At least Schneider got to play some significant minutes in front of his family and friends in Boston.
So thanks for that, Lu.
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Image)
Game Day Recon: Stanley Cup Final Game 1 – Bruins @ Canucks
Well well well. The Canucks had the opportunity to close out the playoffs last night and take the Stanley Cup home with them to Vancouver.
But… nope. The Bruins and Canucks continued the trend of the home team winning every game in this series so far.
And now, there is one game to win it all.
There were some brutal moments in Game 6. And it all started in the first minute, when Johnny Boychuk rode Mason Raymond into the boards on a late and unnecessary hit. Raymond remained on the ice for several moments before making his way to the dressing room in extreme pain. We find out today that Raymond fractured vertebrae in his back and will be out a minimum of 3 months. Meanwhile, the NHL has announced that they will not investigate the incident further for supplemental discipline. All the while, Canucks fans are left comparing the Rome hit on Horton to this hit. The NHL’s response to Rome’s suspension was that the hit was late and caused injury. As did Boychuk’s hit on Raymond.
The curious wheel of NHL justice continues to spin in a direction that no one can rightly explain. I have no problem (nor did I at the time) with the Rome suspension. The NHL simply cannot ignore its own precedent that it set merely a week ago. But it is and Canucks fans are left shaking their heads, but I can’t imagine that we are alone in disbelief here.
As the first period moved along… Roberto Luongo was flat-out terrible. I like Luongo. I do. I am probably a bit of an Luongo apologist at times. But he was the first and biggest reason why the Canucks lost Game 6. Letting in 3 goals on 8 shots is terrible, especially when you consider that 2 of the 3 goals were positively saveable. Out he goes, Schneider comes in and looked solid after letting in his first goal, with no help from his team. But let’s be honest here. Luongo was not the ONLY reason the Canucks lost. As soon as he let in that first goal, the whole team sank for the rest of that first period, and it seemed like the Bruins could have scored 10 if they really pressed hard enough. Proof that it wasn’t ALL on Luongo is that EVERY Canuck was either 0 or -1, except one player – Jannik Hansen (he finished +1). So there was plenty of poor play spread around the entire team in that first period.
I am not even going to get into the officiating in this game, because there is no point. While I VEHEMENTLY disagree with most of the penalties called against the Canucks in Game 6, the Canucks have made their bed. Sorry to say, but when Daniel and Henrik and Burrows and Kesler and Lapierre are flopping around the ice, the refs are going to start to get fed up. When Henrik was called for unsportsmanlike conduct a minute into the game, it was an absolutely terrible call. But the Canucks let that situation happen to themselves by constantly throwing heads back, and bending over in "pain", and throwing hands in the air giving refs incredulous looks as no penalty is called. You live by the sword, you die by the sword and the Canucks are finding that out.
Being the eternal optimist that I am (I am a Canucks fan, after all), I can say that there were some positives from the game once Luongo was pulled. For starters, the second and third periods were easily the Canucks best 40 minutes in Boston. that may not be saying much, but they did outscore Boston 2-1 in the final two periods. The Canucks spotted them 4 goals in a terrible first period, so who cares. But it is encouraging, to a certain extent. But in the final two periods, the Canucks outshot the Bruins 27-21, took 8 less minutes in penalties, outscored them 2-1
Another positive is that the Canucks power play looked terrific on their first goal. It looked awful on their other 5 power plays, including 57 seconds of 5-on-3 to end the game. But it did look like they had caught a spark on that first goal in the third period. It’s a positive. They got one. They needed one.
They got more than 1 goal past Thomas. For only the second time in 6 games. It’s not much, but they have to take something away as a plus from what they did.
If only they could play 3 complete periods. If only…
Three Big Stats
Here are my top 3 stats from last night’s game:
1. 3 goals on 8 shots. Yuck Luongo. Yuck. Then there’s 30-for-32. Cory Schneider had a pretty decent goalie line, in relief of Roberto Luongo. The first goal was a complet collapse by his team in front of him, and the second goal was a 5-on-3 goal, where he made the initial save but couldn’t stop a laser from Krejci.
2. 62/38. The Bruins smacked down the Canucks in the faceoff circle. It was ugly.
3. 43 Hits. The Bruins were demolishing the Canucks physically all night
Three Big Moments
Here are my top 3 moments from last night’s game:
I’ll pass on the video highlights for today’s recap. Cuz I don’t want to see them again.
1. Boychuk’s hit on Raymond. Late and unnecessary. But the NHL has not deemed it worthy of a suspension. Aaron Rome, and everyone else connected with the Canucks, wonders why not.
2. Marchand’s goal. A terrific shot, to be sure. But Jesus H Christ, Luongo, make that save. Why is in butterfly stance when Marchand takes that shot?!
3. Lapierre’s goal. It was a great passing play and breathed a little more life back in the Canucks