Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Stanley Cup Finals-2011
They have put away their brooms in Vancouver. Those on Canada’s West Coast who thought their Canucks would cruise to a sweep of the Bruins got a rude awakening Monday night. After a scoreless first period, the Bostonians stormed out of the gate, and hammered the Canucks. The final score was 8-1.
The first two games in Vancouver were very close. No one expected the Canucks to run away with the series; however, there might have been a hint of over confidence in the minds of some of the players heading into Monday night’s game.
It was a little surprising that Coach Vigneault did not pull goalie Roberto Luongo after the fourth or fifth goal. Luongo stayed until the very bitter end, and raced to the bench after the buzzer sounded. He looked a little shell-shocked at that point. Perfectly understandable.
At the other end of the ice, the venerable Tim Thomas stood on his head on a couple of occasions, indicating to his teammates that he was giving them a chance to win. Not only did he keep the puck out of the net, he also decked one of the Sedin twins in the third period with a fairly solid forearm shiver. The puck was dangerously close to the goal line, Sedin was concentrating on scoring, the Bruins’ defenceman was in a position to clear the puck, and Thomas decided to assert his authority.
There was a crucial moment in the first period when the Bruins might have faltered. One of their key forwards, Nathan Horton, had been decked coming over the blue line, and had been carried off the ice. The Bruins took that opportunity to regroup, and never looked back.
I suspect that the rest of the series will be rough and tumble hockey. There is nothing wrong with that. There will be a few occasions when the men in stripes will have to step in to cool some jets. (That is a small “j”. The naming process in Winnipeg has not yet been completed.) One can only hope that the officials will not get “whistle happy” and call each and every minor infraction.
The style of hockey played in game three might be considered to be Boston Bruins hockey. The Canucks will not shy away from the rugged activity. I do not believe that the Canucks have bitten off more than they can chew. This will be a great hockey series. I suspect we will lose a little sleep now and again, as they battle through overtime sessions.
Those of you who prefer the round ball game will follow the exploits of the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks. Up to this point, it has been interesting. I suspect that Lebron and Wade will impose a little more as this series progresses, and it will mark the beginning of a very controversial dynasty.
James Hurst June 7, 2011