Archive

Posts Tagged ‘2011 postseason’

BRUINS WIN THE STANLEY CUP!!!! Thomas wins the Conn Smythe with shutout performance

The Boston Bruins are Stanley Cup Final Champions!! After 39 years of this ling journey, and tons of heartbreak, Tim Thomas and the Boston Bruins can say that they are Stanley Cup Champions. The game was a perfect script for the Bruins, and the only thing that could have made it better is if they won it at home. The Bruins won it with hard work, determination, and big hearts. As opposed to the Canucks, who had a far more talented team, but lacked the attitude and determination to win. The Bruins played a great game all around. They had great offense, scoring 3 goals on Roberto Luongo. For once they were able to capitalize on their scoring chances in Vancouver. The defense was great, making very few mistakes. I can think of 2 turnovers in their own zone that lead to good scoring chances, and that shows how careful they were with the puck in their own zone. Tim Thomas was everything that you can imagine. This entire series can be summed up by the way that he played. And in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, the biggest stage there is in North American hockey, Tim Thomas was perfect. Thomas became just the 4th goaltender in NHL history to have a shutout in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, and the 1st to do it on the road. The Canucks didn’t play a bad game, and Roberto Luongo wasn’t that bad. Thomas was just better, and the Bruins showed that they had a more determined team. When push came to shove, the Bruins wanted it more, and all the talent in the world wasn’t going to help the Canucks. The thing I’m most happy about is that guy in the picture below. I personally feel very happy for Tim Thomas. Thomas has gone through a lot of adversity in his life just to get to this point, and if the Bruins had lost this series it wasn’t going to be his fault. And that would have hurt very bad to me, and I know everyone in Boston would have had that same bad feeling in their gut. To top things off, Thomas won the Conn Smythe Trophy, for the MVP of the postseason. It’s a great feeling Boston, enjoy it!

Tim Thomas lifts the Stanley Cup, after dominating game 7

Tim Thomas lifts the Stanley Cup, as he lead the Boston Bruins to their 1st Stanley Cup since 1972.

1st Period

The game is on, and the Canucks have great pressure. Vancouver is controlling the puck, and plugging up the neutral zone. The Bruins came back with a great set up by Marchand. Marchand skated into the far circle, and passed to Peverley at the post. Luongo challenged him, and Peverley centered a pass for Kreci in the crease. But great stick play by the Malhotra denied him a tip in. Kreci got a seconds chances shot off, but Luongo made a diving glove save. A big chance for Boston early, and one wonders if that might come back to haunt them. The Bruins had some sustained pressure, but Vancouver took control right back. The Canucks were outskating the Bruins, and had a very fast tempo in this game. Higgins had a great chance skating into the slot. He just split the Boston defense, and was all alone on Thomas near post. But Thomas stayed strong, and made a butterfly save. The only line doing getting pressure for Boston was the 4th line. Thornton was throwing his weight around, and Paille was outskating the Canucks defense. Boston forced a face-off in the attacking zone. It was actually won back by Henrik Sedin, but Brad Marchand picked the puck off. Marchand just skated circles around the Vancouver defense in the near circle. He passed towards Reechi and Bergeron in the slot, hoping for something, and he got it. The puck went through Recchi and a Canucks skates, and Bergeron ripped a one-timer off into the back of the net. Luongo lost the puck in-between all the skates, and never even saw the shot. Boston had a very important 1-0 lead 14:37 into the game. Vancouver came right back with a 2-on-2 chance, but Thomas again made the save. The Canucks decided to resort to more dirty tactics coming up ice. As they were entering the Boston zone, Siedenberg and Chara were back skating into the zone. Both defenders were looking at the puck up the far boards, and Higgins skated right into Chara up high. He appeared to leave his feet, and Chara lay on the ice for a moment. Chara appeared to be ok, perhaps a bit woozy, but fine nonetheless. The whistle was blown, but not for a penalty. Vancouver was called for an offsides, so they had 12 more seconds left to play. The Bruins would exit the 1st period with a 1-0 lead.

2nd Period

The 2nd period started with an icing call against the Canucks. Boston had an early chance to extend their lead. Lucic had a chance in the far slot, but his shot went wide. Off another icing call, the Bruins created another chance. Mark Recchi won the puck back for Boston, and Marchand pick the puck up. He skated below the far circle, and to the far slot. He took a bad angle shot, and hit the far post. Boston had just missed 2 good chances to extend their lead early in the period. But in the first 5 minutes, the Canucks were out shooting the Bruins 4-0. The Canucks had a great chance off a Boston turnover. Chara picked the puck up behind the Boston net, and held the puck as one of the Sedins skated towards him. He made his pass, and the puck deflected right off Sedin’s stick to Burrows in the center slot. Thomas came out to challenge him, and Burrows dragged the puck to the near slot. Thomas caught out of position, and dove back across ice to make a potential save. Chara saved himself though, as he covered up the empty net with his enormous body. Burrows took the shot, it went by the diving Thomas, and hit Chara in his left knee. The puck stayed out, and Boston had caught a huge break midway through the period. Boston came back up ice with pressure, started by Tyler Seguin. Seguin passed ahead to Ryder as he entered the zone, and he took a shot from the circle blocked off by Luongo. The puck went around the net, and up the boards. Recchi stopped the puck, and passed to Seidenberg at the point. He took a shot, and it was tipped in front. Marchand picked up the loose puck, and Luongo was in a bad position, out of his crease far side. Marchand used this to his advantage, and skated around the net for a wraparound chance. Luongo dove back across ice, and stopped the shot with his stick. But Luongo fumbled around with the puck, and lost control of it as he tried to cover it up , and the puck slipped past the goal line. Boston had taken a 2-0 lead, 12:13 into the game. Boston came right back when Mark Recchi flew up ice with a hop in his step. He blew right by  the Canucks defense, and got 1-on-1 with Luongo in the far slot. He backhanded a shot off, but Luongo came up with a big save. The Canucks picked up the pace, and when Johnny Boychuk lost his stick, Vancouver took control in the Boston zone. It would result in a Boston penalty, as Chara was called for interference on Kessler in the slot. The Canucks had nothing going, and the Bruins created their own scoring chance. The puck was picked up by Seidenberg, and he chipped the puck up ice. Patrice Bergeron picked up the puck in the neutral zone on the fly, and skated 1-on-1 up ice with Edler. Bergeron pulled the puck to the far side, and was tripped down by Edler. The puck slide right into the pads of Luongo, but the momentum of Bergeron and Edler smacked them right into Luongo. The puck slid off Luongo, and into the back of the net. The play was reviewed, and Bergeron was awarded his 2nd goal of the night, shorthanded, at 17:35. Boston was now up 3-0, and had a lead that seemed insurmountable. Boston has now scored on 7 of their last 21 shots against Luongo. The Bruins killed off the rest of Chara’s penalty, and they were back to 5-on-5. The Canucks seemed deflated the rest of the period, and the Bruins just skated around with them. The period ended with the Bruins up 3-0. 20 minutes is all that stands now from the Boston Bruins and a Stanley Cup victory.

3rd Period

The 3rd period started with a good push from the Canucks. The Bruins defense was just weathering the storm, and able to push the puck back up ice. And the Canucks again resorted to dirty tactics. Skating in the center of the ice, Hansen just decided to run right into Ference. Ference stayed down for a moment, but he recovered and got back to the bench. Ference wasn’t anywhere near the puck, and it was just a dirty and pathetic play. So the Bruins were on the powerplay at 5:33 for interference. The Bruins looked very lackadaisical on the powerplay, just allowing the Canucks to clear the zone. It wasn’t until late in the powerplay that they created an opportunity off the rush. Marchand skated into the far slot, and centered a pass for Seguin. But Luongo made the pad save, and the puck bounced away. The powerplay ended without much noise, and the lead remained 3-0. Midway through the period, the Bruins were playing a defensive game. They were allowing the Canucks to get offensive chances. Then a bad break for the Bruins, as they would receive a bad penalty call at 11:34. Lucic was called for hooking on Henrik Sedin. Lucic lifted his stick, and never wrapped around Sedin with his stick. So Vancouver had a chance to break into this lead, and perhaps get some momentum. The Canucks looked terrible on the powerplay, with the Bruins killing it off easily. Claude Julien decided to use his timeout at this time, to energize his guys for 5 more minutes of hockey. The Bruins game plan was simple, collapse around the puck. With 3 minutes remaining in the game, decided to empty his net. But the Bruins would be the ones capitalizing on it, as Brad Marchand took the puck away at center ice, and ripped a shot from the near circle. It’s now a 4-0 lead for Boston 17:16 into the 3rd and final period. As Brad Marchand celebrated his goal, you could see the tears in his eyes. He went to the bench, and you could see everyone celebrating and giving hugs. This is it, the Boston Bruins have won the Stanley Cup 4-0, behind Tim Thomas’s shutout performance.

Post-Game Breakdown

How about that! It feels a little surreal to say it already, but the Boston Bruins are Stanley Cup Champions!! The Bruins played exactly the type of game they wanted to, and forced the Canucks to play their game. Vancouver played great in the first 5-7 minutes of the game. As I was watching the game, I just kept saying, if the Bruins can whether this storm they’ll be in good shape later in the game. And that is exactly what happened. The Bruins just played careful in their own zone, did a good job not to make bad turnovers in their own zone, and of course Tim Thomas stopped everything in sight. Once the Canuck fans calmed down from the high of game 7 starting, the Bruins started getting some offense moving. The 4th line for Boston was instrumental in the getting the offense moving for the Bruins. It came down to hard work in the corners and along the boards, and the Bruins got on the board 1st. I though the Canucks would win this game, but I did say that if the Bruins scored 1st I would guarantee a victory. They scored 1st, and I felt very good about it. You could tell that the Bruins scoring 1st just took the life out of the Canucks and their fans. spending so much energy early in the period hurt them. The Bruins played the rest of the game with the same intensity, and never let the Canucks even sniff a goal. Well, Chara’s turnover almost resulted in a goal, but the big man bailed himself out. Boston played a full 60 minutes of dominate hockey, and the Canucks played decent hockey for 5 minute stretches at a time. Like I said earlier, Luongo didn’t play a bad game, but he wasn’t great either.

He surely wasn’t the reason they lost, but unlike Tim Thomas, he wasn’t the reason they won. When the Canucks lost, it was Luongo’s fault. When the Canucks won, it was because the Bruins offense failed. Thomas never cut his teams legs out from under them, and you always felt that the Bruins would win just because he was in net in these Finals. Thomas becomes just the 2nd American born player to win the Conn Smythe trophy. The only other was Brian Leech with the New York Rangers in 1994. Their opponent, the Vancouver Canucks. Thomas also set a postseason record for the most saves in the Stanley Cup Finals, as well as the most saves in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Those are exactly the type of stats I’m talking about.

The Bruins also smothered one of the best powerplays in the NHL, holding the Canucks to a meek 2-34 on the powerplay. The Sedin twins combined for just 5 points all series long, while Ryan Kessler had just 1 assist all series long. Before this series started, I stated that the Bruins wouldn’t win because of these guys, and how good they were. Well they didn’t show up, and the Bruins defense, namely the Captain Zdeno Chara, shut them down each and every night. The celebration was something to see as well.

