Tuesday, June 14, 2011
One Hockey Game
This year's Bruins team is different. Unlike years past, the 2010-11 Bruins know how to respond to adversity. Last night was no different.
Backs against the wall, the Bruins put together a fabulous team effort to a man, humiliating Roberto Luongo and bullying the mouthy Canucks 5-2. Game 7 is tomorrow night.
The Bruins were fired up early on but play quickly halted when Vancouver winger Mason Raymond left the game with an apparent injury after a collision with Boychuck in the corner. Reports during the game said that he has a vertebrae injury and will be out for 3-4 months.
After a brief lull in the action, Brad Marchand gave the Bruins the lead on a nasty wrister from the right slot, beating Luongo high glove side to give Boston a quick 1-0 lead. I'm sure Thomas would've made that save, right LeBrongo?
The outspoken netminder had little time to compose himself, as Milan Lucic took a nasty drop pass from Rich Peverley, or as Bill Simmons calls him "Richard Beverley". Lucic has had a rough postseason in general, but gave the Bruins a lift with his fifth goal of the playoffs.
Luongo was already an emotional wreck, but the "emotional harpoon" (thanks Johnny Most) came on the power play. Yes, the power play. Finger Ference blasted a shot past Luongo that appeared to glance off Recchi. Luongo must have sensed the redirection and moved to his left, putting him way out of position to make the save. Replays showed that the puck did not hit Recchi. Ference's goal put a baseball cap on Luongo's greasy head, and his night was over.
The Bruins offense kept coming when Kaberle blasted a shot from the point which redirected off Michael Ryder to put the Bruins up 4-0. The four goals in 4:14 were the fastest four goals in Stanley Cup Finals history.
After a scoreless 2nd period, the Canucks gave the Bruins a scare early in the 3rd, scoring on a power play just 22 seconds in. Henrik Sedin roofed a backhander past Thomas to give the Canucks a sign of life. The Bruins actually scored on the power play once more, this time on a David Krejci goal, his 12th of the playoffs. Lapierre scored on a nasty fees from Daniel Sedin in garbage time. Doesn't count. When the clock ran out, the Bruins left with a 5-2 victory and all the momentum in the world.
*Nathan Horton was in the house, and the Bruins put together a nice video montage tribute. They flashed to an upbeat looking Horton who was waving a yellow flag and going nuts. Seeing him in a loud arena was nice but makes me reconsider bashing Pacioretty for the same thing. So I'm sorry?
*Tim Thomas is going to win the Vezina, we all know that. But after last night, I'm positive that he will win the Conn Smythe trophy as the playoffs MVP. There is literally no competition from anyone on the Canucks, and the only Bruin close would be Krejci. But Thomas has been THE man, elevating his game to the highest level. He is having one of the most dominant statistical season any of us have ever seen. Just greatness.
*Major props to NBC for showing the Luongo quote in regards to Thomas as he got pulled. A guy like Luongo is just impossible to respect, running his mouth and doing jack shit to back it up. Zero character. A guy who talks shit and doesn't last nine minutes in a Cup game. He might has well have pissed his pants on the way to the bench.
*How great was Thomas' entrance to the ice? If you didn't see it, as he took the ice to start the game, he fired a puck down the rink at Luongo. Great stuff and funny to boot. Gigantic "Fuck you" to Luongo, and clearly it had some effect on him.
*I know there is only one game left, but you gotta love how the power play looks this series. I need to see another goal on Game 7 from the PP unit, especially early, to take the wind out of the Vancouver crowd's sails. The Bruins scored twice on the PP but also had several other quality scoring chances including a series of chances in the 3rd. Lucic was posted up down low and three consecutive centering passes missed his stick. The pressure was good to see, perhaps the Bruins found their groove.
*Brad Marchand continued to show why he is my new favorite player, and it has nothing to do with his goal. Late in the 3rd, the NBC cameras picked up Daniel Sedin yelling in Marchand's face with the referee in the middle. I was surprised that Sedin was displaying so much emotion, and wondered what had happened. Later on the cameras showed Brad Marhand giving Sedin four jabs to the chin in succession. Sedin's head snapped back at every punch but he did nothing to retaliate. Let me ask you, if ANY LEADER from ANY SPORT took four punches to the face from the smallest opponent, wouldn't you expect to see him retaliate? Nope, not Sedin. He would rather take it like a bitch and then cry to the ref. This team has zero balls and I cannot believe that this is a series.
*The Bruins have been the dominant team all series, crushing Vancouver in Boston and barely losing in Vancouver (all three times by one goal). I fully expect them to win Game 7, because the Canucks are mentally beaten. Luongo is getting the start in net and will have to do much better to raise a cup. Luongo has played like shit in big games. In Games 3 and 4, Luongo had a chance to effectively end the series and last night had a chance to literally end the series. Let's see how he plays with the Cup on the line.
*We have one hockey game left this year. Just one hockey game. The Bruins will win because they are the better, tougher, and more resilient team. Let's bring the Cup back to Boston.