I am not going to sit here and say I told you so, but I totally did. The Canucks are a joke. The softest team in the league. Unworthy of being in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Canucks are a classic “fake tough” team. They will push you and try to get under your skin by diving, chirping, biting, throwing head shots, and complaining. If you stand up to them and push back at them they will completely crumble. The Bruins took it to the Canucks physically and they whimpered away.
NHL Network was really rushing to the defense of the Canucks last night. “Kesler must be hurt. Luongo has vertigo. Burrows is menstruating, blah blah blah”. Truth of the matter is that this is just who the Canucks are. They are a group of cowards who barely beat an injury depleted Blackhawks team in a rebuilding year. They just suck.
Now I even think Vancouver is delusional. Bieksa called Tim Thomas “leaky” in the post game and said that they were showing him too much respect. Yeah, real leaky goalie in net for the Bruins. The Canucks have scored under 2 goals in three of the 4 games and on top of that Thomas has more hits in the series than the Sedin Sisters combined. Showing him too much respect? How, by trying to slash the stick out of his hand and running him every chance they get? Burrows even tried to fight Thomas. Who fights a goalie? Burrows is pathetic.
The only chance the Canucks have to salvage this series is to start Cory Schneider, but even the Boston native Schneider sounded like he wanted to part of the Bruins. “None of the goals were Roberto’s fault. He deserves to be in there for game 5.” Come on now, Cory. You went to Phillips Andover and graduated from BC with honors in 3 years, you’re smarter than that. Luongo’s legs were more open than Lindsay Lohan’s on the Peverly goal. Ryder’s shot looked like a peewee shot it. The only goal that wasn’t on Luongo was Peverly’s second goal. Other than that Luongo was responsible. Maybe Schneider doesn’t want to alienate his hometown team. Maybe he is afraid of the Bruins. Maybe he is just as delusional as the rest of teammates.
This series is over. I originally predicted the Bruins winning in 7 games, but now I don’t think it will take that long. Long live the Original 6. AMERICA.
PS I love Milbury in between periods. Calls the Canucks “smug and arrogant” during game 3 and has the line of the year when he referred to the Sedin Sisters as “Thelma and Louise”. Just perfect. If NBC could replace Pierre McGuire with Darren Pang it would be the greatest hockey broadcast crew ever assembled.
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That felt great. The Stanley Cup Finals has displayed to the greater hockey world what the Vancouver Canucks are all about. They love to chirp, they play dirty, the dive, they bite, and they throw gutless blind hits to the head. Finally, somebody besides the Chicago Blackhawks has the sand to stand up to the Canucks and punish them for disrespecting the game of hockey. Now the Bruins have discovered the final piece to the puzzle that will let them beat Vancouver. If you punish them physically, out work them, and frustrate them…the Canucks will lose their cool, take dumb penalties, and quit. Luongo looked completely rattled for the last 40 minutes.
Last night’s game was an absolute beat down. The Bruins physically and mentally dominated the Canucks from the second period on. I feel vindicated by this series and I am 100% on the Bruin bandwagon. The Bruins are the opposite of Vancouver in so many ways. They have tough guys who are confrontational, but they are more than willing to answer the bell when challenged. I love the way they play. Even Tim Thomas got into the hitting game last night when he checked one of the Sedin Sisters.
The Bruins most likely will not score in abundance like they did in game 3, but they need to duplicate the level of intensity they brought for the duration of the series. They are still trailing and they must continue to attack Vancouver across all 200 feet of the ice surface. I was completely wrong about Shawn Thornton. I wanted Seguin in the lineup and I undervalued what Thornton brings to his teammates with his toughness and energy. Thornton is just flat-out scary and the ref tossing him out of the game mid way through the 3rd period may have save somebody’s life.
I have one final thought on last night’s game. Game exemplified why I love hockey and the NHL more than any sport. The NHL has an element of frontier justice. Burrows was a punk(and a difference maker) so Shawn Thornton smashed him early in the game to set the tone. Burrows takes a swipe at Tim Thomas late, so Milan Lucic turns into hockey’s version of Wyatt Earp and doles out the punishment immediately behind the net. No other sport or league has this mentality of self policing and standing up for your teammates. I can’t wait for Game 4 as I am sure the hatred between the teams is about to boil over.
Bruins in 7
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Vancouver Canucks +105 @ Boston Bruins -125
The Bruins are coming home after having their hearts ripped out in consecutive games in Vancouver. The Bruins have played much better than I thought they would and definitely deserved better in Game 2. Alex Burrows getting 2 goals and an assist in a game for which he should have been suspended for biting has got to be a bitter pill to swallow.