Nathan Horton was in the arena, and he put on his jersey and skated out to celebrate with his team. It was a beautiful sight, and one that I know I will cherish forever. And I will always remember how classless the Canuck fans were in defeat. They actually booed the Bruins as they celebrated, and as the NHL awarded them with the Stanley Cup. They did cheer Tim Thomas as he skated around with the Cup. So at least they know who deserves some respect. Lucic received some cheers, seeing that he was born and raised, and won a Memorial Cup in Vancouver. Looking ahead to next year already was Mark Recchi. Recchi announced post game that this was his last game, and that he would “… ride off into the sunset.” In his 22 NHL seasons, Recchi became just the 8th player in NHL history with the Stanley Cup in 3 different decades, and the 3rd player to win the Stanley Cup with 3 different teams. He also played in 1,652 games, which is 3rd all time in the NHL, with 1,533 points, which is 12 all time in the NHL. Recchi is a sure firer Hall of Famer, and it was a perfect ending to send him out with a Stanley Cup win. Brad Marchand became just the 8th NHL rookie to score 10+ goals in the postseason, and set a record for most postseason goals by a Bruin rookie with 11. The Bruins became just the 2nd professional team in American sports history to win 3 game 7’s in one postseason. The only other team to do it, was the 1988 L.A. Lakers. The Bruins also won a series when being down 0-2 for the 1st time in their team history. The actually did it twice in this postseason. The 1st against the Canadians, and the 2nd of course to the Canucks. This postseason just had a different feel to it. When the Bruins came back and beat the Canadians, then they had the Flyers. The broke the hearts of Boston last year, and the Bruins came back with a sweep. As the series went on, it just felt like this was a team of destiny. This is the pinnacle of greatness in hockey, and the Bruins are at the top of the mountain. And what’s more, I think this Bruins team can get better. But, I’ll leave that discussion for another day. For today, tommorow, and every day after that, the Boston Bruins will always be the 2010-2011 Stanley Cup Champions.

Advertisements

Bruins dominate at home in game 6, force game 7 Wednesday night in Vancouver

There will be a game 7 in Vancouver. The Boston Bruins have forced game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals after winning game 6 in Boston, 5-2. It was a very exciting night in Boston, and the game was great to watch. The 1st period for Boston was one for the record books. The Bruins scored 4 goals in just a 4:14 span. That set a record for the fastest 4 goals in Stanley Cup Final history. Brad Marchand scored the 1st Boston goal, setting a record for the most goals by a Bruins rookie in the postseason with 9. Amongst all of this, the Bruins even chased Roberto Luongo out of the game, just 8:35 into the 1st period! It was a pathetic showing for Luongo, allowing 3 goals on just 8 shots. It seems like he needs to start critiquing about his goaltending, rather than Tim Thomas’s. Speaking of Thomas, he was spectacular yet again. He was shutout for the first 2 periods of play, but the Canucks finally got on the board with a powerplay goal to start the 3rd by Henrik Sedin. That was just his 1st point of these Finals, in what has been an atrocious series for him and his brother. Game 7 will be quite a game, and should provide great drama Wednesday night. I can’t wait, and I just hope that we get to see Luongo chased from that game as well.

Luongo heads to the Vancouver bench after allowing 3 goals on 8 shots.

The Boston Bruins chase Roberto Luongo out of the game early in the 1st period, en route to their 5-2 win in game 6.

1st Period

The game is on, and we have a Vancouver Canuck down. Mason Raymond and Johnny Boychuk were tangled up at the end boards, and Raymond smacked his backside right into the boards. Boychuk didn’t drill him hard into the boards, it was just a freak play it seemed like. Raymond had to be helped off the ice, and into the Vancouver dressing room. Reports came out that he was put on a stretcher, and taken to a local hospital. Nothing else on his status right now, but hopefully he turns out to be just fine. Then we had the captains of each team sent to the penalty box with offsetting minors. Chara and Henrik Sedin we battling along the boards, when Chara gave him a shove after the puck was cleared away. Chara received an interference call, and Sedin an unsportsmanlike call for embellishment. So they skated 4-on-4 for 2 full minutes just 56 seconds into the game. The Bruins were playing very physical early, just pushing around the smaller Canucks. The penalties ended without any goals, and they were back to 5-on-5. The Bruins were the 1st team to get good offensive chances, with the pressure coming the 3rd line. Seguin in particular, who was battling in the corner for the puck, and creating scoring chances. The Bruins broke-out with the 2nd line plugging up the neutral zone. Recchi and Marchand were along the near boards, with Recchi taking the puck away. Marchand skated behind the Canuck defense, and Recchi passed the puck up to him. Marchand skated into the near circle, and wristed a shot over the glove side of Roberto Luongo. Boston had taken a very important 1-0 lead at 5:31. The 4th line came back with a great chance, with pressure from Kelly and Thornton. Kelly tried to get a wraparound chance, but he had the puck poked away. Thornton picked the puck up, and got a backhand shot off from the near post. Luongo had his left pad down though to make the save. Off a face-off win, the Canucks chipped the puck through the neutral zone. The Bruins however picked the puck up and skated into the attacking zone. The Canucks were caught making terrible line change, and Rich Peverley took the puck at center ice. He skated through the high slot, and dropped the puck off for Lucic. Lucic skated into the far slot, and just ripped a wrist shot off. It hit Luongo in between his pads, and trickled through the 5-hole for another goal. Boston was up 2-0, off of 2 very soft goals allowed by Luongo. That’s 2 goals in 35 seconds for the Bruins, and things were looking good. The Bruins created a chance for Vancouver, with Seidenberg turning the puck over in front of the net. He had a bouncing puck in on him, and a Canuck in his face. He just threw the puck out towards the slot, trying to get rid of it. The puck was picked off by Vancouver, but Thomas bailed out his defenseman with a terrific save. On the ensuing face-off, the Bruins won it back and cleared the puck down the ice. Peverley and Edler were chasing the puck for an icing call, and Peverley beat him. Peverley bent down to extend his arm to touch the puck up, and Edler just smacked his head into the boards. Edler never even touched the puck, and his goal was just to hurt Peverley. It was clear as day, and anyone who says otherwise obviously has an agenda to stick to. Luckily Peverley came up just fine, but that’s the type of play that people get seriously injured on. So the Bruins were on the powerplay at 7:55 for boarding. It was only a 2 minute minor, and I think that is because Peverley wasn’t hurt on the play. The Bruins made them pay, with great pressure from their powerplay unit. Off a face-off win, the Bruins set up along the boards. Ryder got the puck out to Ference, who got a rocket of a one-timer off from the point. With tons of traffic in front, he beat Luongo blocker side to make the game 3-0 at 8:35. That’s 3 goals on just 8 shots for Luongo, and that was enough for Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault. Corey Schneider was substituted in net for Luongo, not even midway through the 1st period. The Bruins stayed on the attack, not giving Schneider any rest early. The Canucks grabbed the puck behind the net, and sent it up ice for a clear. Kaberle just grabbed the puck at the blue line though, and snapped a shot off. The puck was tipped in front by Ryder, and it hit just below the post in the back of the net. Boston now had a 4-0 lead 9:45 into the game. That’s 4 goals in 4:14 for the Bruins, setting a Stanley Cup record for the fastest 4 goals, previously held by the 1956 Canadians. Canucks coach Vigneault decided to call his timeout to try to regroup his players. The Bruins went back on the powerplay, after another dirty play by Ryan Kessler. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Ference and Kessler went behind the Boston net, and Ference passed the puck along the boards. Kessler banged into him at the boards, and then grabbed a hold of Ference’s jersey and dragged him to the ground. Kessler received a holding call at 10:31, and the Bruins were back on the powerplay. The Bruins had terrific movement in front of Schnieder, with 2 great chances in the slot. Bergeron skated to the center slot, passed to Kreci in the far slot, and he passed across ice to Kaberle sneaking in backdoor. Kaberle’s one-timer was denied by the great stretch of Schnieder. The puck rebounded to Kaberle, who passed the puck around the net to Kreci in the far slot. He had a wide open net to shoot at, but his one-timer was stopped by the diving Sammy Salo. He covered up the puck for his goaltender, and drew the whistle. The Bruins powerplay ended without a goal this time, but they looked great with their puck movement and scoring chances. Vancouver was now without a shot for over 7 minutes of play. Ryan Kessler finally got the Canucks back in the shot column, with a wraparound chance near post. Thomas appeared to lose the puck momentarily, and had to slide over quickly to make the stop. But he got his right pad their in time, and made a toe save. The Canucks used that momentum to get great pressure on the Bruins goaltender. The 1st line for Vancouver was dominating the Bruins, getting great puck movement along the boards. As the Bruins brought the puck back into the attacking zone, the Vancouver Canucks would get called for having too many men on the ice. So the Bruins were back on the powerplay at 17:09. The Bruins again looked other worldly on the powerplay. This is the powerplay we all have been waiting for. They had great puck movement, tons of pressure in the slot, and were controlling the puck virtually the whole penalty. But the Bruins caught a tough break, after Janik Hansen lost his stick. The Bruins had a quick 5-on-3 with a Canuck stick-less, but a shot from the far slot went all the way up the boards. It was picked up by Raffi Torres as the penalty ended and he came out of the box, and he passed up to Hansen. Hansen had gone to the bench to get a stick, and when he saw the puck going around the boards, he made a b-line for the Boston zone. He had a clean breakaway on Thomas, and dragged the puck to his forehand. He held onto the puck a little too long, and Thomas was able to go spread-eagle. The extension of his left pad forced Hansen to go even wider on his shot, and he actually hit the side of the net. That would be it for the 1st period, and the Bruins left with a huge 4-0 lead, and had forced Luongo out of the game.

2nd Period

The 2nd period started with a huge chance for the Bruins. Recchi took the puck into the far circle, and centered a pass for a streaking Bergeron. He beat his defender, and tried to get a tip-in goal. The puck went wide though, and Bergeron collided with Schneider in net. Schneider lay on the ice hurt on the play, and a whistle was blown. Bergeron would be called for goaltender interference 28 seconds into the period, and the Canucks had their 1st powerplay of the night. Schneider came up just fine, but it will be interesting to see how well he plays going forward. The Canucks had just 1 good scoring chance, but the shot by Daniel Sedin through traffic hit the far post. There was a pileup at the net, but the Bruins were able to keep it out. The penalty ended with another good kill for the Bruins. The Bruins came back with good pressure from the 1st line. Schneider looked great in net though, stopping every shot since the Ryder goal. Midway through the 2nd, Vancouver was still playing a physical game. They started to get some pressure on Thomas, and both teams were battling up-and-down the ice. The Bruins brought the pressure to Vancouver, creating a big scoring chance after a Canuck fell down behind his own net. Bergeron picked the puck up, and tried to get a pass out to Marchand in the slot. The Canucks defense came to the rescue though, denying a shot attempt. As the puck was sent up ice, Bergeron would get his stick in on Kessler. Kessler took a jab in the gut, and he bent over, and flailed about as if he had been hooked. He fell to the ice, holding Bergeron’s stick, and looked up for a call. Well he got one, as he sucked the refs in to believing Bergeron had committed a penalty. The announcer even said that the refs blew this call, and the Kessler fooled them into a penalty. So the Bruins were on the pk for interference at 12:15. Boston was creating the scoring chances though, with Kelly and Peverley creating a 2-on-2. Kelly’s feed for Peverley never stopped on his stick though, and they skated back up ice. Paille came racing up ice to the now loose puck in front of Scheider. He got a one-timer off that just went wide of the blocker side. The Bruins controlled the puck during the penalty, and the Canucks had no offense to speak of. The Bruins had killed off another penalty, and the game remained 4-0. As the period was winding down, Bergeron received his 3rd penalty of the period. He checked Ehrhoff into the boards, but his elbow hit up high. He was called for elbowing at 19:08, so the Canucks had 51.1 seconds of powerplay time. The period would come to a close, so their would be carryover time into the 3rd. The Bruins held their 4-0 lead, and we were now just 20 minutes away from a game 7 in Vancouver.

