1. Out of control -- The Bruins were remorseful after losing to the Blackhawks, 6-5, in overtime Wednesday night in Game 4. The loss evened the series at two games apiece, with the Blackhawks taking back home-ice advantage.
But the Bruins weren't remorseful just because of the loss. They were remorseful because they fell into a style of play that was not in their best interest.
Bad puck management, an inability to clear the zone, and some critical turnovers doomed the Bruins' top-notch defensive strategy. The pace and character of the game went against the Bruins' normal rough and tumble style.
It wasn't until the third period before the team really settled in and started skating to its own liking.
"It was a little late but I think we started to play a little better," Dennis Seidenberg said. "It was still an up-and-down game, which again is not really our style, but that's just the way it went."
Bruins coach Claude Julien said the team never really got its act together.
"Not really. Not really. We tied it up, I thought our guys battled hard enough to get us back into the game and create an overtime there," Julien said. "But I don't think we played our best game tonight [for] a lot of different reasons. I think our decision making wasn't very good at times. I didn't think we'd been moving the puck as well as we had in the past.
"It was certainly a tough outing for us tonight. They came out hard, played extremely well. Somehow, again, they had the better of us for the first half of the game until we got ourselves going here a little bit. Again, those are things that happen in the final where you don't feel like you played well enough to win. That's what happened tonight."
You can imagine that an emphasis on playing the Bruins' style will be paramount for Game 5 in Chicago.
2. Rask still looked good -- It's not often a goalie can come out of a game allowing six goals and still look decent, especially considering the stakes. But Tuukka Rask's performance (41 saves) wasn't anything to brush aside. He found himself in multiple breakaway situations, turning back shot after shot.
Jonathan Toews' goal in the second period to go up 2-1 was literally guided underneath Rask's left leg pad after Michal Rozsival fired a bullet. Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp both picked up goals on rebounds, something the Bruins had been doing a good job of shutting down. Even the overtime goal wasn't something he saw until the very last moment.
"They got a lot of shots through and a lot of second opportunities," Rask said. "You know, you let six goals as a goalie, you can't be satisfied. But as a team I thought it wasn't our best defensive game."
You certainly can't lay this game at Rask's feet. At least not entirely.
3. Special teams was all over the place -- Start with the shorthanded goal by the Blackhawks, caused by a bad Tyler Seguin turnover, and finish with two power play goals, and the Bruins had both positive and negative takeaways on special teams.
The team's streak of 30 straight penalty kills is over after giving up a goal to Sharp. And the shorthanded goal was only the third allowed by the team this season.
The Bruins went 2 of 5 on the power play and were 3 for 4 on the penalty kill. It's easy to see how quickly things can get out of hand when the team isn't on its A game.
Said Rich Peverley, "I think it was a pretty sloppy game back and forth, to have that many goals. I don't think either team would be happy with that."
4. No love for Corey Crawford on the shortside -- Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford allowed all five goals on his glove side. Unlike Rask, he had clear sight lines on each of these pivotal goals, so he's not able to use the same excuses after a high scoring game like Wednesday night.
Peverley, Patrice Bergeron, and Johnny Boychuk all approached Crawford from the shortside on their goals, making it look like a targeted effort.
"Well, 99 percent of the shots are going glove side," Crawford said. "I don't know what you would say. I can't start thinking about that, that's when you get in trouble when you start thinking everything is going to go glove. I'm just going to play the way I've been playing and stick with that."
Crawford finished with 28 saves.
5. Chicago's stars finally show up -- We've been keeping an eye out for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews through the first three games while they've been out skated and out bodied on the boards. We got to see for the first time their ability to get behind the Bruins' defensemen and get to those rebounds for second-chance opportunities.
The worry is that this may be a confidence-booster for the talented duo and because of that, the Bruins will need to make a more concerted effort to contain them.
"We have to do a better job keeping them to the outside," Seidenberg said. "Somehow they always got lost behind us and picked up a couple of rebounds. We have to be better in that area."
Yes, the Bruins will have to continue to man-handle Chicago's best to win the Cup. It's the only way.