The Bruins essentially played the Canucks even in both games and are a good bounce or two away from maybe being up 2-0 heading home. The Boston Bruins have too much pride to bow out in 4 games and they will use their crowd made up of 18,000 guys from “Southie” to push them over the top.
It’s also time to give Seguin some bigger minutes. Skate him with Bergeron’s line every once in a while. He could give the Bruins an added dynamic and it could also keep the aging Mark Recchi more fresh if he takes a few shifts off during the game.
This is a must win game for the Bruins and they have the sand and the skill to get it done at home. The Sedin Sisters will fold like always in the face of a hostile environment. Bruins and the under tonight.
Boston Bruins +165 @ Vancouver Canucks -195
I want to say that the Bruins deserved better in Game 1, but that would be incorrect. Tim Thomas deserved better. Vancouver was the superior team, and their skating advantage was obvious. Tim Thomas was superman in Game 1. General rule of thumb is that I hate goalies, but Thomas is different. He has incredible passion and never stops fighting. Boston must get to the net in Game 2. All of their chances came from the outside. Luongo has a history crumbling when guys get in his face. The Bruins were physical in Game 1, but it seemed like the Canucks were often the ones initiating. Boston needs to be the “Big Bad Bruins” in game 2. Milan Lucic…I am looking in your direction.
Bruins will play desperate, Thomas will shine again, Bruins win a close one.
Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals was the perfect example of why I hate the Vancouver Canucks. They are a gutless, euro-trash, team of divers and whiners. The sequence at the end of the first period was disgusting. Scrums are just part of hockey, but the Canucks can’t even do that right. Hamuis and Bieksa both try to take on Chara at the same time. Trying to goad the big guy into taking a penalty, knowing full well that neither of them would ever have the guts to actually throw with Chara. Bieksa looks real tough when he jumps rookies from behind like Viktor Stalberg or when he challenges finesse “star” players like Patrick Marleau. He would never fight somebody who is actually tough or bigger than him. Bieksa is gutless. Chara would have made Bieksa’s face concave.
Burrows is complete scum. Everyone is talking about the biting incident, and for good reason. However, I thought him grabbing the visor of Bergeron was also just another example of the type of play that makes Burrows a gutless rat. I was thrilled that he got 4 minutes for biting, and then another two for slew-footing Tim Thomas from behind later in the game. Burrows has been this type of player his entire career, and I hope his actions are finally catching up to him. He is the west coast version of Sean Avery.
The diving by the Sedins and by the Canucks as a whole was disgusting. They are just the worst. The Canucks have no integrity. Hockey is a game of honor and the way the Canucks play the game is an affront to the tradition and soul of the game itself. They are unworthy of winning the Stanley Cup. I hope the Bruins can find a way to create more quality chances than they had in game one. They will need more sand and net presence to win the series. Tim Thomas did everything he could. I still like the Bruins in 7…nothing from Game 1 suggests the Bruins can win the Series, but I believe the Hockey Gods will intervene and prevent this team from winning.
PS: Ryan Kesler is the only Canuck I respect
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The Stanley Cup Finals are almost here. The Vancouver Canucks haven’t won the Stanley Cup in their 40 years of being an NHL franchise and the Boston Bruins haven’t won the Cup since Bobby Orr lifted it in 1972. One of these teams will end a long draught, and the Vancouver Canucks are the heavy favorite. The series will ultimately come down a few key matchups and situations.