3rd Period

The 3rd period started with 1:09 left in powerplay time for the Canucks, and they would capitalize on it. Henrik Sedin skated into the attacking zone, and through the slot. Thomas had Seidenberg and Chara both collide into the net, hindering the net minders save ability. Sedin was able to roof the puck with ease, and Vancouver had broken into the score column. It was 4-1 Boston, with Henrik Sedin getting his 1st point of this series 22 seconds into the 3rd period of game 6. The Canucks used that goal to create momentum early in this period. The Canucks were battling along the boards, and Gregory Campbell gave the puck away. The puck was taken behind the Boston net, and centered for Jannik Hansen in the far slot. He got a one-timer off that hit the near post, but Hansen thought he had scored. He celebrated after the shot, and play had to be whistled dead. After video review, it was clearly not a goal, and on they played. A huge break for the Bruins, as this game was just inches from slipping through their fingers. Vancouver was out shooting the Bruins 4-0 in the first 3 minutes of the period. It was up to the 1st line of Boston to get them back in this game with a face-off in the attacking zone. Kreci won the puck back, and the Bruins started creating chances. Lucic had the puck behind the net, and he centered a pass for Kreci, but the puck went by him. Vancouver brought the puck back into the Boston zone, and would kill their momentum. Kreci would get the puck in the far corner, and Raffi Torres got his stick in between Kreci’s legs and took him down. The Bruins were on the powerplay at 5:23 for tripping. The Canucks cleared the puck to start, but Boston came back up ice with a 3-on-2. Seguin had the puck entering the zone, and after he passed far side Andrew Alberts just rammed into him up high with his stick. It was a cross-checking call at 6:11, so the Bruins now had 1:07 of 5-on-3. Claude Julien decided to call his timeout, to get his team the right game-plan to shut the door on this game. The Bruins had a huge chance early, when Recchi had an open net backdoor near slot. But a diving Schneider made a terrific save, and Boston was kept off the board. But it wouldn’t stay that way much longer, with great triangle movement by the Bruins. Kaberle had the puck near circle, and he passed to Recchi bottom of the circle, who passed to Kreci far post.. He got a one-timer off, and just beat Schneider. Boston had regained momentum, and had a 5-1 lead at 6:59. After the goal, Bergeron gave a push to the back of Burrows. Burrows turned around, and took a big slash at Bergeron. Both players would go to the box with offsetting minors, cross-checking and slashing at 6:59. The Bruins still had 1:09 left on the Alberts penalty as well. The Bruins couldn’t capitalize this time around, and the penalty ended. The Bruins came back, setting up their offense in the attacking zone. Recchi received the puck at the far point, and he tried to get a wrist-shot on net. The puck was blocked down though, and a Canuck tried to skate up ice with the puck. Recchi got his stick in between the legs, and his man fell to the ice. So the Bruins were back on the pk at 11:32 for tripping. The Canucks powerplay was bad. Boston has just been phenomenal on the penalty kill this entire series, and again denied Vancouver a goal. We were now just under 6 and a half to go in the 3rd period. The Bruins played suffocating defense the rest of the night. Vancouver couldn’t get any offense going. But off a bad turnover in the neutral, Vancouver created a scoring chance. LaPierre sent the puck to the corner, where Hansen grabbed the puck. He centered a pass for Daniel Sedin high slot. Thomas came out to challenge Sedin, and he passed near circle to LaPierre. LaPierre had an open net, and he buried the puck. Vancouver was now down 5-2 at 17:34, but it didn’t matter at this point. Boston came right back with a 2-on-0 breakaway, after Vancouver made a bad change at center ice. Marchand skated near slot with Seguin far side, and took a snap shot far side. The puck hit Schneider under his blocker, and just stayed out of the net. Seguin came in, and tried jamming at the net. The Canucks started taking shots at Seguin, and Shawn Thornton came to his defense. Thornton started throwing Canucks around like rag dolls. Marchand and Daniel Sedin grabbed a hold of each other, and Marchand jabbed him in the face 3 times before the refs broke them up. So we had some penalties to sort out late in this game. At 18:29, Marchand received a roughing minor served by Kreci, and a 10 minute game misconduct. Shawn Thornton also received a game misconduct. On the Vancouver side, Daniel Sedin and Maxim LaPierre received 10 minute game misconduct’s as well. So the Canucks would have the final minute and a half of powerplay time. Vancouver decided to empty their net to get a 6-on-4 situation. The Canucks controlled the puck on the powerplay, getting traffic in front of Thomas. After a shot went just wide, Dennis Seidenberg gave a shove in front of the net to Higgins. Seidenberg would get called for cross-checking at 19:03. All of this was irrelevant though, as the Bruins kept Vancouver off the board. The period would come to an end, and the Boston Bruins had forced game 7 in Vancouver, wining game 6, 5-2.

Post-Game Breakdown

What a great game by the Bruins. They just dominated this game up-and-down the ice. Boston created great scoring chances all night, and were actually able to capitalize on them last night. This seems to be the difference in the games in Boston vs the games in Vancouver. When the Bruins are at home, they can score. They just need to bring that offense to Vancouver for 1 game, and they could end up hoisting the Stanley Cup.

Boston outplayed Vancouver in game 6, just pushing them around like they did in the other 2 games in Boston. The Bruins had puck control, they had great puck movement, and they played great defense most of the night. You could see the Bruins let up a bit in the 3rd, and they made some lackadaisical mistakes. If the Bruins can buckle down for 60 minutes on Wednesday night, they will give the Canucks a run for their money. The key to game 7 is going to be the 1st goal. The Bruins are 11-1 this postseason when scoring 1st. And the earlier they score the better. If the Bruins can score early in the 1st period, they will get in the head of Roberto Luongo. Especially if it’s another soft goal, like the one’s he allowed to Marchand tonight, and to Peverley in game 4.

Luongo is a head case, and the Bruins need to capitalize on that. Now it may sound crazy, but yes I d expect Luongo to be in net for game 7. He looked terrible in game 6, and was pulled just 8:35 into the 1st period. But, he allowed 8 goals in game 3, and 4 goals in game 4 before being pulled in that game, and rebounded with a shutout in Vancouver in game 5. He played worse in Boston in the previous 2 games, and his coach still stuck with him. There’s just something about being in Boston vs being in Vancouver for him. He obviously feels more comfortable being at home, in front of his home crowd. Boston proved to be to hostile for him to take, and he just melted on the ice. For the Bruins to win game 7, they simply must put the puck in the net 1st, and early. It’s a simple formula, but one they have not been able to execute in Vancouver. Tim Thomas has been phenomenal all series long. He’s allowed just 8 goals in 6 games. Compare that to Luongo’s 17 goals in 6 games, and the fact that he’s been pulled twice. That is just an infuriating stat, and one that really shows you what this game has come down to. The Bruins don’t have a pure goal scorer, and it could end up costing them the Stanley Cup.

Heading into game 7, I have a range of emotions. I’m ecstatic first off, because the Bruins just dominated Vancouver again, and chased Roberto Luongo out of the game again. But at the same time, I’m very nervous. The Bruins had their chance to put away this series in game 5, and they couldn’t do it. Tim Thomas allowed just 1 goal again, and the Bruins couldn’t back him up. If Boston had won game 5, there was no doubt in my mind that they would have won the Stanley Cup in game 6. I think last night proved it. So now the Bruins must do what seems impossible. They must head into Vancouver, and win a 1-0 game for once. I expect Luongo to start, and I expect him to be on his game. It’s a whole different ball game for him when he’s on his home ice. But at the same time, I feel a huge surge of momentum for the Bruins heading into this game. I want to feel like the Bruins will win, since they are playing like the better team. They clearly have the better goaltender. But after what Luongo did in game 5, I just can’t say with any certainty that the Bruins will win game 7. This game is totally up for grabs. So, I will stick with my initial prediction, and that is Canucks in 7. I feel like the Bruins can win. It’s just that the last time they were in this situation, they failed. Hopefully they have learned from their mistakes, and can capitalize on their opportunities. The 1st game 7 in Boston Bruins history will take place Wednesday night in Vancouver. Let’s all hope that they can make it a memorable one. Make it something Nathan Horton (2nd on the Bruins postseason goal scoring list before his injury; if you catch my drift) can be proud of. Let’s go B’s!

Bruins drop game 5, now just 1 game from losing the Stanley Cup

The Bruins lost again in Vancouver, and are now down 3-2 in the Stanley Cup Finals. The series heads to Boston now for the potential series clinching game 6. In game 5, it was a repeat of game 1. The Canucks won 1-0, off a 3rd period goal. This one came early in the period this time. Tim Thomas was again spectacular in net, and he just had no offense behind him. Roberto Luongo was great in net as well, but he received far less threatening chances than Thomas. But when he did face adversity, he was up to the challenge. This game just came down to the Canucks capitalizing on their 1 chance, while the Bruins couldn’t.

Canucks celebrate their 3rd period goal, the only one of the night.

Vancouver celebrates the only goal of the game, scored by Maxim LaPierre in the 3rd period of game 5.

1st Period

The game is on, and we have a penalty on the Vancouver Canucks. Raffi Torres was called for tripping Gregory Campbell. He actually used his leg to kick him down. Very dangerous play, but Campbell came up just fine. So the Bruins were on the powerplay at 1:39, with a huge chance to take the lead. The powerplay looked atrocious again. They did however get a big chance by Lucic in the slot. Vancouver turned the puck over to Kaberle at the near point. He made a slap pass to Bergeron at the near post, who centered a pass for Lucic in the slot. But Luongo made a great kick save to keep the one-timer out. So the penalty ended with just that 1 shot on net. But Boston came back with a huge chance off the rush. Kelly and Marchand came up ice 2-on-1, with Kelly in the near circle. Kelly took a snap shot, and rang the iron. Boston was unfortunately kept off the board. Boston tried clearing the puck from the neutral zone, but it was poked away by Kessler. He picked the loose puck up in the neutral zone, skated to the point, and passed across ice to Mason Raymond. Raymond skated through the slot to the near side, and took a shot. But Thomas somehow made a blocker save on a very open near side. The puck went behind the net, and was pinned against the boards. Boston would go back on the powerplay after Henrik Sedin took a cheap shot at Boychuk from behind. Boychuk was battling along the boards for the puck, when Sedin came in and knocked his head into the boards. Boychuk was a little shaken up on the play, but fine nonetheless. So the Bruins had another powerplay at 6:54 for interference. But the Bruins were again stifled, looking pathetic all around. They couldn’t hold the puck in the attacking zone for any amount of time. The Canucks came back with huge pressure, but couldn’t get any good shots on the Thomas. The teams were skating up-and-down the ice, with intense pressure each way. The Canucks would take another bad penalty though, as Alberts was called for roughing at 14:13. Manny Malhotra had a shorthanded bid right off the bat. Seidenberg had trouble handling the puck at the point, and Malhotra poked the puck away from him. He then chipped it right over Seidenberg, and skated by him to get a semi-breakaway. Malhotra took a shot from the far circle, but Thomas made the stop. Boston picked the puck back up, and brought it into the attacking zone. From the point, Seidenberg took a slap-shot. The puck was deflected in front, but stopped by Luongo. The rebound came right to Bergeron in the slot, but Luongo made another great kick save. That would be the only good chance for the Bruins, as the Canucks again suffocated the Boston powerplay. Boston was now 0-3 on the man advantage. With just 32.2 seconds remaining in the period, Milan Lucic and Alex Burrows would receive matching minor penalties. Burrows picked up his skate, and put it right in on Lucic’s skate trying to draw a penalty. The refs warned both of them, and Burrows did it again and fell down. That was enough for the refs, and they sent them both to the box. Lucic received a trip, and Burrows an embellishment call. At least that’s how it was announced by the Vancouver PA announcer. And to top it all off, the crowd booed at the announcement. Just disgusting hockey, and I’m very glad the refs sent Burrows to the box. That’s what you get for trying to deceive to win. So they would skate 4-on-4 for 2 minutes, with carryover time into the 2nd period. And that’s how the 1st would end, still scoreless.

