What a game. Too bad for NBC and CBC, as they missed a big one. The hype machine was working overtime on this one. Not to be too much of an arrogant winner, but man that felt good! ( all that AND Van Halen is going out on tour? Great stuff! The clip is from a NY club last week...I thought "You Really Got Me" works today...)
No one two three, just a whole pile of bullet points on what was a simply awesome game that lived up to the hype.
- Narratives all over the place before this one were crushed. The Canucks did stand up to the bullying style that the Bruins tried to get going in a wild opening period. The power play did its job. This was not "just another game."
- You have to thank the Bruins players for the idiocy less than 4 minutes in. They must have thought they were still up against the power play that went 2 for 33 last year. Milan Lucic, thanks for taking yourself out of the game. Hopefully Brendan Shanahan has snacks for your hearing. (edit ; according to Elliotte Friedmann's twitter, the gamer was rescinded. He was legal on the ice) The referees had that one sussed out perfectly though, and caught everything in that wild scrum. Good on Dale Weise for taking on Nathan Horton. His best fight of the year, and it sent a message that there was no bullying that would be tolerated today.
- No bitching about the refs. Honestly, they missed things on both sides. I fully expect the non SBN threads ( the SCOC guys are too savvy for that, right guys?) to make that the reason the home team lost. It was not. Sure, on the scoresheet it was 11 power plays for the visitors, but a lot of that was how a major is tallied. The Bruins had 7 power plays, including an "interesting" call in the last 30 seconds on Hamhuis for being on the puck. The home team had three power plays to none in the third. The Bruins had their chances. The power play going 4 for 11 was big. The penalty kill were the heroes for me. ( How about Tim Thomas with a blatant butt end on Manny Malhotra after he was tripped? No call on that, in a game where the refs had a tough time calling everything, but how blatant can you get without getting suspended? The Bruins can just have a bunch of guys around the speaker phone for the Shanahan call on Monday morning )
- Brad Machand is a cowardly and dirty player who should get suspended for as long as they can. There is simply no place in the game for that kind of "intent to injure" dirty play. Sami Salo pinches, the guy ignores the puck, and goes for his knees? Real tough. Nothing else needs to be said. The referees caught it all there too. It makes you wonder where this kind of officiating was in June, but that is the past. The power play back then was not as good as the power play was today. Hell, here it is.
Even the NESN guys called you out on that one Brad. Thanks for pulling yourself from the game. I sure hope Sami Salo is OK.
- Enough with the rough stuff. It was a part of the game, as it seems it will be against this team, regardless. How about Cody Freaking Godson? Cody Hodgson not only surprised Tim Thomas on a power play wrister ( that may have deflected off of Burrows in front ), he flat out beat the Vezina winner with a clapper that has Blake Price giving him a new nickname. "Boom Boom". Add it to the list. The kid was the first star in the building. That is an accomplishment, considering that it is probably the NESN guys making that call. Here is his line. 1 goal, 1 assist, 3 shots, and 8 for 15 draws won. In a game with so much penalty killing that it affected his ice time ( not the coach, AV haters ), he only had 11:16 TOI, with 5:26 of that on the PP. AV knows his team, and knew the kid was on. The "2nd unit" started more than one power play.
- I am not going to get too much on the defensemen tonight. They were under pressure, and with Sami injured, down to five guys as well. Sure, Edler was a -2. He also made some solid plays, and had an assist as well. Salo was a -2 as well. So was Daniel and Henrik Sedin. So what? The Bruins are good, and you knew they would score. I did not like Bieksa's play on Marchand on his goal. I did not like the way Edler let up on a maybe/maybe not icing call that led to the second goal ( the only one I would also hang on the goalie ) But the Canuck defenders, under a fair amount of pressure in a game with three third period penalty kills, stood tall down the stretch. Throw the stat lines out the window. Down to five, they hung in there and battled.
