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Posted by Ryan Porth Labels: 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, Boston Bruins, Saturday Faceoff, Vancouver Canucks
Despite it taking seven games, Boston dominated in almost every head-to-head statistical category. With that said, a lot of the attention is on what Canucks didn’t do, rather than it being on the Bruins’ great play.
Patrick and I debate whether the Bruins won this series, or if the Canucks lost it.
Why the Bruins “won”
By Patrick Hoffman
Ever since the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup three days ago, many hockey fans and media have discussed, blogged and written that the Vancouver Canucks simply lost the Cup, which is just plain silly.
Rather, the Bruins flat out won and deserved to win the Cup for many different reasons. The three reasons that come to mind are scoring, playing physical and better goaltending.
When looking at the scoring in this series, the Bruins outscored the Canucks 23-8 in the series. Yes, you read that right. The Boston Bruins outscored and shutdown the highest scoring team in the National Hockey League.
In three games at TD Garden, the Bruins scored 17 goals in comparison to the Canucks’ 3 goals. Looking at Games 6 and 7 combined, the Bruins outscored the Canucks 9-2. Simply put, the Bruins had the Canucks’ number in the scoring department.
Secondly, the Bruins dominated the series physically. Every time a Canucks player had the puck, he ended up getting hit hard. The Bruins even dominated in the scrums as both Henrik and Daniel Sedin allowed Bruins’ forward Brad Marchand to punch them without returning the favor.
Lastly, the Bruins’ dominated in goal thanks to the great play of Conn Smythe Winner Tim Thomas. Thomas was the most consistent Bruin during the series and was one of, if not the main reason why the Bruins captured their first Cup since 1972.
The same cannot be said of Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo. While he was pretty solid at home, was horrific in Boston and was pulled in both Games 4 and 6.
Let’s face it folks, the Bruins won the Cup fair and square. If not for their two heartbreaking losses in Games 1 and 2, it could have been a Bruins’ sweep.
Simply put, the Bruins were the better team when it mattered most.
Why the Canucks “lost”
By Ryan Porth
While a lot of the credit should go to Tim Thomas and the Bruins for winning the Cup, the Canucks blew their chance at claiming their first ever title. Let’s start with the things they did unnecessarily to ignite the Bruins emotionally.
Aaron Rome didn’t need to step into an unexpecting Nathan Horton in Game 3. But he did. Rome was suspended four games, while Horton was also done for the series with a severe concussion. It was a late, dirty, unnecessary hit that ignited the Bruins emotionally. In the next five periods, the B’s out-scored Vancouver 12-1 to tie the series.
Roberto Luongo didn’t need to take a shot across the bow at Thomas after Game 5. But he did. Luongo mentioned that he would have stopped Max Lapierre’s third period game-winning goal on Thomas. Though the Bruins didn’t publicly take exception to the comment, Luongo probably shouldn’t have gone out of his way to give Thomas more motivation than he needed in two elimination games.
The other shenanigans – i.e. diving, embellishing and biting – seemed to bother the Bruins as well. As Patrick notied; when Brad Marchand repeatedly punched Daniel Sedin in Game 6, no one came to Daniel’s offense as the Hart nominee simultaneously argued to the referee.
It also didn’t help the Canucks that they scored just eight times in seven games. Thomas definitely had something to do with it, but the Canucks forwards didn’t seem to challenge him enough. Also, the power play was nonexistent and surrendered a trio of shorthanded goals.
And then there’s Luongo’s play on the ice. In the three games in Boston, he was awful, to say the least. With the Cup on the line in Games 6 and 7 he and his teammates buckled under pressure.
If it weren’t for Rome’s hit, Luongo’s mouth (and inconsistent netminding), the diving and biting, or the Canucks’ stagnant offense, this may/would have been a different series. (And that's that not even factoring in the countless injuries they played through.)
Instead, the Canucks went on to lose the Cup final, blowing their opportunity to close the door and raise the Cup.
Photo credit: Getty Images
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