It may be seven years later, but I don’t think a single Canucks fan has forgotten. Any time the Bruins come to town the memories and heartbreak come back ever so slightly for many in Vancouver.
To rub salt in the wound, while the Canucks toil at the bottom of standings for a third straight year, the Bruins are amongst the leagues best and are legitimate cup contenders.
Anders Nilsson started for Vancouver with Jacob Markstrom out due to an illness.
After a valiant effort in San Jose, the Canucks were stifled by Martin Jones. They didn’t get on the board until nearly halfway through the third.
They’d have no such troubles tonight. Just two minutes in, former Bruin Loui Eriksson got the Canucks on the board, opening the scoring.
Alex Edler unloaded a heavy point shot, which Tuukka Rask couldn’t absorb. The rebound came to Daniel Sedin in the slot, who bounced the puck towards the net, where Eriksson was able to capitalize and beat a now-floundering Rask.
From the get-go, neither team was lacking in pace. Most of the night the teams flew up and down the ice trading chances.
Four minutes later Jake Debrusk walked into the slot untouched and rang a puck off the post. Seconds later Boston was head to the power-play after Debrusk drew a penalty.
On the power-play, it was Debrusk again with another chance from the slot. The youngster had a great game, with Dad Louis doing colour commentary for CBC tonight.
After killing off the penalty, it was Vancouver again lighting the lamp with just over nine minutes left. Henrik Sedin’s pass pinballed it’s way to Thomas Vanek, and just when you thought Vanek was going to shoot he passed. A play reminiscent of the goal Daniel scored against San Jose, Vanek finds him back door with a wide open net.
Less than a minute later it was, you guessed it, the Canucks again. Troy Stecher skating the puck out of his own zone, send Bo Horvat down the right side of the ice. Horvat with a head of steam, cut to the net and beats Rask high short side.
The Bruins down three tried to ratchet things up physically. David Backes laid a pair of hits, the first on Troy Stecher appeared to be from behind and was pretty borderline.
The avalanche of goals continued for the Canucks despite the Bruins dominating shot clock, 18-9 in the period.
After being a healthy scratch in San Jose, Sven Baertschi got on the board. With Bo Horvat driving the net, Baertschi’s shot was stopped. But took a weird bounce and went in, initially many thought it was Boeser’s goal but it went in off a Bruin. The goal was challenged by Boston for goalie interference, the call on the ice stood. 4-0 Vancouver.
After giving up four goals on nine shots in the first, Rask was done for the night. Anton Khudobin took over for the Bruins in goal. Despite the change in goal, the results were similar early on.
Just under three minutes into the period, Jake Virtanen flew down the left wing. Instead of firing a puck on net from distance, or losing possession down low, Virtanen cut hard to the net. The power move was something many have been screaming to see more of from Virtanen when he does his package of size and speed is hard to contain.
Tho he didn’t score he created a rebound which popped out the Nic Dowd who put the puck behind a reeling Khudobin. 5-0.
With the score lopsided the Bruins continued to press and made Nilsson work to keep the big lead. The final ten minutes of the second may have been the most exciting stretch of hockey Rogers Arena has seen all year. It was a track meet, with Krejci missing a wide-open net, Khudobin robbing Baertschi, and Marchand nearly putting a bouncing puck past Nilsson.
They come in three right? Well, how about three goals, under three minutes into 3 periods?
Unfortunately, the third one was for the bad guys. After Troy Stecher failed to clear the zone, and a diving Nikolay Goldobin couldn’t get a stick on the puck; Tory Krug walked down the middle of the ice. Where he dished to Tim Schaller who wired a one-timer high short side over Anders Nilsson.
With Alex Edler in the penalty box, Brad Marchand nearly added a second Bruins goal. Sitting back door, the pass came but Alex Biega just got a stick on it preventing the tap in for Marchand.
Vancouver was back on the penalty-kill due to a bench minor. Sven Baertschi appeared to say it was called on the coach while talking to the attendant in the box.
After nearly scoring shorthanded on the previous penalty-kill, this time Eriksson made good for his second of the game.
Anton Khudobin put his defensemen in a tough position with Nic Dowd bearing down on him in the corner. The puck squirted out to Eriksson in the slot, Khudobin makes the save. But Derrick Pouliot picks up the puck in the high slot and finds Eriksson now on the other side of the net. 6-1.
Bo Horvat was called for delay of game (puck over the glass) with just over four minutes left. Down and Eriksson generated the best chance once again while shorthanded. But 6-1 held up as the final score.
- The Bruins dominated 5v5 shot attempts, with 69.77% of shot attempts
- Vancouver scored 6 goals on just 18 shots
- At 5v5 Boston had 59.55% of the expected goals
- Nilsson’s .978 save percentage was 6.6% above expected, he had 2.95 Goals Saved Above Average
- Lost in this one was Langley native Danton Heinen making his first appearance at Rogers Arena. Heinen has quietly been one of the better rookies in the NHL this year, with 12 goals and 38 points in 52 games.
- With Markstrom out sick, Anders Nilsson shouldered the load for Vancouver. He was good, very good. Despite the score, Boston poured quality chances on net. Early on he didn’t let the Bruins keep it close; then in the third, he didn’t let them back in it.
- Alex Edler passed Jyrki Lumme and Dennis Kearns for 2nd all-time in points for Canucks defensemen.
- Nic Dowd and Loui Eriksson were dangerous on the penalty-kill all night, creating a couple of quality scoring chances to go along with the goal. Tonight we saw the version of Loui Eriksson that Jim Benning envisioned when he signed him to his 6 year, 6 million dollar deal.
- Darren Archibald continued to do his best to get into Travis Green’s good books. After burying a Bruin along the boards, Brandon Carlo challenged Archibald who obliged. His second fight since being signed, Dorsett still has the team lead with 4.
- No matter what side you’re on when it comes to tank/dont tank, I think we can all still feel good and celebrate blowing out the Bruins seven years later.