2nd Period

The 2nd period started with 1:28 remaining of 4-on-4 time. Neither team had any good chances, and they were back to 5-on-5 hockey. Vancouver took control of the 2nd early, with Boston having trouble turning the puck over in their own zone. The Canucks had a 3-on-3 coming up ice, with Chara and Kessler heading straight towards Tim Thomas. Chara lifted the stick of Kessler, and his stick inadvertently whacked Tim Thomas in his face-mask. He would be called for goalie interference, and the Bruins were back on the powerplay at 4:18. Boston was shut down early, but as the powerplay went on they started to control the puck. Boston focused on getting shots from the point by Chara, but they didn’t have good traffic in front of Luongo. The powerplay ended without a goal, and we were still scoreless. Vancouver came back with a face-off win by Kessler in their own zone. The puck was sent up the boards to Higgins, who was now 1-on-1 with McQuaid. Higgins just blew right by McQuaid, so he turned around and smacked at Higgins with his stick to try to slow him down. He took him down, and an easy tripping call for the refs. So the Canucks had a powerplay at 7:22, and a huge chance for this powerplay to get off the snide and take the lead in this game. The Canucks were getting great traffic in front of Thomas, and generating tons of chances with point shots. The Bruins fought hard on the pk, and were able to kill off another penalty. The Bruins came back with pressure after the penalty, and Luongo lost control of his stick. So the Bruins had a huge chance to take the lead, and they took control of the puck in the attacking zone. Boston wasn’t able to score, and Luongo eventually got his stick back, but you could feel the momentum starting to shift Boston’s way. We were now midway through the 2nd period, and still scoreless. The Canucks came back with pressure of their own though, trying to regain control of this game. The Canucks rushed into the Boston zone, and sent the puck around the net. The puck was picked up by Vancouver, and sent to the near point to Tanev. Thomas jumped out in front to get a good look, and Tanner Glass was left all alone in the far slot. Tanev made a slap pass to Glass, fooling everyone on the ice. Thomas froze for a moment, and then saw the puck going to the slot. He dived across his crease to make the save. But he wouldn’t need it this time, as Glasas couldn’t get the shot off. The Bruins defenders helped block down his 2nd chance shot, and the puck was covered up. Off an ensuing face-off win by Vancouver, Mason Raymond took the puck behind the Boston net. He went towards the far side, and when Thomas flinched, he quickly went near post trying to jam the puck in. Burrows came in and took a slash at Thomas after the whistle, and Seidenberg didn’t like that. Seidenberg absolutely leveled Burrows, taking him to the ice. The refs already weren’t too happy with Burrows, so they didn’t feel the need to call any penalty on Seidenberg. The Canucks kept the pressure up, and were able to draw a penalty this time. Bergeron lost his stick, and ended up taking a hold of Sammy Salo. So Bergeron was called for holding at 15:56. The Canucks now had a huge chance late in the period to take the lead. Vancouver had a couple of good chances, but the Bruins penalty killers were again too strong for Vancouver. So the game remained scoreless. That would be it for the 2nd period, and for the 2nd time in Vancouver we are scoreless after 2 periods of play.

3rd Period

The 3rd period started with intense pressure by both teams. They weren’t getting any shots on net, but the skaters were playing with an edge early. Both teams were trying to gain the advantage in this period early. It was an constant ebb and flow for the first 4 minutes. The Canucks had a great chance coming up ice off the rush. Seidenberg pinched along the boards to keep the puck in, but it was pushed ahead by Vancouver. Lucic was backing up Seidenberg, and now had to skate back with the Canuck offense. The Canucks took the puck into the Boston zone, and put the puck on Thomas. The ensuing face-off was won back by Vancouver, and Beiksa had the puck at the point. He shot the puck intentionally wide, and it ricocheted off the boards to LaPierre in the near slot. Thomas was out of his crease to see the shot, and got caught when the puck went around. LaPierre had a wide open net to shoot at, and he squeezed it by the stretching Thomas. The Canucks were up 1-0 4:35 into the 3rd. The Canucks took control of the game, and had tremendous offensive opportunities. The Bruins were doing a good job of getting the puck into the attacking zone, but they just couldn’t hold it in there for any amount of time. As the 1st line of Boston was breaking into the attacking zone, Peverley took the puck single-handedly through the Vancouver defense. He was forced off to the boards, where he had the puck taken away from him. While battling for the puck, a Canuck hit the ice, and Peverley would be called for tripping at 12:09. The Canucks were now on the powerplay, and had a huge chance to take a 2 goal lead. The Canucks didn’t get great chances off this powerplay, with the Bruins pk collapsing around the puck. The penalty ended without a goal, and we were now under 5 minutes to go in the game. Boston had a great chance with the Rich Peverley streaking towards the slot. He received a pass from the far circle, and tried to tip the puck in, but Luongo stayed strong in the butterfly. Another great chance off a face-off win by Kreci in the attacking zone. He won it back to Ference, who got it back to Boychuck for a one-timer. But another great save by Luongo with his pads. Kreci won another face-off in the attacking zone, and Ference took the shot this time from the top of the circle. Yet another big pad save for Luongo. The Bruins finally started to get the offense moving, and were brining the heat to the Vancouver defense. Vancouver even iced the puck twice in a row. Vancouver sent the puck into the Boston zone, and the Bruins had trouble exiting their own zone. Boston finally got the puck into the attacking zone, and Thomas was emptied from the net with under a minute to play. After the puck was deflected out of play in the attacking zone, coach Julien decided to call his time-out with 42.2 seconds remaining. The Canuck defense stood tall, and was able to keep the puck moving and away from Luongo or any Bruin for that matter. The Canucks cleared their own zone, and the clock would wind down. Vancouver came away with another 1-0 win in Vancouver, and now lead the Stanley Cup Finals 3-2.

Post-Game Breakdown

Another tough loss for the Bruins, as the drop another game in Vancouver, 1-0. Boston is now 0-3 in Vancouver this postseason, and has only scored 2 goals to Vancouver’s 5, and has been shutout twice. The home teams have clearly enjoyed their home ice advantage. Vancouver is 3-0, outscoring Boston 5-2 in Vancouver. Boston is 2-0, outscoring Vancouver 12-1. Now 1 number is more lopsided than the other, and that’s what’s frustrating. The Bruins just need to take those 2 goals they scored in game 2, and score them in this game. Then they win 2-1, and take the 3-2 lead in the series. totally different game heading to Boston up 3-2.

The Bruins didn’t play a bad game in last nights game, they just didn’t play well enough. The Bruins just rely on Tim Thomas too much it seems like, and he’s doing everything he can to get a Stanley Cup to Boston. It’s actually quite sad to watch Timmy do everything he can, and scrap and claw for every little inch, and have it still not be enough. I feel bad for him this series. He’s kept them in every game, where Luongo hasn’t done the same for his team, yet the Canucks are up a game. Boston just has to find a way to put the puck in the net. I think that will require more ice time for Tyler Seguin. Seguin was playing with tremendous speed and energy all night, yet he only saw over 9 minutes of ice time. He also saw just under 30 seconds of powerplay time. For a powerplay that has been awful all season long, you think he would change things up and get the fast skating Seguin out there? Claude needs to get the kid out there more in game 6 to help generate some offense.

Heading into game 6, I have some concerns about the Bruins. With the way game 5 went, I don’t feel great about Boston’s chances to score. But, as we saw with games 3 and 4, the Vancouver games had no impact in Boston. The Bruins were far and ahead the better team in Boston, so I think they can still win game 6. When the series started, I thought the Canucks would win in 7. Well now, I just hope there is a game 7. I think that the Bruins will come out on top in game 6, because of how well they played at home in game 3 and 4. I think they will force this series back to Vancouver. But I think the Canucks have shown us that the beat down’s in Boston had no affect on them once they got back to Vancouver. So while I look for the Bruins to win game 6 at home, I just can’t see them winning game 7 in Vancouver. I hope I’m wrong, and the Bruins win the next 2, and put those whiny flopping Canucks in their place. But alas, I think the Canucks are just too good on their home ice. Bruins will win game 6, and I just pray for the best in game 7.

Bruins dominate again in game 4, Thomas with the 4-0 shutout

Boston came up huge again last night, dominating game 4 with a 4-0 win. Thomas should have had a shutout in game 3, and had one last night. He has been absolutely stellar all Finals long. Thomas has allowed 5 goals in 4 games, with 3 coming in the game 2 loss. On the contrary, Luongo has been Jekyll and Hyde. In game 1 he had a shutout, and in game 2 allowed 2 goals. But these 2 games in Boston, he’s allowed 12 goals in 5+ periods. There have only been 3 other goaltenders to allow 12 goals in a 2 game span, and they all lost the Cup Finals. With Nathan Horton out for the remainder of the playoffs, Tyler Seguin and Shawn Thornton both saw ice time last night. I assume that is the way it will be for the rest of the postseason. Horton was in the locker room after the game to meet with his teammates. The Bruins played with lots of heart and tenacity, and it was a great game for them all around.

Boston roughs up the Canucks in their 4-0 win in game 4

The Bruins dominate again in game 4, with Tim Thomas protecting his crease in a 4-0 win.

1st Period

The game started with a false start for the opening face-off. Kessler actually cross checked Bergeron to the ice at the center dot. Bergeron won the next face-off back for Boston, and the game was on. The game is already being played with some nastiness by both teams. A couple extra shoves here and there, and I wonder how long the refs will let them go. The 1st line for Boston had Peverley replacing Horton, and they didn’t appear to skip a beat. The 1st line still provided great pressure on Luongo early on. Vancouver had a huge chance off a puck deflected in the neutral zone. Vancouver had a 3-on-2 up ice, and a shot was taken from the far circle. The puck deflected to the near boards, but Thomas had no idea where it was. He laid down in the crease to stop the puck from squirting in, meanwhile the Canucks picked the puck up at the point. He finally saw the puck, and scurried back up. A shot taken from the point was blocked in front, but picked back up by Vancouver in the near slot, and passed across ice. One of the Sedin twins tried to get a one-timer off, and Thomas dove across the crease to make a stop, but the puck went wide. Boston came back off a face-off win in their own zone, with Bergeron and Marchand were 2-on-2 in the attacking zone. Bergeron passed back to Marchand in the center slot, but his backhand went wide. Vancouver came back up ice, after the puck bounced off a referee’s skates in the neutral zone. Kessler picked the puck up, and Ryder took a swipe at him. His stick grazed off Kessler’s leg, but then Kessler’s skate went right over the stick, and he tripped over the blade. Ryder was called for a trip at 6:58, and the Canucks had a great chance to score 1st. The Canucks were doing a great job controlling the puck. They had good movement along the boards, and were very physical trying to screen in front of Thomas. But the Bruins defenders were just too good. They collapsed around the puck very well, and denied the Canucks even a shot on net. The penalty ended for Vancouver, and Boston came back with a huge burst of energy. Michael Ryder was now on the 1st line, and they were creating plenty of chances on Luongo. Kreci had a puck bounce on him in the slot, and later Ryder had a shot blocked down in the slot. Vancouver didn’t play great defense, but they played well enough to survive with Luongo bailing them out. Off a face-off win by Vancouver in the Boston zone, Tim Thomas was inadvertently knocked down by Seidenberg. Vancouver had a huge chance to score, but the Bruins defense collapsed around the puck. Boston got the puck into the neutral zone, and the puck was chipped from the center boards by Kreci to a speeding Peverley. Peverley skated right by the unaware defense, and now had a semi-breakaway. He deked to the forehand, and snuck it right through Luongo’s 5-hole. Boston had taken a very important lead at 11:59, 1-0.  Vancouver came back with huge pressure, feeling the need to respond. But Thomas was up to the challenge, even making a save through about 4 people screening. Boston fought right back with good pressure of their own, but Marchand would be called for cross-checking at 16:10. Vancouver now had a great chance to tie the game on the powerplay late in the 1st. Kessler had a good chance early for a one-timer near post. The puck was deflected by the stick of Seidenberg though, and went wide. That would be the only good look for Vancouver, as the Bruins penalty killers were suffocating. Vancouver finally got 1 shot off, and it was just a puck fired in from the center dot. The powerplay ended without a goal, and there was just a minute and a half remaining in the 1st period. Off a face-off win in their own zone, Vancouver sent the puck up ice. The puck was tipped, and bounced into the Boston zone. Manny Malhotra skated by McQuaid, and took a shot at Thomas from the slot. Thomas made the save, and their was a pile up of racing Canucks and Bruins. Thomas fell to the ice to cover up the puck, and he somehow did. Another huge save for Thomas, and the game was still 1-0. Boston came back with a great scoring chance by Ryder in the slot. He was able to get behind the Vancouver defense, and received a pass to get 1-on-1 with Luongo in the near slot. He took a hard wrist shot, that hit the jersey of Luongo, and then bounced off the post and out to the far boards. Ryder just missed making this a 2-0 game with seconds remaining in the period. That would be the last play of the 1st, and Boston exited with a 1-0 lead. Vancouver outshot Boston 12-6, and Tim Thomas was again magical in net. If he was anything less than perfect, Vancouver could have had the lead.

