The Bruins: Game Five
It wasn’t quite a repeat of game one – because Boston was better and Luongo had to be outstanding – but close enough. Tim Thomas was brilliant again but the better team again got the only goal. As a result, the Vancouver Canucks are within one game of the Stanley Cup.
This is despite the fact that Boston has outscored them 14-6 and the fact that in 23 games the Canucks have been outscored 60-56. I’ll bet it has been a very long time since the Stanley Cup Champion did not have more goals than the teams they played against along the way. In four games (all losses, of course) the Canucks were outscored 24-2. In the other 19 games the Canucks won the goal differential 54-36 (and won 15 of the games.)
The Canucks put their game on the ice last night and when they do that, they usually win. They were faster and more physical and won most of the game’s shifts. They got the better of the chances, if not the shots.
Other random thoughts:
1) I don’t like the “embellishments” any more than anybody else. Not only are they bush, they are proving to be counter-productive costing far more calls than they have gained.
On the other hand, the after the whistle pokes, spears and slashes are every bit as bush. Lapierre looked ridiculous after taking the jab of the stick from Chara, but why is the jab okay? The Bruins think Henrik’s right ankle is sore so they all give him a little whack every chance they get. Not hard enough to be worth a penalty but hard enough to notice. Diving may show a lack of respect, but the officials have earned every bit of that disrespect.
2) How many times does Roberto have to redeem himself? I couldn’t believe the racket about Schneider starting game five. Luongo was the only possible choice.
3) What about that Chris Tanev, eh? I think he’s got an excellent chance to be a star in this league. He doesn’t have much of a shot, but he’s so good with the puck, I think he’ll figure out a way to produce points. “It was a blast,” said Tanev. “A lot of fun.” You have to love that attitude.
What on earth is Mike Gillis going to do with Keith Ballard?
4) Tim Thomas will probably win the Conn Smythe almost no matter what happens the rest of the way. None of the Canuck candidates have stepped forward in this series so even if they win, I think Thomas will get the nod.
The other Bruin I picked out as very good last night was Patrice Bergeron.
5) Sometimes Alex Edler plays like he’s the best defenseman in the league.
One more time. Just once. Go Canucks.