Well, this has been an emotional series huh? First off, my apologies gentle readers. I was mad at the thuggery tactics of the Bruins in Game 4, and let it get to me.
Tonight, they kept that up too. The Bruins got a ton of breaks from the officials and had a great chance to win. They were met at every turn by a hard checking, courageous effort by the entire team from Vancouver tonight.
I won’t go on another rant about the reffing tonight either. Except to say that it was not that good. Numerous examples of the Bruins getting away with stuff are easy to see for one and all on the replay. Suffice to say that the best penalty killer is the goalie. It led to a 12 to 6 advantage for the visitors. Too bad for them that Luongo was excellent tonight.
The Canucks deserve a ton of credit for turning away from the intimidation all night. Both teams contributed to an intense and exciting game, even with the one goal. 19 to 17 for the Bruins in blocks. The Canucks dominated the hit stat 47 to 27. They finished every hit. Even when Torres took an early penalty for the kind of slash that has been let go, especially the other way, all series long, it did not phase them.
The home team’s penalty kill was excellent. They killed three straight power plays in the first period, outworking their opponent on that end all night long. Even when a slewfoot on a draw to end the first period was judged to be offsetting ( I am really not sure on that one. Lucic kicked out Burrows feet and he gets a call for diving? Wow. ), The end of the first and start of the second was a 4 on 4 that was more defensive than not ( usually an advantage for the Twins, but the Bruins are a great defensive team as well. ), but the intensity was there all game long.
These two were from the first, but it is a perfect example of how well the goalie was playing.
So, after a second period where the Canucks did not have a poor period, and instead were clearly the better team, the game went to a final period knotted at zero. Thomas was matching Luongo save for save, and the entire city, hell, province, was on edge.
They should not worry. Because tonight, the third line returned to their dominance once again. They were just better than whomever Claude Julien put out. Another shift in the Bruins end, more hitting and speed, and a smart play from Bieksa, who intentionally shot a puck off the boards behind the net right to Lapierre. He slammed it home, as Thomas was committed too much to the Bieksa shot. Check it out for yourself…
The home team went into lock down mode after that. The Bruins tried to push, and had a couple chances, but Luongo turned everything away. He was the first star, and the difference. Hopefully, the hysterical fans of the Canucks can relax on him a bit.
Roberto has got this people! As a result, the Canucks are one game away. It will be tough in Boston, but the Stanley Cup is never easy, right?
Another bad break from the striped shirts gave the Bruins a fourth straight power play in the second, when Chara ran into Thomas, who dived like Greg Louganis. Somehow the zebras said Kes barely brushing Chara caused all that.
It just did not matter. Luongo was not going to be denied. The Canucks were not going to be brought down by bad breaks or anything else.
Notes ; Best line of the night. Bieksa after the game, on rookie Chris Tanev, who had a fantastic game…”he was so cool, he could have played that game with a cigarette in his mouth”.
Best sense of humour, Lucic bantering with the green Men when he went to the box. He gave back the guff they were giving him about his nose perfectly.
Can’t wait for Game 6!!!