The Columbus Blue Jackets stole Game 2 in Boston and then they returned home to protect home ice and go ahead in the series, 2-1. Dating back to their sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Blue Jackets have lost just one game in the playoffs. That came in Game 1 in Boston, but they bounced right back with a Matt Duchene goal in overtime to even things up.
The Blue Jackets will have a chance to apply a stranglehold and get up 3-1 on the Bruins before heading back to Boston. Boston had a ton of twists and turns against the Maple Leafs, they are well versed in getting down and then coming back. The Bruins were down 3-2 against the Leafs and then won the next two games to take the series in Game 7.
They are no strangers from facing adversity and coming back in a series. Here they are again in a difficult spot, as they’re in need of a win to avoid having to win three straight games. Against this Blue Jackets team, I don’t see that as being particularly season to do. Certainly possible, but I see this as a must-win game for the Bruins.
John Tortorella is not likely going to allow his team to get out of focus and lose three games in a row, so it’s imperative that the Bruins don’t lose their cool in Game 4. Brad Marchand avoided a suspension after getting some cheap shots in on Tuesday.
The most glaring was the shot he gave Scott Harrington in the face after the whistle blew. It’s typical Marchand, but we were waiting to see what his status would be in Game 4 and beyond. Not only did he escape getting suspended beyond Game 4, but he isn’t getting a suspension at all. That would have been a huge blow to the Bruins’ chances. Head below for our free Bruins vs. Blue Jackets Game 4 pick.
Boston Bruins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Game 4 Pick
Losing Marchand would hurt the Bruins significantly. He is more than just an annoying pesk that won’t go away for opposing teams. Marchand can do multiple things right in all facets. He led the Bruins with 36 goals and 64 assists for 100 points. David Pastrank was way back in second on the team with 81 points. In other words, Marchand out would have been a huge deal.
He was a driving force for his team this season and in the first-round against the Maple Leafs. Marchand was actually quiet on the annoying scale in that series, though. Jake Debrusk made up for it with his antics. Debrusk was the only Bruin to find a goal in Game 3 in their 2-1 loss.
The shots were about dead even in Game 3, with the Bruins recording 37 and the Blue Jackets hitting the net a total of 34 times. Two of those found the back of the net for the Jackets which was the difference maker. The game essentially came down to goaltending.
Rask played exceptionally well, but Sergei Bobrovsky was fantastic again and is counting the stacks of 100’s he is going to be making this offseason. Bobrovsky is a free agent and will be searching for mega bucks after this showing. Again, though, Rask was sharp and he likely gets accolades for that performance if it wasn’t for Bobrovsky going off.
Expect another tight game that comes down to goaltending. Look for a more desperate effort for the Bruins, though. They should have an extra jump in their step with their backs against the wall. Boston have been down many times in the past and always come out with a resilient spirit.
The oddsmakers have bumped the total down to 5 in most spots. I don’t think there is much you can do with that. The odds of landing right on 5 are pretty good, so it’s a sharp total. Instead, consider going with the Bruins to respond with a win and get this series back to TD Garden at 2-2.