2nd Period

The 2nd period is on, and some more chippy play all around. Boston had pressure on early, with the 1st line with Peverley doing the damage. The Bruins were controlling the puck for the first 4 minutes of the period. Vancouver was not to be denied though, as they came back with some heat of their own. working the puck in the Boston corner, the puck was tipped or passed out to the slot. Raffi Torres was waiting right there, and got a laser beam one-timer off. Thomas was again solid in net, blocking the puck away. As the Canucks sent the puck into the Boston zone, it was picked up by Ference behind the net. As he came around, he was whacked in the face by Raymond. That would result in a high sticking call at 7:41. The Bruins were stifled all powerplay. The Bruins had just 1 good chance, when Lucic took the puck into the far slot. He skated towards the boards, and passed back to Bergeron in the far slot. He got a one-timer off, but the shot went wide. The powerplay ended without a goal, so the game remained 1-0 midway through the 2nd period. The Bruins ran a breakout play from their own zone. The puck was passed up to Seguin at the far center boards. He passed across ice to Ryder, who skated methodically to the top of the near circle. He just fired a wrist shot off, and beat Luongo between his glove and pad. Luongo thought it was going higher, and he was wrong. Boston took a 2-0 lead at 11:11. Less than a minute later, Boston had a face-off in the attacking zone. The face-off was won back by Kreci, and Lucic would be found all alone in the slot. But the play was blown dead, as Andrew Alberts and Peverley were issued matching minor penalties. Alberts received a slashing call, and Peverley a cross check at 12:05. So they skated 4-on-4 for 2 minutes. Late in the matching penalties, Boston sent the puck in deep to the attacking zone. Vancouver picked it up, and tried to clear up the near boards. Chara pinched in the zone and sent the puck around behind the net. Vancouver tried to clear the puck again, but Chara picked up the puck at the point. He sent the puck to the corner and around the net. Bergeron and Marchand went behind the net, with Marchand’s leg inadvertently taking out Ballard. Henrik Sedin picked up the puck, and Bergeron battled along the boards with him. Sedin passed to Ballard, but he couldn’t handle the puck in tight next to the near post. Bergeron tried to jam the loose puck in, but Luongo had his pad down. The puck bounced out to the slot, and Marchand was right there to pick the puck up. He had it on his backhand, and just roofed the puck into the back of the net. Boston had now taken a 3-0 lead at 13:29. The last 2 shots for Boston had found the back of the net. The 4-on-4 would end, with Boston taking the lead off of it. Boston had some more trouble handling the puck in their zone, and again it was Kaberle. Kaberle was being pushed around in the slot, but he just passed it behind himself to Kelly. Kelly was pressured, and just muscled the puck to Boychuk at the far boards. But Boychuk tried to clear the zone, and he sent the puck clear over the glass. So Boston would go on the pk at 18:49, leaving Vancouver carryover time to the 3rd. The Canucks had nothing going, and the period came to a close. Boston had a 3-0 lead, and Tim Thomas was playing out of this world. He stopped all 25 shots he’s faced, while Luongo was just 15 of 18.

3rd Period

The Canucks started the 3rd period with 51 seconds of powerplay time. Vancouver didn’t even muster a shot on net, and the Bruins had a 3-on-2 up ice as the penalty ended. Rich Peverley was skating through the high slot, when he lost an edge. After he fell, Henrik Sedin took a slash at him trying to get the puck. Sedin would be called for slashing at :52, and the Bruins were on the powerplay. The Bruins just looked atrocious, and the powerplay ended with just 1 shot on goal. Vancouver had more shorthanded bids than Boston did shots, both coming by Mason Raymond. His biggest chance came when he took the puck at the Boston point, and Andrew Ference pinched in on him. Raymond deked right around him, and now had a semi-breakaway. But Ryder came streaking down, and lifted Raymond’s stick as he went for the shot. A huge play by Ryder as the powerplay ended. Boston came back though, after a huge hit turned the puck over in their own zone. Kreci picked up the puck, and passed ahead to Lucic. Lucic skated up the side boards entering the attacking zone, with Kevin Beiksa going for the hip check. Lucic stopped, and skated right around the hip check, and Boston now had a 2-on-1 in the slot. Lucic centered a pass for Peverley, but Luongo poked the puck away. Kessler clamped down on Peverley as the 2 went towards the net, and the puck bounced up into their bodies. The puck was lost for a moment, and then appeared in the back of the Vancouver net. Boston had surprisingly taken a 4-0 lead, with Rich Peverley being awarded the goal at 3:39. That was it for Roberto Luongo, as Corey Schneider substituted him in net. Boston came right back with pressure on Schneider, testing him early. He appeared up to the challenge, and Vancouver took the puck into the Boston zone. The Canucks weren’t going to lie down like they did Monday night. As the puck was sent up the far boards, Mark Recchi checked a Canuck into the boards. His stick was up high, and the shaft inadvertently hit him the eye. Boston would go on the pk at 9:14, and Vancouver had a chance to break into this lead. The Canucks would kill their own powerplay though when Ryan Kessler decided to take a whack at the back of the legs of McQuaid. He received a slashing call at 10:25, so they skated 4-on-4 for 48 seconds. Surprise, Kessler continues to play dirty, and I would like to add that McQuaid didn’t even flinch when he was hit. If that was a Canuck, he would have hit the ice whining like a baby. We’ve seen it all series, and it just shows what these 2 teams are really made of. Vancouver had the better scoring chances during the 4-on-4, but Thomas continued to make every save. The 4-on-4 ended, and the Bruins had 1:12 of powerplay time. Boston couldn’t do anything with the puck, and the powerplay ended without a goal. The Bruins were playing a bit sloppy, and they had a tough time getting the puck out of their own zone. But Boston would go back on the powerplay, after LaPierre broke Shawn Thornton’s stick. LaPierre would receive a slashing call at 14:36, and the Bruins had a chance to embarrass the Canucks with a goal off the man advantage. The Bruins again looked pathetic, having trouble even entering the attacking zone. We were now down to under 3 and a half to play, and the only thing the Bruins were playing for now was the shutout. Brad Marchand was skating into the attacking zone, when he stopped and skated around Erhinhoff. While he went by, he grabbed the head of Ehrhoff and threw him down. As he went to the corner, Daniel Sedin came charging at Marchad. He ducked under Sedin’s check, and Sedin tumbled over him. Ballard came in and grabbed Marchand, and the 2 tussled down to the ice. The best part was when McQuaid came over to back up his foreword, and he grabbed Ehrhoff. McQuaid had his helmet off, and his gloves down. He was ready to fight. Ehrhoff threw his gloves down, saw McQuaid, and went right to the turtle. He wanted no part of this fight once he saw he couldn’t match up. The commentator said that was a bad matchup, and McQuaid would wreck Ehrhoff. He added that people don’t seem to know how tough Adam McQuaid is. That just had me laughing in my chair. It is absolutely true. All of us in Boston have seen McQuaid beat the life out of some people, and know exactly what he was talking about. As for the game, there were some penalties issued at 17:33. Marchand received a roughing minor served by Seguin, as well as holding and tripping minors. Ballard received a roughing minor, and McQuaid received a game misconduct. So the Canucks had 4 minutes of powerplay time, and even decided to empty their net. Vancouver was desperate for a goal, which is not a sign of faith in your team when you already have a 4 minute powerplay if you ask me. During the powerplay, Burrows chopped the stick out of Tim Thomas’s hand. A little later, Thomas slashed the back of Burrows leg, and Burrows turned around and cross-checked him. Thomas smacked at Burrows, and Seidenberg threw him down to the ice. A small scrum ensued, with more penalties being assessed at 18:09. Burrows received a cross checking minor, Kessler received a roughing minor and a game misconduct. Chara received a roughing minor and a game misconduct, and Kelly received a slashing minor. So it remained an extended powerplay for the Canucks. Schneider was put back in goal for the final minute and a half. The Canucks did a good job of holding the puck in the Boston zone, getting some point shots off. Boston would clear the zone though, and the puck skated down the ice as the period ended. The Boston Bruins had fought hard, and come away with 2 wins at home to even the Stanley Cup Finals. Game 4 was over, with the Bruins winning 4-0.

Post-Game Breakdown

Another great win for the Bruins, and a terrible loss for the Canucks. Boston dominated all facets of the game again last night, and Tim Thomas was his usual self. For the Bruins, it has been the mark of consistency in net, with timely goal scoring. For the Canucks, it’s been a tale of 2 teams. In Vancouver, the Canucks scored 4 goals, with Luongo allowing just 2. Luongo even shutout the Bruins for the first 4 periods of these Cup Finals. But once they got to Boston, they became a different team, as did the Bruins. Boston has upped the physicality, and has really worked over the Vancouver star players. Luongo has turned into a puddle these 2 games in Boston, allowing 12 goals in the 2 games here. Meanwhile, the Bruins were very unfortunate to lose both games in Vancouver. Considering that Tim Thomas was stellar in both games, it came down to not enough offense and bad turnovers for the Bruins. The 1st line for each team really set the tone in this game. Lucic had an assist with 5 shots on net. Kreci had 2 assists with 3 shots on net. He also leads all skaters in points and goals in these playoffs. Peverley had 2 shots and 2 goals. The 1st line for Vancouver meanwhile did nothing. The Bruins pk has also been tremendous, with the Bruins powerplay actually being better than Vancouver’s these Cup Finals. Vancouver is just 1 for 22 on the powerplay, while the Bruins have 3 goals on their chances. When the game is even strength at 5-on-5, the Bruins are +24, and the Canucks are -2. The Bruins are 10-1 scoring 1st, and 8-1 when leading after 2 periods. Kreci becomes just the 6th Bruin with 10 goals and 10 assists in the postseason. This is also the 1st shutout win in the Stanley Cup Finals for Boston since game 3 of the 1978 Finals against Montreal. Marchand tied a Bruins rookie record with 8 playoff goals in a single postseason. Claude Julien has now tied Don Cherry for the most playoff wins by a Bruin coach with 31. It was quite a historic night in Boston. Heading into game 5, Boston has all the momentum. The Bruins seem to be inside Luongo’s head, and their coach now faces a big decision. Does he start Luongo or Schneider in game 5?

The Bruins are coming off 2 devastating wins in Boston, and now know what they must do. If the Bruins are going to win the Cup Finals, they must win 1 game in Vancouver. Preferably game 5, as it sets up perfectly for the Bruins to win the Cup in game 6 at home. And I’m starting to believe that is going to happen. But it’s been a tale of 2 cities, as each home team has dominated these games. I feel good about the Bruins in game 5, and I think they will win. With all the troubles Luongo is having, and the 1st line for Vancouver, it just seems like the Bruins have everything going their way. If Boston wins game 5, they will have the perfect chance to win the Stanley Cup in game 6. Losing game 5 would mean more pressure to win 2 straight games, including game 7 in Vancouver. You can’t give the Canucks a chance if you’re Boston, and they need to step on the throat of Vancouver Friday night.

Bruins dominate game 3, now trail Stanley Cup 2-1

Game 3 is in the books, and the Bruins just destroyed the Canucks. Boston came out with an 8-1 win, scoring 4 goals in the 2nd and 3rd period. Boston just dominated every facet of the game. Thomas was nearly perfect in net, allowing the only goal of the game off a perfect shot in the 3rd period. The defense for Boston pounded away on the Vancouver offense, and clearly got under their skin with how physical they were playing. Kessler, Burrows, and Daniel Sedin each took awful misconduct penalties in the game. The offense for Boston was very apparent. Boston scored 8 goals tonight, easily the most goals scored by any team this postseason. They had some dirty goals, and some pretty goals. It was a nice mix for Boston, and I think that is a good sign for them. They just beat Luongo in every way, and you have to wonder if that will get in his head a little bit. Coach Julien made a change last night, scratching Tyler Seguin and putting in Shawn Thornton. It paid off big, as Thornton brought a lot of energy to the Bruins tonight and made his presences felt throughout the game. Great game by Boston, and I wish I could relive this every day.

