It's easy to look at the B's loss in game four and see a tight one goal game that could have gone either way. And that wouldn't be all that far off the mark. But after having watched this team play for 150+ games in the last two seasons I saw something else--something disheartening.
As they have consistently done all series the Bruins came out flat in the 2nd. Not terribly flat, mind you, not so flat that they gave up more than one goal. But it was still flat. I spent the whole 2nd period waiting for it to be over, hoping the Habs didn't score more than one goal. What disturbs me about this is that it's the pre-Julien team, with its bad habits and losing ways, rearing its ugly head just a bit.
But with the 3rd period it only got worse. They waited too long to bring it. I have to give a lot of credit to Montreal here, because they turned the tables on the Bruins and beat them at their own game. And I also give Chara high marks for leadership. When he carried the puck into the zone he was saying, "Come on guys, time to bring it!" And for a moment it seemed to work. But only for a moment. And what happened to the energy line of Metro, Noke and Schaefer? They just sort of faded away, and with them the Bruins hopes of making a real series of it. It was like everyone just did what they were told and played a strong defensive game while they waited for Savvy or Sturm to tie it up. But it doesn't work that way, at least not for these guys. Unfortunately this not knowing when to turn it on and take a game away is another hallmark of the pre-Julien team.
But in a sense I know I am over-analyzing this game. The coach no doubt told them to stay disciplined and they did. And I can't say enough about how brilliant Carbonneua's game plan was, adopting a defensive style of play. I just wanted to see more desperation and fire, particularly in the 3rd. It would have felt more like they went down fighting.