- The Bruins had 19 shots in that third period, to 10 for the visitors. I know the Silent G shot should count for two, as his early third period goal was a big one. Krejci had two chances alone in front to score his third period goal, and a couple times he almost gave the puck away ( or shot it in his own net! ), but Cory Schneider was cool as a cucumber in that third period. His players all helped out. 10 blocks to 7 for the Bruins. But the goalie from Marblehead Mass. was a big reason for the win. AV was right. It even frustrated the rabid Garden fanbase. They were chanting for Luongo all night. Silly rabbits.
- After a wild first period, I wondered how in the hell they stats guy only saw 7 hits ( 4-3 edge for the Canucks ). He must have picked up the pace, as after two it was 12-6 for the visitors, and the final tally was 24-17. I know the narrative is about the Canucks being "soft", but they were the team that finished checks all night. It was the Bruins that led the game in dirty plays and attempts to injure. Who is the "dirtiest team in the NHL" again?
- Ryan Kesler was 15 of 26 draws tonight.He scored the first goal of the game on a pretty lucky bounce, but they all count right? 4 shots on goal, 2 blocks and 2 hits. He may have been a little two amped early, as he took two minors in the first period, but this game was a fine example of what the KesLORD can do when he has two legs going. He was a force when he had to be, he was a beast on the backcheck, and his line was solid as well. The Selke defender definitely had a "statement" game to the Bergerons and Toews and whomever else other teams' fanbases want to talk about as the Selke favorite.
- Nathan Horton had a bit of a truculent game. I do remember this guy in Florida. He was no where near the kind of guy he was today. I know he was out of the Final, and maybe that was part of it. But with the good comes the bad. The guy took a penalty 200' from his own end, tripping Manny into the Thomas butt end ( and really, a classy guy like Manny and you butt end him up near the head?), which cam around the time the other team was reeling. The power play may not have been great then, but I would call that a turning point ( in a game with plenty of them! ). The NESN guys got it right with a first star for Cody Hodgson. Giving this guy the second star was not a selection any non Bruin "fan" would have made. He was amped, sure. He had no points and 4 shots. ( I guess it would have been too much to expect that out of Jack Edwards ) Even with three goals, it should have been Cory Schneider. Meh. The two points is reward enough!
- The penalty killers. In a game with lots of special teams play, here are the leaders on that bunch. They won the game for their team tonight. Kevin Bieksa - 8:09 / Dan Hamhuis - 7:20 / Manny Malhotra - 7:09. there were others. Kesler and Burrows were their usual Terror Twin selves on the PK. Hansen the same. But the three beasts above were the guys that made the PK go 0 for 7. Kevin Bieksa had over 28 minutes to lead all players in ice time, and was on for over 10 minutes in that third period. Well done Juice.
- Can we put the "not tough enough" narrative to bed? Against the "thuggiest" team in the NHL, they took as much as they gave. They turned away from the crap when it was just the Bruins trying to draw calls ( and in the last ten minutes, every whistle had a face wash, a slash to the legs, or something else to try and draw a call. They did not buy into the Bruin narrative. The Sedins even got involved ( Hank - 2 hits, Danny - 1 ), as the Canucks obviously did not want to get pushed around. With the Bruins obviously trying to be the bullying team tonight, the visitors made them pay on the power play, but, maybe even more importantly, stood up to everything the Bruins tried to throw at them. It was nice to see the other team get frustrated by that tactic not working, instead of the Canucks getting put off their game.
- I loved that the right team won, for Canuck fans. I love that the team did not buy into the crap. The fact that the NHL is supposedly letting Looch off the hook, saying he was "coming off the bench on a line change" does not make any sense though. He was on the ice, and went to the bench when things exploded. With one foot on the bench, he then went right off. But go to the NHL link and count the Black and Gold guys. They had 6 guys on to 5 for the Canucks. It is a minor fact in the whole story of the game, but if the explanation is that it was a "valid line change", then the folks that want to will surely point to the rescinding of the call as another example of the favouritism afforded Jeremy Jacobs team. All I can say is, whatever. We'll take the 2 points in Game 42 and move on. Andrew Ebbett has a broken collarbone on a high hit from Seidenberg. Apart from mentioning the injury, there was no mention of that hit in the post game, even though it was high. Without listening to the Bruin radio post game presser, I am guessing that might not be the case in Boston tonight.