Refs Call Game Correctly, Bruins Fail to Adjust

Thomas Drance
October 19 2011 11:23AM


Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Canucks had as frustrating a third period as it is possible to have last night. Luongo was bad, the re-jigged defensive pairings were bad, and their forwards seemingly quit with ten minutes left to play. It was a tough end to a game that the Canucks thoroughly controlled through forty minutes...

So you're down in the dumps this morning, feeling bad about the team, and considering starting a riot with the kids at your local high-school. I know how it is, I'm a Canucks fan too. Thankfully, because Canucks fans are the worst, we can find refuge in basic pettiness, which, to be totally frank, is the plan.

You see the Bruins played a game last night that basically showed what the champs really are. I have a fair bit of respect for the 2011 Stanley Cup Champions, they deserved to hoist the mug, and I even am fond of some of their players (I can't help but like Zdeno Chara, Tim Thomas, Patrice Bergeron and Rich Peverly). I wouldn't say I like Brad Marchand, but I like to make fun of him, and I admire his ability to play the game. Sorry Canucks fans, that dude is fun to watch. All that said, the Bruins are something of a dirty team. 

Now, lots of good hockey teams are dirty hockey teams. In fact, often times that's part of what makes them good. Look no further than your own Vancouver Canucks over the past decade for proof of that. It's hard to deny, however, that in the most recent Stanley Cup Final, the Boston Bruins made a game plan of constant post-whistle aggression. Combine the Bruins habit of pushing the boundaries of the rule-book to the limit with their absurdly good goaltending and solid two-way play throughout their line-up, and it usually makes them an extremely formidable foe.

But the dirty play is basically in the Bruins DNA now, it's part of their identity, somewhat along the lines of what we see year after year from the Baltimore Ravens. It fails to be effective, however, when the refs have the stones to do things like "assess Brad Marchand with a misconduct for sucker punching an opponent, and don't also toss-out the player who he punched because that would be stupid."

That's what happened last night in Boston, and the Bruins and their fans totally flipped out. First, Zdeno Chara destroyed Jay Harrison, he wrestled him to the ground, then picked him up and started laying shots. Afterwards, he nearly fought Cam Ward before he was assessed an instigator and a ten minute misconduct. Frankly, Chara is all kinds of awesome and his getting 17 PIM out of this sequence is a bit much in my eyes, but it set off what was to follow. 

In the third period, Nathan "anger issues" Horton decimated Tim Gleason and continued to do so after Gleason was on the ice prone. I'm not a hockey pacifist, but it was a pretty grotesque sequence. The apology snob was thrown out of the game and received a double minor for roughing. Finally, Jeff Skinner was sucker punched by Brad Marchand who was then given a misconduct for his cheap-shot. So you can't just punch a guy in the face? Huh, good to know. Even Claude Julien joined his team in the "seeing red department" of Lens Crafters, and got the boot. Truly it was a majestic breakdown, and even the fans got in on the action, throwing garbage at the on-ice officials and delaying the game. Then Bruins fans took to twitter and complained about the refereeing, while Andrew Ference elaborated on the lesson he took out of the game: "It’s not always about punching guys in the head. There’s more to that in being a tough team." Thanks Andrew.

I guess when a team is used to getting away with everything, it's tough to adjust when it turns out that the rule-book still applies. But to the Bruins credit, while their fans ordered the full-bottle of house whine about the zebras, the team hasn't made any such excuses. Said the captain Zdeno Chara: "I thought on some occasions it was questionable," he was referring to the team's discipline, not the officiating in the game.

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Thomas Drance lives in Toronto, eats spicy food and writes about hockey. He is an NHL News Editor at theScore, the ex-managing editor of CanucksArmy.com and an opinionated blowhard to boot. You can follow him on twitter @thomasdrance.
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#1 Mantastic
October 19 2011, 11:42AM
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just so you "the league hates the canucks" "fans" here's the timeline of the penality on brad marchand game 6 of the SCF.

18:29 BOS Brad Marchand served by David Krejci : Roughing - 2 min

18:29 BOS Brad Marchand : Misconduct (10 min) - 0 min

18:29 BOS Shawn Thornton : Misconduct (10 min) - 0 min

18:29 VAN Daniel Sedin : Misconduct (10 min) - 0 min

18:29 VAN Maxim Lapierre : Misconduct (10 min) - 0 min

the "unpenalized" speed bagging of daniel was actually penalized. and the Canucks ended with the PP.

and the apology snob bit for horton. first of all rome was in town and suspended and wouldn't make an effort to apologize in person, as if he had something better to do or something. also was in the same building as horton numerious times. if you're going to compare that apology to the one mason raymond recieved 1 month after the incident where they were 1000's of miles apart, all i can say is homer.

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#2 Patrick Johnston
October 19 2011, 12:58PM
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It's a wonder Mantastic continues to read Canucks Army. If you don't like us, why waste your time here?

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#4 Mantastic
October 19 2011, 02:19PM
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@Patrick Johnston

some people usually don't write huge homer pieces like yourself. thomas and tinfoil usually write entertaining articles that usually involve the whole league, and know something about hockey. #justsaying

@ thomas, fair enough, what i read from it was complaining about the misconduct, which i was wrong.

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#5 Patrick Johnston
October 19 2011, 10:24PM
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@Mantastic

'just so you "the league hates the canucks" "fans"' - sounds like you are grouping thom in there too, but suit yourself. don't like my writing, fine, I'm not writing to be liked by everybody. This is a Canucks blog. I write about the Canucks, thus the subject matter is the Canucks. Why this confuses you, I don't know.

You seem to enjoy being here, so carry on. Like I said, I don't really get why you stop by. Surely you have better things to do with your day?

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#6 Mantastic
October 20 2011, 12:52PM
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@Patrick Johnston

i'm bored at work, so i read stuff online, crazy revelation at what people do on the internetz. and what you write about isn't just canucks, it's homer garbage for the most part feeding the typical canuck fan with wrong "facts"

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