Bruins-Canucks series “a war of the words”
BOSTON — There’s no denying that Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo created a buzz after Vancouver’s 1-0 win in Game 5 with his postgame comments, which have added some extra drama in what has now become a series full of quotables.
In case you haven’t heard, here was his “critique” of Bruins netminder Tim Thomas after he gave up the game’s only goal to Canucks forward Maxim Lapierre after a lucky bounce in the third period.
“It’s not hard if you’re playing in the paint,” Luongo said. “It’s an easy save for me. If you’re wandering out aggressive like he is, that’s not going to happen. He might make some saves that I won’t, but in cases like that we want to take advantage of bounces like that and make sure we bury those.”
Granted, Luongo’s comments about Thomas sounds a little accurate in comparing the goaltending styles between the two. Luongo plays close to the net and in the paint at all times, while Thomas is the more aggressive goalie who tries to cut down angles and fight through screens by standing outside the crease. Whether Luongo makes the save in that same situation or not in Game 5 we will never know for certain.
This doesn’t deny the fact, though, that his postgame comments in Game 5 seemed a little odd, especially considering that he gave up 12 goals in the previous two games here at TD Garden. And Luongo, himself, has given up some soft goals too during this series (just like Rich Peverley’s second goal in Game 4).
Thomas has been stellar this series and is now pretty much a lock to win the Comm Smythe Award given to the Playoff’s Most Valuable Player. And Luongo deserves some credit, too, posting two shutouts in the series in Games 1 and 5.
But, again, rather than let his performance(s) (or lack thereof) speak for itself, Luongo decided to take another jab at the media and at Thomas this past weekend.
“I’ve been pumping his tires ever since the series started,” Luongo said about Thomas. “I haven’t heard one nice thing he’s had to say about me so that’s the way it is.”
“I guess I didn’t realize it was my job to pump his tires,” he said with a laugh. “I guess I have to apologize for that.”
Although the rips between Luongo and Thomas have been well talked about, there has been a lot of talking between the two teams throughout the series.
We’ve heard the Canucks defend Alex Burrows’ biting incident in Game 1 and we also saw the Bruins speak out a little bit about the incident. We’ve seen Lapierre taunt Bergeron in Game 2. We’ve seen Mark Recchi and Milan Lucic taunt Lapierre and Burrows, respectively, in Game 3. And, just yesterday, we heard Aaron Rome speak out again on how he should not have been suspended for his hit on Nathan Horton in Game 3, which knocked out the Bruins forward for the rest of the playoffs.
It’s not just the players who have spoken out, either. The media who covers both sides have had a lot to say recently, particularly Mike Milbury, who went out of his way to refer to the Sedin Twins as “Thelma and Louise” after Game 4.
There’s no denying that this series has seen its share of drama from “bite-gate” to Luongo’s comments in Game 5. However, much like Mike Murphy — NHL Vice President of Hockey Operations — had to say one day prior to Game 4, the “crap” needs to be put away (as if it already needed to).
The Canucks are one win away from the Stanley Cup, while the Bruins hope to force a Game 7 tonight at the TD Garden. Here’s hoping that both teams (who have both been guilty of something at some point this series) play an entertaining hockey game without any extra agenda(s) in Game 6.