The Canucks waited patiently while the Lightning and Bruins took their series the full seven. By sheer coincidence I watched that game at a Boston-friendly bar and enjoyed the banter with most of the folks...until a little after the Horton GWG. The chat took a predictable trash-talking turn, but all in good fun and, in hindsight, utterly G-rated in comparison with the sideshows that accompanied this year's Cup Final.
Putting the media machine noise aside, the series from a goals perspective was similar to the opening round: when the Canucks wanted to, their puck management was solid, leading to good transitions and quality chances down around the goal. On the flip side, when they were off their game their weaknesses were (easily) exposed and the goals against came in droves. Immensely frustrating to watch.
Naturally it wouldn't be a season swan song if we didn't bring up defensive injuries which isn't pointing a finger of blame, but rather a sober reminder that some things actually do stay the same year to year.
After the jump the goal charts and some final notes.
Using ESPN, NHL.com and CBS Sportsline, here is the (approximate) goal chart for the Final round; Canucks' goals are plotted on the left, Bruins' on the right.
[Click to view larger image]
How Vancouver scored, including the type of shot and the distance (as tabulated by ESPN; NHL and CBS had slightly different records). You can sort the columns by clicking on the header.
|Type ||Distance (ft)
Boston's scores are below, including the location they beat both Luongo and Schneider.
|Type ||Distance (ft) ||Location
|Ryder||Tip||16.3||upper right *
|Krejci||Wrist||17.1||five hole *
* = Goal scored against Cory Schneider
- Those charts above? Yeah...one is not like the other.
- After relying on nine scorers in the first two rounds and 12 against San Jose, Boston silenced most of the big guns up front and on defense, leaving them with only had six scorers. Boston has ten goal scorers, one behind Chicago for the most against Vancouver this post season.
- 50% of Vancouver's goals came from wrist shots at an average of 18.5 ft, about a foot longer than their average shot against San Jose. [note: I would have called Torres' G1 goal a deflection because I have, you know, eyes].
- About 35% of Boston's goals were also wristers at an average of roughly 18 ft, far shorter than San Jose's average. 30% of Boston's goals came from snap shots at an average of 26 ft which no other Vancouver opponent came remotely close to matching.
- This was the first round Vancouver received no blueline offensive support; up to this point, they were averaging 26% of their overall offense from their defense each round. About 9% of Boston's goals came from their backend, both from Ferance.
- How did Boston torch Luongo? Mainly high gloveside (28.5%) and of all places five hole (24%). The Sharks also abused Luongo's five hole (there's a joke in there, have at it) but credit the Bruins for deviating from the "shoot high stickside" book that the Preds, Hawks and Sharks used.
- It's tempting to look at the glut of goals on Luongo's right side, factor in losing Hamhuis and altering the first pairing for seven games and draw a casual conclusion on injuries, but there's more to the story. Boston got goals from every single line in addition to on the man-advantage and short-handed. When there was blood in the water, Julien kept those lines moving and the Canucks were hemmed in their zone far too often.
- Look at it this way: if Vancouver had won game seven, they would have needed a 5-0 win to break even in the goal differential department at 0 which would have been the lowest of any Cup winner since 1986. Right or wrong, critics would have pointed to the goal chart above and screamed lucky until their throats bled.
- Vancouver's highlight reel: Torres, Burrows and, well, just watch those two over and over again.
- Boston's highlight reel: they have the Cup, that's enough. Though hating Marchand will be a new hobby for us all, it's impossible to deny how incredible his game three shorty was: pick-pocketing the Art Ross winner, skating around the injured Selke winner and beating a Vezina nominee in a single play.