The two combatants from the 2011 Stanley Cup Final meet up for the one and only time this current season. The Vancouver Canucks made their way to the TD Garden in Boston to try and get some redemption in a building that they did not perform well during their visits of last June. This wasn’t for the Stanley Cup, but it was for pride and more so, a little revenge. The Canucks had to come out with a lot more gusto than they did in their previous meetings.
After the Stanley Cup Final, many of the Canucks critics brought up the team lacked some testicular fortitude and did not fight back the Big, Bad Bruins. They were criticized that their game wasn’t suited to win a cup (Oh really? Detroit, anyone?) This game would be a measuring stick to see what the Canucks have learned from their Stanley Cup experience in June.
The game itself was more than what many expected between these two teams. The atmosphere at TD Garden was electric. The Bruins and the Canucks entertained the crowd present, the ones watching on TV and I couldn’t keep up with my twitter feed to save my life and that was only the first period! There were fights, lots of chirping and even an ejection (later on rescinded).
The Canucks won this contest, but it seems they will never win the respect of other NHL fans, some media and others around the league, no matter what they do.
• Well it’s safe to say winning the game was a great way to leave Boston, since this team hasn’t done so very much in recent memory. A task that is definitely easier said than done.
• The power play accounting for all the goals. The biggest problem for the Canucks during the final series was they weren’t drawing the penalties, even the obvious ones, so they couldn’t put their power play to work.
• Cody Hodgson had one hell of a game. I really see a lot of good things coming from this kid, and I only see him growing. That Calder trophy race is starting to look more like Cody could seriously be a part of it.
• The Canucks out hit the Bruins 24 to 17 in the contest. A stat that many out there thought they would be beaten. Keith Ballard led the way with four hits, giving Alain Vigneault more reason not to bench him.
• The “push back”. Although the Canucks aren’t exactly the most ‘physical’ team in the league, they showed they weren’t going to be pushed around and off their game.
• The blue line, for some reason, with the exception of Ballard and Alberts, seemed a little off today. Bieksa looking disinterested in that Marchand play resulting in a goal. Edler looked horrible on the non-call icing play that resulted in a Peverley goal.
• The second period. I am not sure what it is about this Canucks team and their seemingly troubled middle stanza. I always make a joke about the Canucks taking their “second period siesta”, but that didn’t change in this very important game.
• Playing to the whistle. You’d think the Canucks would learn by now that they aren’t going to get the calls a lot of the times that they should, so why stop playing until you actually know what the call is going to be? Pay attention to the game boys.
The Ugly or at times, The Confusing
• The first period melee between the two teams when Thornton decided to go after Burrows whom I’m assuming chirped at the Bruins bench with undoubtedly some ‘choice words ‘ words. It resulted in Milan Lucic jumping in, being thrown out of a game and left the Canucks with very few forwards to be eligible on the ice for a good amount of time.
• The Sedins on a penalty killing shift. I know it wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t very pretty and in all honestly, I was a little nervous. The Sedins? Killing penalties?
• The clipping play of Brad Marchand on Sami Salo. Sami Salo of all people! We, as a fan base, have bets, which game he is going to be injured or if he will injure himself in the off-season. He didn’t need to be helped with a dirty play like that.
The game lived up to all the hype that happened prior through the media, the fans, and the crazy twitter feuds between both fan bases. It had everything and then some. It had all the fixings for a great serving of “hockey gumbo” but the biggest thing that has confused this blogger and social media enthusiast was…why wasn’t it on a marquee time slot and nationally televised in both Canada and the United States? CBC? NBC? WTH?
The Canucks got some pay back, the Bruins were still big, bad and bullying, but who outside the two regions really got a good look at it? I guess we’ll have to see if these two teams meet again in the finals.