While parts of the New England region of the hub of hockey were dealing with tornadoes and severe thunderstorms, the Bruins were in Vancouver to start the Stanley Cup Finals.
It was a game that showcased two of the three Vezina finalists in Boston’s Tim Thomas, and Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo, and the duo stole the show.
An intense back and forth battle that had both teams dominate the play at different points in the contest didn’t end well for the Bruins.
Raffi Torres tapped home a beautiful pass from Jannik Hansen with just 18 seconds left in regulation to give the Canucks a 1-0 win, and a 1-0 series lead.
The play all started when Canucks defensemen Kevin Bieksa sent a pass to Ryan Kesler. As Kesler entered the zone, Bruins defensemen Johnny Boychuk stepped up trying to intercept the pass.
Boychuk completely whiffed on the play, Kesler who came within inches to putting himself offside found Hansen streaking in from the point, then Hansen found Torres and just like that the hearts of the Bruins and their fans were broken.
“I moved up on [Ryan] Kesler just to stop the pass, I just tried to stop the pass, push the puck back [into the neutral zone], and then, I don’t know what happened, pass, two-on-one or two-on-two, and they score.’’ said Boychuk.
Luongo stopped all 36 pucks the Bruins sent his way; Luongo recorded his third shutout of the postseason in Game 1.
Thomas was just as good between the pipes for the Bruins, Thomas did his part to steal the win for the B’s, but the black and gold couldn’t get anything past Luongo.
During a after whistle scrum between Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron and Canucks forward Alex Burrows, it appears the Canucks forward bit the finger of Bergeron. The replay of the scrum pretty much confirms Bergeron’s claim.
Bruins head Coach Claude Julien wasn’t all too happy with the classless act.
“No, I haven’t seen it to be honest with you. I don’t think I’ve had time to look at that stuff right now. I’m going by what Patrice [Bergeron] told me and obviously there was something that happened. And I guess I’ll save my comments for after I see it. And if that’s the case then that’s a classless move and not something players should be doing at this level anyways.”
I am sure the league will look into the matter, and I would not be surprised to see Burrows suspended for Game 2.
The Bruins penalty kill was at its best last night. The Bruins killed off all six power play opportunities the Canucks had, and held the Canucks to just seven power play shots.
It was the same old song and dance for the Bruins with the man advantage. Like the Canucks the Bruins were 0-6 on the power play that included a four-minute-power-play and a 5-3 advantage. The Bruins got more pucks to the net than usual, but still couldn’t light the lamp.
The Bruins know they had the chances to put this one away.
“Yeah I think, I thought we played a real, good road game to be honest with you. And to be in the situation we’re in after two periods I didn’t mind it. Especially against this hockey club, I thought our PK did a great job against their power play” said Julien. “Timmy [Tim Thomas] made the great saves when he had to and like I said, for two periods I was pretty pleased. But obviously the third period, they were the better team and they ended up scoring that goal. But it got away from us but we still have an opportunity here in the next game to hopefully get that one and kind of get the home ice advantage.”
Despite the heart-breaking-loss the Bruins can still hold their heads high. The black and gold skated with and matched up very well with a team that everyone is predicting will win the series.
A few more efforts like the one last night, mixed in with some offensive production and we may just see some magic from the Bruins.