Thomas clears out Henrik Sedin

Tim Thomas and the Bruins fight back, and dominate game 3 in an 8-1 win

1st Period

The game is on, and the Bruins are offsides. Boychuk sent a puck around the ne from the red line, but Marchand touched the puck offsides.The Bruins are playing very physical, and Alex Burrows is public enemy #1. Recchi and Thornton hammered Burrows along the sideboards. The Bruins were entering the Canuck zone, and Nathan Horton made a pass to Lucic on the far side. Horton was hammered by Aaron Rome well after his pass, and Horton’s head hit the ice hard. He lay motionless on the ice for a moment, but was able to move soon after. The stretcher was even brought out to carry him off. Aaron Rome was issued a 5 minute major for interference, and a 10 minute game misconduct and ejection at 5:07. The Bruins now had a 5 minute powerplay to work with, and a huge chance to take the lead. Recchi had 2 great chances for Boston, once on a tip-in and once jamming the net off a Chara shot. On the later play, Recchi was cleared out by 2 Canucks. Vancouver was playing dirty hockey, and it was frustrating to watch them get away with everything. Boston had a chance off the rush, with Lucic and Kreci in a 2-on-1 situation. Lucic had the puck in the center slot, and passed to the far slot to Kreci. But the puck was deflected by a Vancouver skate, and went in on the now sprawling Luongo. The puck skidded to his chest, and Kreci tried to jam at it, but it was covered up. Seidenberg had 2 great chances in the near slot all alone, but Luongo was terrific in net. The Bruins had tremendous movement, and were getting great shots off. But the powerplay ended without a goal again for the Bruins. Vancouver took the puck into the Boston zone, and the puck was sent out of play in the Boston zone. McQuaid was called for delay of game at 11:41, so Boston now had to kill off an important penalty. Vancouver had a couple quick chances, but the Bruins pk tightened up. Boston killed off the penalty, allowing just 1 shot on net by Vancouver. The 2 teams fought up-and-down the ice. This game had an incredible tempo. The Canucks broke into the Boston zone, with Mason Raymond taking the puck in the slot. He deked right around Siedenberg, and was 1-on-1 with Thomas. He took a quick shot at the Boston netminder, but it hit him right in the chest. The rebound came back to Raymond, who got a second shot off. But Thomas made a terrific save with his left pad or glove, and kept the puck out of the net. That was the last good shot of the night, as the period would come to a close scoreless.

2nd Period

The 2nd period started with a win off the opening face-off by Vancouver. The puck was taken by Edler, who tried to make a pass up ice. He broke his stick on the pass though, and Kreci picked up the loose puck at the point. He had a huge chance in the far circle, but Luongo turned him away. The puck went up the near boards to Peverley, who chipped it to Ference at the point. Ference fired a knuckleball shot off, and into the back of the net. Luongo never saw the shot with Kreci screening in-front, and Boston had a 1-0 lead just 11 seconds into the game. Boston kept the tempo up, and had a scoring chance from Thornton. Thornton skated into the far slot, but had his stick lifted and was hooked by Tambellini. Boston would go back on the powerplay at 2:42 for hooking. The powerplay of Boston remained relatively ineffective. Vancouver was clearing the puck, and Boston couldn’t get any offense going. But with seconds remaining, the Bruins set up a play in the slot. Ryder passed to Recchi in the far slot, and he centered a pass for Peverley. The puck was deflected by the stick of Ryan Kessler, and went right through the 5-hole of Luongo. Boston was now up 2-0 just 4:22 into the period. Vancouver entered the Boston zone, and Burrows skated towards the corner. He skated right towards Ference, who bumped him with his shoulder. Burrows hit the ice, and drew a tripping call at 6:22. The Canucks had a few great chances on Thomas early, but Thomas stood tall in net. The Bruins created their own chances on the pk, with Paille getting a shot off that Luongo turned away. The Bruins seemed to create more chances than the Canucks did on the penalty. The powerplay ended without a goal for the Canucks, so Boston kept their 2-0 lead. Boston would go back on the penalty kill minutes later, as Lucic was called for slashing at 10:30. The Bruins kept the tempo up though, and Marchand just took the puck away from Daniel Sedin at the Boston point. He skated through the neutral zone, and chipped the puck ahead and skated right by 3 Vancouver defenders to get into the slot. He skated right through the slot, and Luongo tried to make a poke check going spread eagle. Marchand dragged the puck by Luongo, and roofed it into the net. Boston was now up 3-0 at 11:30 off a shorthanded goal. The Canucks powerplay ended without a shot on net, and they were back to 5-on-5. The Bruins were playing with tremendous energy, and had total control of this game. Boston was controlling the puck in the offensive zone for a good 2 or 3 minutes before Vancouver cleared the puck. Boston came back with a 3-on-3 rush attempt, and Michael Ryder took a shot from the high slot that Luongo blocked down. The rebound came right to Kreci in the near slot, and he got a one-timer off that beat Luongo high glove side. Boston was now up 4-0 at 15:47. Vancouver took the puck back into the Boston zone, and had the puck in the slot. A shot taken rebounded out, and was knocked away by Seidenberg. Johnny Boychuk tried to knock the puck away, and nailed  Victor Oreskovich in the face. Boychuk received a 4 minute double minor for high-sticking at 17:36. Boston had the 1st chance though, with Bergeron taking the puck away at center ice. He skated into the slot and took a shot near post, but Luongo made a blocker save. Vancouver picked the puck back up, but didn’t get any good scoring chances. The period ended without a powerplay goal by the Canucks, so there would be carryover time into the 3rd. Boston exited the 2nd period with a 4-0 lead, and complete control of the game.

3rd Period

The Canucks began the 3rd period with 1:36 remaining in penalty time. But the Bruins pk was too strong, and denied the Canucks a goal. But Boston would go back on the pk, after Ryder checked Tambollieni hard into the boards. He would receive a roughing call at 2:50. Vancouver had some great chances early, but Thomas was just too good on this night. During a face-off, Zdeno Chara and Alex Burrows would give each other a whack with their sticks. The refs decided to defuse the situation, and sent both players to the box with offsetting unsportsmanlike conduct penalties at 3:33. It remained 5-on-4 for just over a minute now. The Canucks had more good scoring chances, but Thomas stopped them all. The powerplay ended without a goal, and Boston remained up 4-0. Vancouver was out shooting Boston 7-0 within the first 5 minutes, but Thomas was just standing on his head all night. After turnover in the Boston zone in which Henrik Sedin knocked the puck up in the air, he gloved down the puck right in front of Thomas. Thomas just plowed into Sedin, knocking him down so he couldn’t shoot and the puck trickled by the near post and was cleared out by Boston. As Vancouver picked the puck back up in their own zone, they sent the puck down for an icing call. Ference touched the puck up with Daniel Sedin chasing him, and then bumped him shoulder-to-shoulder. Sedin proceeded to fall to the ice, and grabbed his face. Just disgraceful, as he was trying to milk a call from the refs. I don’t know what happened on the ice between those two, but as Ference skated off Sedin grabbed him from behind. He was using his stick to put him in a chokehold of sorts, before the refs finally broke them up. Both players would receive a 10 minute misconduct penalty at 6:59. Vancouver had a great scoring chance after McQuaid made a blind pass to the slot, but Thomas again made a terrific save and froze the puck. After the play, Kessler skated into the crease and tried to clear out McQuaid. Thornton didn’t like that, and got right in Kessler’s face. Thornton dragged Kessler to the endboards, and the two started jawing at each other, stuffing hands in each others face. For some reason, the refs decided to toss Thornton from the game, as he received a 10 minute misconduct and an extra roughing call at 7:58. So the Canucks were now on the powerplay, with a chance to make a dent into the Boston lead. But Vancouver would cancel their own penalty, after Kessler hit an unsuspecting Paille into the boards at 9:11 for a boarding call. It was now 4-on-4 for 47 seconds. Boston had the puck in the attacking zone, but the puck was taken away and passed ahead by Vancouver. Higgins now had a clean breakaway, and deked to the backhand. But Thomas just made the save with his stick covering up the 5-hole. One of his biggest saves of the night, and of the season for Boston. The 4-on-4 ended, and Boston now was on the powerplay for 1:13. The powerplay would end without any good chances by Boston. The Canucks sent the puck in on Thomas right after the penalty ended, and he covered up the puck. As Burrows went by him, he took a slash at Thomas. Lucic didn’t like that, so he slashed at Burrows, and jabbed him right in the head. Burrows got up and smacked Lucic around, and the 2 got into an altercation. Lucic ended up throwing his glove off, and sticking his finger right into Burrows’s face. After their altercation, Seidenberg and Kessler got into their own fight. They both dropped the gloves, and Seidenberg took down Kessler quickly. Kessler turned over and got on top of Seidenberg, and then proceeded to punch at his head. The refs finally broke them up, but that was just a despicable move by Kessler. I hope the entire nation can now see how classless these Canucks are, and just how dirty they play. Now I don’t condone Lucic hitting Burrows either, but that is the only thing I can say I didn’t agree with by the Bruins. Cheap shots by Kessler, and an attempted chokehold by Sedin is just pathetic and classless. The penalties, all at 11:16, shook out like this. Burrows received a minor for slashing, and a 10 minute misconduct. Lucic received a 2 minute roughing, and 10 minute misconduct. He also received a 2 minute minor for slashing, served by Michael Ryder. Kessler and Seidenberg each received a 5 minute major for fighting, and a 10 minute misconduct. The Bruins would come up with a scoring chance though, as Paille took the puck and skated into the high slot. He skated right through a Canuck defender, just outmuscling him. He took a shot that hit Luongo underneath his glove. The puck deflected off and went into the net. Boston was now up 5-0 at 11:38, scoring their 2nd shorthanded goal. The penalty was dominated by the Bruins pk unit, and ended without a Canuck goal. But Vancouver would capitalize soon afterwards, as Kessler had the puck in the far slot. Kessler passed across ice to Hansen, who put it by the diving Thomas. Boston had its lead cut into, now up 5-1 at 13:53. Boston took control of this game though, and Vancouver wouldn’t do anything in the last 5 minutes of the game. In the last 3 minutes, Boston had a 2-on-1 coming up ice with Kreci and Marchand. Kreci passed across ice to Marchand, but the puck bounced off his stick and behind the net. Marchand picked up the puck, and passed to the slot to Recchi. He got a one-timer off and into the net at 17:39. Boston was now up 6-1. Shortly after the goal, there was an altercation between Andrew Ference and Kevin Bieksa. The 2 would each receive a 10 minute misconduct at 17:51. Boston wasn’t done yet though, as Chara sent the puck into the corner boards in the attacking zone. The puck was picked up by Paille, who passed back into the far slot to Kelly. Kelly put it right through Luongo’s 5-hole. It was now 7-1 Bruins at 18:06. The game was virtually over now, as the Canucks sent the puck into the Boston zone. Johnny Boychuk picked the puck up behind the net. He made a pass around the net, and was hit by a charging Torres. He received a charging call at 18:53, so the Bruins now had a powerplay for the last-minute of the night. Boston would make it count, as Michael Ryder would put a shot into the back of the net skating through the far circle. Boston took an 8-1 lead now at 19:29. That’s 3 goals for the Bruins in just 1:50. That would be the last play of the game, and the Bruins would exit with an 8-1 win in game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Post-Game Breakdown

What a great game by the Bruins. Boston absolutely destroyed the Canucks last night, controlling every facet of the game. The offense was very apparent, scoring 8 goals. We saw contributions from guys like Marchand and Ryder, guys who have been non-existent since the Philly series. The defense clamped down on Vancouver all night. Boston was physical, and chippy all night. They clearly got under the skin of Vancouver’s top guys. Tim Thomas even got in on the action, taking out Henrik Sedin on a play. Thomas was fantastic in net. He stopped 40 of 41 shots, and stifled the Canucks offense all night lone. Vancouver was also 0-6 on the powerplay again. Boston beat them up-and-down the ice with their pk unit. The Canucks couldn’t compete with Boston, and they resorted to dirty tactics throughout the game. Kessler took some cheap shots at Seidenberg when he was on the ice, Daniel Sedin attempted to put Ference in a chokehold. Just a couple of the classless things I saw all game. To describe this as a huge win for the Bruins is understating it. This is the 1st 1st home playoff win since 1978 for Boston. It is also the 1st time since 1991 that 2 shorthanded goals were scored in the same game. It was quite a historic night at the TD Garden. In game 4, I look for the Canucks to come out with a vengeance. They were embarrassed on national TV, and can’t let that happen again. Look for some chippy play, and late hits to try to get underneath the Bruins skin. If the Bruins have any hope of winning the Stanley Cup, they must win game 4 to tie the series at 2. And I do expect the Bruins to win. Look for them to win in a low scoring affair, and head back to Vancouver tied at 2. With Horton out, it will be tough. But I hope the Bruins play for their fallen teammate, and beat up on the Canucks.

