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Playoff games predictably unpredictable

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Canes forward Jussi Jokinen says he has no doubt as to how the Bruins, trailing 2-1 in the series, will play tonight.

"Obviously it's a huge game for both teams," he said today after the morning skate. "They have lost two in a row, and when's the last time they lost two in a row?

"I'm sure they're angry. They're going to be ready. It's going to be a war."

But Canes coach Paul Maurice isn't so sure of how Game 4 will begin or unfold. Each playoff game, he said, takes on a life of its own, with so much unpredictability, regardless of any pregame motivation by either team.

"I think in our games, and in all the games I've watched, it almost doesn't matter because the game's going to change, momentum's going to shift," he said. "If they come out real hard or we come out real hard, then the other team just has to survive and wait until their momentum shift comes.

"I think sometimes we look back at the score and the shot clock and say, 'OK, this team controlled the game.' Maybe it's the seat I have but it never feels like that. Every rush is dangerous, every shot on goal is a potential shift in momentum.

"So they're going to come out as hard as they possibly can and so are we, and momentum is going to change over and over again over the course of this game."

The Canes were 4-3 overtime winners in Game 3, outshoting the Bruins 41-23. It's the kind of effort, the Canes' Eric Staal said, that will be needed again.

"We talked after Game 1 about eliminating their chances in transition, because that's where their strength is," he said. "I think we've done a good job of that, of doing the simple things, getting the pucks deep, working their defense.

"We feel good about our game. By no means are we done. They're a very, very good team and they've had a great year. It's a huge game tonight. We're in our building and we want to take advantage of that.

"We can't take a breath at all. We know if we do, we'll be caught behind the 8-ball pretty quick. We've got to stay on the gas and have a big one tonight."

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Winning the "Will to Compete Battle"

There's no question Boston is going to come into the RBC in an angry mood. The Hurricanes know they have a fight on their hands. Two excellent teams have it all on the line tonight. It will all come down in the end to which team has the greater will to compete. I am hoping the RBC crowd will raise the roof tonight. I'd love for it to be sufficiently loud that the Bruins coach calls Bob Ryan and asks him to never to write another article on the Bruins. Yes, Mr. Ryan, we can be louder than we were in Game 3. Can you hear us now?

Back from the Game -- Game 4

Just back from Game 4.  What does Bob Ryan think of the Hurricanes fans now?  Maybe he needs to turn on his hearing aid.  Great game.  Great crowd; and yes, Bob Ryan, we did want to make certain you heard us.

Growing up in Boston

it was always a toss-up in the hockey fan community as to who was the bigger BOZO, Bob Ryan or kevin Paul DuPont. KPD usually won, simply because he wrote more hockey than Ryan at the time. The only reason people still read them is because as bad as they are, they are still better than the Boston Herald writers.

But I completely agree with you comments about the will to compete. i certainly give the Hurricanes the lead by a wide margin in games 2 & 3. Keep it up boys! You're starting to turn the Bruins into Teddy Bears!!!

Amen To that !!

Thanks Chip !!

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About the blogger

A Raleigh native, Chip has worked at the N&O since 1979 and is the Canes beat writer. He can be reached at chip.alexander@newsobserver.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @ice_chip.
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