NHL Stanley Cup Finals: Why the Bruins Are Rolling After Loss of Nathan Horton

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NHL Stanley Cup Finals: Why the Bruins Are Rolling After Loss of Nathan Horton
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Boston's Zdeno Chara (33) and Rich Peverley celebrate Peverley's goal against Vancouver in Game 4 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals

The 2011 Stanley Cup Finals are tied 2-2 after four games. The series that saw a heavily favored Vancouver Canucks team jump out to a 2-0 lead in Vancouver saw a significant shift 5:06 into Game 3 in Boston.

At that moment, Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome stepped up and hit Boston's Nathan Horton with a blindside check rendering Horton with a concussion. The hit forced Horton to the sidelines for the remainder of the series.

The two teams finished that first period in a 0-0 tie after the Horton incident. When the teams returned to the ice for the second period, the Boston Bruins, who had appeared to be the definition of the phrase, "We're just happy to be here..." were suddenly on a mission. The mission being that they will do whatever it takes to win the Stanley Cup for their injured teammate.

The Bruins played with a vengeance and, more importantly, a passion that all winning teams need to have if they intend to emerge as champions. Boston would go on to score eight goals on Vancouver goaltender and 2011 Vezina Trophy candidate Roberto Luongo while Boston's own 2011 Vezina Trophy candidate, Tim Thomas, saw only one puck slip past him.

The 8-1 score was the second-largest margin of defeat suffered by a team in Stanley Cup Finals history.

People throughout the hockey world wondered if the 8-1 pasting of the Canucks was a fluke. Boston fans hoped there were more goals left in the Bruins' sticks.

The Bruins answered those questions in Game 4 at TD Garden. They continued to play with passion and the mission continued as the Eastern Conference champions continued their domination over their Western Conference foes. The Bruins scored four goals and in the process saw Luongo pulled from the game by Canucks coach Alain Vigneault.

At the other end of the ice, Thomas stopped all Vancouver attempts to dent his armor. When the final horn sounded, the Bruins had tied the series with a 4-0 victory.

After scoring one total goal in the two games in Vancouver, Boston scored a total of 12 goals in the two games at home while allowing one.

The series shifts back to Vancouver for Game 5. The Boston Bruins are on a roll. Here are 10 reasons why that roll will continue. 

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