What began to simmer during the first two games of the Stanley Cup Finals boiled over during Game 3 the instant Aaron Rome leveled Nathan Horton, the latter forced to the hospital with a severe concussion and the former forced to the locker room ejected and done for the series. The Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins were already engaged in a chippy, almost passive-aggressive war early in the final round of the NHL playoffs, beginning with Alex Burrows' bite, continuing with Game 2 taunts and going over the edge with Rome's hit. And heading into Game 4, nobody knows what to expect, especially after the Bruins answered emphatically on Monday night with an eight-goal outburst to pull a game back.
Vancouver still leads the series by a two games to one margin, but Monday's performance didn't inspire much confidence. Boston pelted Roberto Luongo and by the time the third period began to wind to a close, it felt as though every shot found the back of the net. But at least the Canucks avoided the embarrassment of a shutout.
Both Horton and Rome will miss the rest of the Stanley Cup Finals -- Horton with a concussion that needs time; Rome with a suspension. The NHL has vowed to crackdown on finger-wagging, which went from playful, and funny, taunt to fighting words in Game 3, forcing the league to take action as if it was at the center of the hit. And after multiple brawls to end Monday's game, nobody knows for sure how the Bruins and Canucks will come out on Wednesday night in what's sure to be another emotionally charged game.
Game time is set for 5 p.m. PDT again as the NHL continues to be consistent with its starts. But, unlike the first two games, Wednesday's Stanley Cup Final is banished to cable, with Versus on the broadcast. CBUT, the local Canadian affiliate, will also carry coverage of the game, giving Northwesterners options to view the game.
For more on Game 4, be sure to stay with this StoryStream throughout the evening. More on the game can be found over at Nucks Misconduct, SB Nation's Vancouver Canucks blog, and Stanley Cup of Chowder, SB Nation's Bruins blog.