, Recchi and Lucic gave them reason to be energized.

The Bruins know that they're at their best when they play physically and get contributions from across the roster. In the Game Three victory, seven different players found the back of the net. Without second-leading playoff-scorer Horton, Boston is going to need the same type of team effort to get another win on their home ice.

The Canucks need to figure out what's the matter with their power play after going zero-for-eight and conceding two shorthanded goals in Game Three. They're going to come out with more focus and determination in power plays.

Both teams are going to be trying to lay some big hits on their opponents and the gloves will probably be dropped a number of times. There's no reason to expect the pace to be anything less than furious, so the team that executes better despite the emotional intensity will come out on top.


Losing the high-scoring Horton hurts the Bruins but they still manage to hold out in front of the home crowd and even the series. They get goals from at least two players and play a highly physical game, hitting the Canucks hard and often. The Canucks play much better than in Game Three and respond to the physicality of their opponents, but ultimately lose in front of a raucous Boston crowd.


Bruins 3 - Canucks 2