Speaking of Horton, their has been an official release on him from the Bruins. Horton left game 3 after being blindsided by Aaron Rome, almost a full second after he released the puck. He was taken to Mass General Hospital, with movement in all his extremities. TSN, Canada’s sports network, released this information, that the hit was 28 frames after he released the puck. TSN measures a full second as 30 frames. So it was a late hit, as well as a blindsided hit. Look for Rome to be suspended at least 2 games, but Nathan Horton will miss the remainder of these playoffs with a severe concussion. This is a huge loss for the Bruins already weak offense, and now Nathan Horton faces a tough return to get back to his normal way of living. We all hope for the best, and wish him a speedy recovery.

Bruins drop game 2 in OT, face 0-2 hole

The Bruins dropped a tough one in game 2, losing in overtime 3-2. The final blow was dealt by a player who shouldn’t even have been on the ice. Alex Burrows was not suspended by the NHL for a clear biting incident, and ended up with 2 goals and 1 assist in last nights game. That just stings, as the Bruins could have won this game if he wasn’t on the ice. I said before the series started that the Canucks would win, but still, I would like to see Boston win. The Canucks won fair and square, but it just feels like the NHL took a win away from the Bruins. Boston now faces another 0-2 deficit in theses playoffs. Manny Malhotra was in his 1st game for Vancouver since a severe eye injury on March 16. He wasn’t much of a factor, as much as it was just good to see him playing again.

Burrows scores the game-winning goal in OT

Alex Burrows scores his 2nd goal of the night, and it ended up being the game winner in OT

1st Period

An important game 2 is on in Vancouver. There’s a much slower pace to this game to start. Johnny Boychuk laid a huge hit on Ryan Kessler in the Boston zone, hammering him into the boards. A perfectly legal hit, but it left Kessler a little woozy. He was slow to get up, and then skated over to the Vancouver bench. Vancouver narrowly scored off a point shot by Salo, that bounced up and over Thomas into the crease. But the puck was swept away by Seidenberg, saving Boston of any trouble. Boston came back with a huge chance of their own off a face-off win in the attacking zone. The puck was sent to the far boards, where Lucic retrieved it. He passed to the slot to Horton, who passed between a Canuck’s legs to Kreci in front of Luongo. He tried to deke him out, but the defenseman clamped down on Kreci’s stick. Kreci worked his stick away, and got a shot off, but Luongo was ready for it. Midway through the 1st, Luongo had already made 9 saves. As the Canucks were clearing their zone, Kessler went out to challenge the puck. Chara got in his way, and Kessler just lowered his head and rammed into him and fell to the ice. The officials felt that was enough for an interference call, and Boston was on the pk at 10:24. The Bruins pk was stifling the Vancouver powerplay. The Canucks were not getting any good shots on net, and the Bruins looked like they would kill another penalty off. But with just 12 seconds left, the Canucks would get on the board. There was a battle for the puck in the near circle, and Burrows just flung a shot on net that found a way through Thomas. This is just an insult. Burrows shouldn’t even be in this game, and now he’s scored an important powerplay goal for the Canucks. Vancouver now had a 1-0 lead at 12:12. The 2 teams skated up-and-down the ice now. Neither team could get control of the puck. Off a face-off in the Boston zone, the puck was won by Boston. Adam McQuaid had the puck, but Daniel Sedin hooked him, and stole the puck away from him. He got a point-blank shot on net, but Thomas blocked it away. There was no penalty called for some reason, on a clear hook by Sedin. The 1st period would come to a close with the Vancouver Canucks up 1-0.

2nd Period

The 2nd period started with a powerplay for the Bruins. Kevin Bieksa was called for delay of game, off a puck that appeared to hit off the high glass before it went out of play. Nonetheless, a very important powerplay for the Bruins. Vancouver was the team creating scoring chances though. The puck was taken by Raymond in the Boston zone, and he skated into the slot. He made a deke, but tripped up himself. The puck came out to the high slot, and Ehrhoff came flying in and got a one-timer off. But Thomas made a huge stop to keep the Canucks off the board. Boston came back with a chance of its own, when Lucic took the puck along the near boards. He passed down to Ryder, who skated towards the net. He centered a pass for Recchi in the slot, but Luongo denied him a goal. The powerplay would go without a goal again, and the game remained 1-0. Boston had a chance off a feed from Horton in the slot, to Kreci at the near post. But Luongo again denied the Bruins their 1st goal of this series. Vancouver started to take control of this game though. The Bruins were having a hard time getting out of their own zone, and were turning the puck over. But the Bruins stayed resilient, and finally the 1st line brought the puck into the attacking zone. Lucic had the puck in the corner, and he passed to Kreci at the far post. Kreci took the puck away from the net, to the bottom of the far circle. He passed back up to Ference at the point, who took a shot. The puck was stopped by Luongo, but the rebound came to Milan Lucic. Lucic outmuscled Erihoff, and just put the puck by the right skate of Luongo. Boston had tied the game at 1, 9:00 into the 2nd. Boston came right back with a chance off the rush. Kreci took the puck through the neutral zone, and into the near circle. He sent a pass across ice to Horton, who tipped the puck on net. But Luongo made a great lateral move to make the save. Boston would then go on the powerplay, after Aaron Rome was called for holding Marchand along the sideboards at 10:26. The Bruins would actually capitalize on this one. Chara had the puck at the point, and just sent an easy shot on net. The puck was deflected in front by Recchi, and went into the Vancouver net. Boston suddenly had a 2-1 lead at 11:35, after doing virtually no work to really get back into this game. Boston had just caught a couple good bounces, and now had the lead. Vancouver came right back with a scoring chance. LaPierre dumped the puck into the Boston zone, where McQuaid went back to get it. He passed up the boards to Kaberle, but he was run off the puck by Higgins. Kessler came in and picked the puck up, and took the puck into the near circle. He then passed across ice to Hansen for a one-timer, but Tim Thomas made a spectacular save with his right pad to keep the Canucks off the board. Up-and-down the ice these 2 teams went, with neither team able to control the puck again. The Bruins would then go back on the powerplay, after Aaron Rome was called for interference at 18:59, as the Bruins were trying to breakout of their own zone. The Bruins now had a huge chance to extend their lead off another powerplay. Nothing would happen at the end of this period, so the Bruins would have a shortened powerplay to start the 3rd. Boston would exit the 2nd period with an all important 2-1 lead.

3rd Period

The Bruins started the period with 1:01 left on their powerplay. Boston had nothing going, and the powerplay would be negated after Dennis Seidenberg hit Lapierre with his leg. That resulted in a tripping call at 52 seconds into the 3rd. So they skated 4-on-4 for 8 seconds, and then the Canucks went on the powerplay for 1:52. A very important kill for the Bruins to keep the lead and the momentum in this game. The Bruins were up to the task denying the Canucks any good scoring chances. Boston kept its 2-1 lead. 5 minutes into the period, Boston was out shooting the Canucks 3-0. An interesting play here, as the Canucks had the puck in the Boston zone. A point shot was taken, but Thomas was taken out after Boychuk checked Torres into him. That left the net wide open, but the puck bounced on Janik Hansen, and the Boston defense collapsed onto him. But Vancouver would capitalize on another chance just a few minutes later. Boston would turn the puck over twice in their own zone to Alex Burrows. The puck was eventually deflected out of play, but it resulted in a face-off in the Boston zone. The puck was won by Vancouver, and held in the Boston zone. There was a battle for puck possession in the far corner, which was won and passed back to the point by Vancouver. Edler took a shot from the point, that was deflected in front by Daniel Sedin. Burrows picked the puck up, passed to the near slot to Sedin, who just put a shot by the right leg of Thomas. Vancouver had tied this game at 2, 9:37 into the 3rd period. Burrows strikes again, in a game he never should have been apart of. These 2 teams were again battling up-and-down the ice. The Bruins had the puck in the offensive zone, when Boychuk took an odd shot from the point. He tried to angle the puck wide, and shot it across ice to the corner boards. The puck came up the boards, and was knocked further ahead by Vancouver. Vancouver now had a 2-on-1 up ice with the Sedin twins. As Henrik Sedin skated through the far circle, Ference’s back pressure poked the puck away from him. Boston brought the puck back up ice, but it was again taken away by Vancouver. They now had a 4-on-1 up ice. LaPierre had the puck skating into the far circle, and he tried to make a centering pass. But McQuaid went to one knee to break up the pass, and there was a scrum at the net for the puck. The Canucks were playing much better at the end of this period. They had momentum purely on their side now. But the Bruins kept on fighting, and were able to work it to the end of the period. So this game would have an overtime, as the game was tied at 2 after 3 periods of play.

OT

The overtime has started, and Vancouver had a chance. Ference had the puck after the face-off in the neutral zone, and he tried to pass it ahead. The puck was knocked down by Sedin, and passed ahead to Burrows. He was 1-on-1 with Chara on his right, and he skated through the far circle. He held the puck, and Thomas dove out to stop the puck. But Burrows held ont it, went around the net, and tapped the puck into a wide open net. Vancouver had scored just 11 seconds into the overtime, and now had a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Finals, winning game 2, 3-2.

Post-Game Breakdown

A tough game for the Bruins to lose, and they now face a gigantic 2-0 hole against the Canucks. Boston played well in this game. The scored 2 goals in the 2nd period, when it felt like they hadn’t even done anything offensively to get themselves back into this game. Even the powerplay scored in last nights game. When the Bruins score on the powerplay and don’t win, it just makes me crazy. The one thing that I am absolutely livid about though is the fact that Alex Burrows was in tonight’s game. He singlehandedly gave the Bruins the loss. Burrows had the 1st goal of the game on the powerplay with just 12 seconds left. Then he had an assist on the 2nd goal of the game. And to top things off, he scored the game-winning goal 11 seconds into overtime. He should not have even been in this game!! The NHL totally blew that call not suspending him, and while they may not have been the reason the Bruins lost last night, they certainly didn’t help. The Canucks are a better team than the Bruins, this is a fact. In my opinion, the Canucks are going to win this series. The Bruins had every chance to stop Burrows, or score more goals, or whatever the case may have been. But the fact that every hockey fan felt Burrows should have been suspended except for the NHL executives, is very frustrating when he’s the reason you lost. I defiantly feel like the NHL screwed the Bruins over.

As for the game itself, Boston played very slow. The Bruins looked good in the 1st, but after that powerplay goal they allowed, they looked different. They had no urgency in their play. The offense wasn’t doing anything productive. It looked an awful lot like game 1, where Boston was getting shots on Luongo, but weren’t getting any good scoring chances. Both of their goals were dirty goals, and it took a bit of luck to get them. Vancouver wasn’t any better. The Sedin goal was pure skill, but Burrows goals were a bit lucky. The 1st one just surprised Thomas, while his 2nd one was a result of Thomas doing too much. Thomas is the reason Boston was even in this game, stopping 30 of 33 shots. But I feel like he thought that he had to be Superman against Burrows in OT, because he didn’t think any Bruin was going to stop Burrows. Make of that what you will. This game just comes down to turnovers.

Boston turned the puck over in their own zone for the powerplay goal by Burrows, and they turned the puck over in their own zone, resulting in a face-off win and eventual goal by Sedin. The 3rd goal scored by Burrows was a result of a turnover by Ference in the neutral zone. Boston needs to improve their puck control, and improve their shot taking. Luongo hasn’t been challenged that much in the 1st two games, so he hasn’t had to stand on his head to keep his team in this series. Meanwhile, if Thomas doesn’t stand on his head, Boston doesn’t stand a chance in this series.