Chara vs The Sedins
Both the Sedins and Chara have had their fair share of playoff woes. This year has been different for Chara though. Since recovering from an illness against the Montreal Canadiens, Chara has been in Norris Trophy form. He has been the anchor of the Boston Bruins defense and did an admirable job against the Tampa Bay Lightning’s top scorers St. Louis, Lecavalier, and Stamkos. The Sedins have largely struggled in the playoffs again this season. Dave Bolland’s return mid way through round one caused a scoring draught that lasted through the second round series against Nashville. Once the Sedins were clear of players like Bolland, Keith, Seabrook, Shea Weber, and Ryan Suter, they enjoyed more success. Chara is on top of his game right now and an absolute beast of a man. He will punish the Sedin Sisters and shut them down for the majority of the series. Advantage: Boston
Tim Thomas vs Roberto Luongo
One is an all-american underdog success story. The other is a mentally weak, french Canadian grease ball. Luongo has a history of epic collapses in the post-season and was even benched for Game 6 in the Chicago series after getting lit up in games 4 and 5. Luongo will most likely have at least one game where he is shaky and that could be the difference in a tightly contested series. Tim Thomas had arguably the greatest season ever by a goalie and should a unanimous selection for the Vezina Trophy. He must out play Luongo for the Bruins to win the series. Advantage: Boston
This could be the deciding factor for the series. The Vancouver Canucks power-play and penalty kill have had great success throughout the regular season and playoffs. The Bruins special teams have been awful. Their penalty kill rate should probably have been better, but Tim Thomas has let in the occasional ill-timed soft goal. The Bruins’ powerplay is converting at a horrendous 8% in the playoffs. They are so desperate that have moved Chara in front of the net. While I am not an advocate of taking Chara’s bomb of a slapshot off out of the equation, Luongo has had difficulty in the past dealing with over-sized bodies at the top of his crease. Advantage: Vancouver
Ryan Kesler is the key to the series for the Canucks. I can easily envision Kesler exploding offensively against Boston, much the same way he did against Nashville. He won’t have as difficult of a task in this series. Boston has great depth, but they don’t possess an elite offensive player like Toews or Joe Thornton that will occupy Kesler’s attention. Given more freedom, Kesler could be a force at both ends and win the Conn Smythe Trophy
Tyler Seguin. Seguin needs to make plays in this series for Boston to win. The Canucks like to play a more open style which could create opportunities for Boston’s most talented player. Seguin is the only Bruin capable of creating an opportunity out of thin air, and if Claude Julien allows him to get more than 5 minutes a game, Seguin could make enough special plays to give Boston an edge.
My heart says Bruins, my head says Canucks, and my balls say Bruins. Usually when my balls and heart agree it’s a recipe for disaster…but I don’t care. Bruins in 7. Suck it Canada.
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Full disclosure, I love Brian Campbell. He skates with a fluidity and elegance that is unmatched in the NHL. From a pure entertainment value there is nobody on the Blackhawks that I would rather watch. He makes everything look so easy and he probably makes one “wow” play a game. However, as much as I love Brian Campbell, even I recognize that he isn’t worth the 7 million a year he is currently making. There have been several rumors swirling around lately involving the Toronto Maple Leafs, and where there is smoke there is usually fire.
Campbell for Phil Kessel
This rumor is circulating and was suggested in Jesse Roger’s most recent mailbag on ESPN Chicago. This intrigues me quite a bit because this move would likely have a large domino effect on the Blackhawks roster for years to come. Acquiring Kessel would likely make resigning Frolik a luxury instead of a need. It also wouldn’t surprise me if the negotiating rights to Frolik were apart of this trade because the Maple Leafs struggle to score, and Kessel is by far their most dynamic player. This trade could also make resigning Patrick Sharp next season less of a priority. I think Phil Kessel is arguably the most talented player in the league not named Crosby or Ovechkin, yet he has been largely a disappointment in both cities. If Toronto is willing to trade Kessel after paying a bounty to get him from Boston it is a red flag. The reward is outweighs the risk here. Acquiring Kessel and having him be a piece rather than the star in a market much friendlier than Toronto could allow Kessel to excel. The Blackhawks could shed salary and pick up a Stamkos type talent. I think this trade would likely be Campbell, Frolik, Brouwer, and prospect Kyle Beach(a Brian Burke type of player) for Kessel and maybe another piece. The Blackhawks would have to jump on this opportunity.
Campbell for Mike Komisarek
I will FREAK OUT if this trade goes down. Saving 2.6m a year for a player that is injury prone and can’t skate well enough for the Hawks style of play would be a serious mistake. Brian Campbell provides more value at 7m per season than Komisarek does at 4.5. If this is the only option then the Blackhawks don’t have a viable trading partner and should look to keep Campbell as a part of their championship core.
San Jose +155 @ Vancouver -175
This series is over. I called this series wrong at the start. I was way off. I thought that San Jose’s depth up the middle would be a major difference for the Sharks. I forgot about the fact that the San Jose Sharks have ZERO quality defensemen. None. That’s the only reason the Sedin Sisters have been able to produce. This series really makes my skin crawl. It’s so obvious now that the Blackhawks are still the best team in the league. One more game played by Bolland, or if Sharp was able to bury that powerplay goal the Blackhawks would be well on their way to defending their Stanley Cup championship.
Anyways, San Jose had their chance last game, but they couldn’t get the big home win they needed. The Canuck fans will be rocking and if Vancouver scores early and plays physical, San Jose will fold as always. I’ll have to look east for a team to take out Vancouver. I don’t know if Boston or Tampa Bay can do it, but I’ll be rooting hard for them.
I hate to do it, but for the sake of picking winners and bankrupting Costa Rica, I have got to go with the home favorite Vancouver.
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