RALEIGH — No one was more pained by the Boston Bruins’ 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in tonight’s Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series at RBC Center than captain Zdeno Chara.
With his team, the club that won the top seed in the East during the regular season, now on the brink of elimination, Chara looked shell-shocked as he grasped for answers to explain how his team has gone from winning five in a row to losing three straight. But he also had a message of hope.
“We have to obviously go home and figure it out. We are, obviously, in a big hole. We’re all realizing that. But you have to win four games to get to the next round. It’s 3-1 and it ain’t over yet,” the normally stoic captain explained.
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“I think our team has probably picked the worst time of the year to play their worst hockey, and that’s what happening right now,” said head coach Claude Julien. “I think when you look at the whole team right now, there isn’t anybody that has played up to their potential. Obviously we’re out of sync. Passes are not crisp, we’re not in sync. You can see the frustration on the players right now and it’s certainly getting worse.
“So this is something that has to be resolved before next game. We don’t have much time to do that. You’ve come too far in a season to all of a sudden say, ‘ You know what? It’s not working.’ We’ve got to find solutions and that’s got to come from coaches and it has to come from players.”
Do-or-die Game 5 for the Bruins is Sunday night at TD Banknorth Garden.
“Obviously, when things are rolling … That’s what happened to us all year,” center Marc Savard said of the Hurricanes’ overflowing confidence. “The snow ball got bigger all year and we kept rolling. Right now our backs are against the wall and it’s time to face that challenge or else it’s going to be a long summer.”