The Bruins should have won this game, and now face another 0-2 hole in this postseason. I thought the Canucks would win the Stanley Cup, and now I am more reassured at this. The Canucks are too good to lose a 2-0 advantage. I don’t think the Bruins will get swept, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they lose this series 4-1. I expect the Bruins to win game 3, as the TD Garden will be rocking. The Bruins need to win both games at home, as there is no way they will win game 5 down 3-1. I look for the Bruins to win game 3, but we’ll have to wait and see how I feel about game 4.

Bruins advance to the Stanley Cup Finals

Take a second to breathe it all in. The Boston Bruins are advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals! In a very intense game 7 at the TD Garden, the Bruins defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0. This game is a classic. It had everything you look for in a game 7, and the fact that it was 1-0 just adds to the drama. Tampa is lucky though that the Bruins only scored 1 goal all night. Roloson was standing on his head all night,. The only goal scored on the night was a perfect goal, set up off a perfect breakout by Boston. Roloson never had a chance at that one. Everything else though had no chance of going in. Roloson faced 38 shots, and a lot of them were great scoring chances by Boston. Thomas was great in net as well, but not as good as Roloson looked. It just happened that the Bruins controlled the offensive flow of the game more, and that is what allowed them to win this game. So how did the Bruins get back to the Stanley Cup Finals for the 1st time since 1990?

The Prince of Whales trophy comes to Boston

The Boston Bruins pose with the Prince of Whales trophy, after defeating the Lightning in game 7, 1-0.

1st Period

Game 7 has started at the TD Garden, with both teams getting equal scoring chances early. St. Louis was just leveled by Seidenberg, possibly a sign that the Bruins have a different approach to tonight’s game. As McQuaid went behind the Boston net to pick up a dumped in puck, he lost his footing and fell. The puck was pick up by Jones, who fed it to the high slot for a one-timer by Moore. The puck was knocked down by Thomas, and it rebounded out of the slot. Boston brought the puck up ice and Campbell dumped the puck in. Clark Picked the puck up behind the Tampa net, and brought it through the far slot. He passed up ice to Marc-Andre Bergeron, who flew by the defencemen to get a great scoring chance on Thomas. He came up threw the far circle, and made a wrist shot to the near side, but Thomas kicked his leg out to make a spectacular save. The 1st lines for each team had great shifts against one-another. But both goaltenders looked great early. The 4th line for Boston was getting great energy that has not been seen this entire series, and possibly postseason. Midway through the game, we were still scoreless. This game was just fast and furious, and the Bruins had a great tempo. This is exactly the type of game Boston should have played in game 6. Tampa Bay had a huge chance to get on the board, when Ryan Malone threw a puck on net from the end boards. The puck deflected off a body in front of Thomas, and there was a battle for the puck. Tampa and Boston players piled at the Boston net, trying to get the puck. Thomas had no idea where the puck was, but just kept his head moving trying to find it. Finally the puck squirted out from the pile of bodies, and was picked up by Peverley. He skated up the centerboards, ass Tampa was now caught with men up ice. Lucic came screaming up through center ice, and Peverley hit him with a pass in stride. Lucic had a clean breakaway, but Roloson made a fantastic left pad save 5-hole. Peverley has been fantastic to start tonight’s game, and hopefully Claude gives him some more time tonight. The period would come to an end, with the game scoreless. A very intense and fast 1st period. The Bruins looked great, with their offense providing great scoring chances, their defense controlling the puck, and Thomas was terrific.

2nd Period

The 2nd period started with a denied opportunity for Boston. Bergeron had the puck at the far boards, and he centered a pass for Recchi in the slot. But good stick play by the Tampa D denied him a chance. Then the 1st line created more havoc for Tampa. Horton had a tip, off a Chara point shot, but it went right into Roloson’s chest. Tampa came back with a chance of their own, off another face-off in the Boston zone. Bergeron won the puck back, and Seidenberg tried to backhand it around the Boton net. The puck was picked off by Purcell behind the net though, and he passed to Lecavalier in front of Thomas. Thomas was looking to the near side, where the puck was originally going to be. So Lecavalier now had a wide open net to shoot at. But a great poke check by Bergeron kept him from receiving the pass, and thus Tampa off the score board. After an icing call, the puck was brought back to the Tampa Bay zone. Boston had won the puck, and was setting up along the points. Boychuk took a rocket of a shot from the point, and drilled Steven Stamkos in the high slot. He hit Stamkos right at the tip of his shield, barely missing taking off his whole nose. Stamkos immediately hit the ice, and then skated right off into the Lightning dressing room. Tampa Bay had probably the best scoring chance of the night thus far, after a point shot by Marc-Andre Bergeron. Kaberle went down to block the shot, and the puck came out to the slot. Gange picked up the puck, and flung a shot on Thomas. Thomas was just outside the top of his crease, as he went into his butterfly to make the save. Midway through the 2nd period, we were still scoreless. Stamkos was back on the ice, but with a few changes. He now had a full mask on, and a huge blood stain where his nose used to be. Boston then just missed a scoring chance by Bergeron, when he deked by Stamkos into the slot, but then lost his footing and the puck just trickled to Roloson. Kreci followed that up with another great set of moves, splitting the defense in the near slot. He got a wrist shot off that Roloson stopped, but it was what happened behind the goaltender that was interesting. Horton was charging hard towards the net, and Dominick Moore locked sticks with him, and sent Horton into the net. It looked like the refs were going to award Boston with a powerplay, but the refs made a last-minute change that took away any penalty by Moore. I have no idea what the refs were thinking, but that was a terrible non-call. Tampa Bay had a huge chance off a turnover at center ice by Boston. Downie picked the puck off, and skated into the near circle. He centered a pass for Stamkos, but great stick-work by Kaberle denied him a shot attempt. Boston came right back with their own great scoring chance, this one by Mark Recchi. Patrice Bergeron went behind the Lightning net, and forced a turnover with a body check. The puck was picked up by Marchand, who fed Recchi right in the slot for a one-timer. Roloson made a spectacular right pad save, and then another right pad save off the rebound shot by Recchi. The period came to an end, and we were still scoreless heading into the 3rd and final period of the Eastern Conference Finals. Another great period by the Bruins. They played with purpose, and had a very fast tempo. Everything they did in the 1st was carried over into the 2nd. It’s shaping up to be a very good 3rd period, Boston just needs to get 1 bounce to go their way.

3rd Period

The 3rd period began with a huge chance for the Bruins to break into the goals column. Lucic skated into the far slot, and fed a backhand across to the far slot for Kreci. His one-timer was stopped by Roloson though, and the puck rebounded out to Horton at the far post, but he just tapped it off the post and through the crease. As Boston collected the puck back, the brought it into the attacking zone. Bergeron set up along the far boards, and he made an across ice pass through 2 defenders to Marchand. Marchand made a terrific one-timer shot, but Roloson made an even more impressive save. Boston was dominating the first 5 minutes of the 3rd period, but Roloson was standing on his head in net. It looked like it was going to take some luck to win this game. Guy Boucher decided to call his timeout just before the midway point in the period, before a face-off in the Lightning zone. Whatever he said didn’t help all that much, as Lucic came in to take a face-off for David Kreci, and took a shot on net when the puck was dropped. Luckily though (or rather unluckily), Roloson was paying attention, and he made a glove save. At the 11:00 minute mark, Claude Julien decided to call his timeout before a face-off in the Boston zone. With the 1st on for Boston, they moved methodically into the attacking zone. Andre Ference had the puck at the Boston point, and he passed ahead to Kreci. Kreci entered the attacking zone. He went into the far slot, and slapped a pass to the crease. Horton was right there, and he just tipped a pass by the skate of Roloson. Boston had broken into the score column, and lead the game 1-0 at 12:27. All the Bruins had to do now was keep Tampa from having any good scoring chances, and stay out of the box for the next 7 and a half minutes, and they would be on their way to the Stanley Cup Finals. Tampa Bay was not helping their cause either. The Lightning had no offense going in this period particularly. Boston had another huge scoring chance as the 5 minute mark approached. The Lightning had the puck in the Boston zone. As it was passed back to the far point, Chris Kelly knocked the puck away. It was picked up by Marchand, who now had a 2-on-1 with Ryder. He skated all the way into the far slot before making a cross ice pass. Roloson made a spectacular right-to-left move though, and denied Ryder the goal with his left pad. As the game approached under 3 minutes to go, Boston was in full defense mode. Every chance the Bruins had, they just dumped the puck into the Lightning zone. Under 2 minutes to go, under a minute and a half to go, but still Roloson was in the Tampa net. Even after the announcement of 1 minute remaining in the period, Roloson was still stuck in the Lightning net. Finally with under 30 seconds to go, the Lightning net was emptied. Down to 10 seconds, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and finally 0.0. It was all over. For the first time since 1990, the Boston Bruins are heading to the Stanley Cup Finals. They had defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in 7 games, winning game 7, 1-0.

Post-Game Breakdown

What more can be said about game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. It was a perfect game for Boston. They played terrific all night. The Bruins most impressive stat might be the no penalties committed. Both teams went the entire game without a penalty in fact. This created a great, fast paced environment. It also allowed the Bruins to keep their specialty teams off the ice. The Bruins pk was very weak in game 6, and their powerplay has been atrocious all year. So keeping the red-hot Lightning powerplay off the ice was extremely important in the Bruins coming away with the win. Their offense was controlling the puck all night, and had dozens of scoring chances. Roloson was forced to make 37 saves on the night, while Thomas only face 24. The Bruins had many more scoring chances, and much better shots on net than Tampa. The only reason they were kept off the board so long was because of Roloson. Roloson was standing on his head all night, and is the reason Tampa Bay had a chance to win the game. The Lightning played just fine on defense, and played decent enough on offense. But they never had some of the great scoring chances that Boston had, and their offense never took control of the game like Boston’s did. Part of it was how well the Boston defense played. The 1st line for Tampa was absolutely shut down. Stamkos and St. Louis had just 1 shot a piece. The 1st line for Boston looked like it was on fire all night. They had many chances to break into the goal column, and they finally did off the stick of Nathan Horton. Horton scored his 3rd game-winning goal of the playoffs, and the Bruins improve to 8-0 when Horton scores. He is also the 1st player in NHL history to have 2 game winning game 7 goals in the same postseason. Something that I know I’ll be happy not to listen to anymore, is about Tampa and their stupid 1-3-1 system. All series all we heard about is how great the 1-3-1 is, and how would Boston be able to beat such a great scheme. Well Boston beat it in game 7, when Nathan Horton scored the game-winning goal. That play specifically beat the 1-3-1, and you can see it on the replays. It was so sweet to watch, and I will not miss listening to that crap for another 2 weeks.

So on to Vancouver we go. This will be the toughest matchup for the Bruins in this postseason. Not just because it’s the Stanley Cup Finals, but because of how good the Canucks truly are. Vancouver finished the regular season winning the Presidents’ trophy (the team with the most points at the end of the season). Vancouver was picked by many experts to win the Stanley Cup before the season even began. Vancouver was the #1 team defensively in the regular season. A Boston offense which has trouble scoring already, will be hard pressed to get goals in this series. The Boston defense will be tested as well, as the Canucks have a group of goalscorer’s on their team. Vancouver has the deadly Sedin twins. Henrik Sedin is leading the NHL postseason with 21 points, while his twin brother Daniel is tied with Nathan Horton for 3rd in playoff goals with 8. They also have Ryan Kesler, who has 18 points this postseason, and has been nominated for the Freddy Selke award (awarded to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game). And last but not least, the Canucks have a Vezina trophy finalist in their net as well. Roberto Luongo has been notorious for choking in the postseason, but he has turned things around this time. So if the Bruins want to win their 1st Stanley Cup since 1972, they are going to have to be perfect. I don’t know if I can expect that from the Bruins in 4 games in this series. I think Boston has a great chance to win, but I don’t know if they can pull it off. The Canucks appear to have too much firepower, and a great goaltender to boot. I expect the Vancouver Canucks to win the Stanley Cup in 7 games. But always remember, to never count out the resilient Boston Bruins.