Ryan O’Reilly And The Blues Stick To Their Identity In Game 4

Ryan O’Reilly And The Blues Stick To Their Identity In Game 4

After taking a beatdown in Game 3, the Blues put together a perfect bounce-back game to tie the Stanley Cup Finals at two wins apiece. The Blues were buzzing all night long, getting in on the forecheck and hemming the Bruins players in the offensive zone for long stretches of time.

The Bruins played some stellar defense, managing to avoid giving up a goal on any of those long stretches of zone time and even scored a shorthanded goal. In the end, they weren’t able to contain the Blues who were just on a mission.

The Blues went back to the style of play that got them to the Finals in the first place. They were hard on the forecheck and were able to establish their cycle game which eventually led to their first goal.

That was Ryan O’Reilly’s first of two goals on a night where he was playing like he had something to prove. He was the Blues best player in the game, showing why he’s a Selke trophy candidate, contributing at both ends of the ice.

O’Reilly wins big defensive zone face-offs and uses his excellent positioning to block passes and create turnovers. When he’s on his game he’s a dominant player but even when he’s not noticeable, he quietly makes some incredibly smart plays like this one.

The Blues are a resilient team that seems to find a way to bounce back from any type of adversity they’ve faced. Game 4 was another example of that, where they were run out of the rink in Game 3 but found a way to show up with one of their best games of the playoffs in response. When the Blues play this way they look like a team ready to win a Stanley Cup but they need to string a few of these games together in order to win what’s now a best of three series.

 

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)