NHL Stanley Cup: Now Best of 3

The Stanley Cup Finals have become a best of 3 series, with 2 of the next 3 games being played in Boston. Each team has split two games on their home ice. I still think the Bruins will win, but thought maybe they would be up 3-1 at this point. They are a huge -310 favorite though for game 5 in Boston. The over/under is 5.5 goals. The difference in the series may come down to the availability Bruin's defenseman Zdeno Chara. During the 3rd period of game 4, a puck hit him in the face, and he left the game and never returned, and now may be out for game 5; and may even be out the rest of the finals. Not only is he a presence on the ice, recording over 20 minutes per game on average during these playoffs, and being part of a penalty-kill unit that killed off 19 power-plays in a row, but he also happens to be the captain and team leader.

You can't really replace a guy like that. The rest of their back-up D don't have much playoff experience, or really any pro experience, so the Blues can capitalize on Chara's absence, and that can easily be the difference maker in who wins the Cup. If Chara does miss the rest of this year, the two things that can save Boston are 1- their home ice where they can feed off the crowd, and 2- their goalie Tuukka Rask. If he stands on his head, and the B's offense does enough, then I think the Bruins can still win the Cup. If St. Louis takes game 5 on the road, however, it will be difficult for Boston to win 2 in a row, and St. Lois will likely win the Cup on their home ice in game 6.