The Boston Bruins crashed the party in Vancouver to dominate Game 7, 4-0, and claim their first Stanley Cup in 39 years. Tim Thomas won the Conn Smythe after posting his second straight shutout, while Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand each scored twice.
After the 10-minute mark, you felt it just wasn’t going to be Vancouver’s night. It seemed like the Canucks were playing not to lose; Boston was there to win and it showed.
In six games in this series, the team that had scored first won every time. Boston struck first at 14:37 of the first when Bergeron scored his first of the night off a bang-bang play off a faceoff. Marchand, who was one of the most effective players in this game and series, made the goal happen with a nice feed through traffic. The B’s never looked back.
Midway through the second period, Marchand’s wrap-around attempt trickled past a sprawling Luongo to put Boston up 2-0. Over five minutes later, Bergeron scored shorthanded to officially put the game out of Vancouver’s reach.
At the 17:16 mark of the third, with Vancouver’s net empty, Marchand scored again to put the cherry on top of a dominant 4-0 win.
Tim Thomas made 37 saves (his age, by the way) in this shutout to cap off a magical season. Not only did he win the Conn Smythe, but if he wins the Vezina Trophy next week, he would become the first goalie since 1975 (Philadelphia’s Bernie Parent) to win the Vezina, Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup in the same year.
Right from the start of the game, Thomas had the look of a goalie that was not going to be beaten, no matter what the Canucks threw at him. Thomas was outstanding throughout the entire series, recording a 1.15 goals-against, a .967 save percentage and two shutouts. Incredible!
With the win, the Bruins became the first team in NHL history to win three Game 7’s en route to a Stanley Cup; if you recall, they defeated Montreal coming back from 0-2 down, as well as Tampa Bay in the conference final. That shows the kind of heart and character this team had throughout the postseason, despite the bumps in the road.
As for the Canucks, I don’t know where to begin. A magical season slipped away; and how they recover is beyond me. It’s easy to say they can simply put together another great year and contend for the Cup. But this was the year they were supposed to win the Cup. The stars were aligned. In the end, they came up one win short – and it’s going to sting for a long time.
Congratulations to the Bruins for completing the journey and snapping their 39-year drought.
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