All the talk about this being just another game was thrown out the window quickly Saturday morning when a full scale line brawl erupted just four minutes in.
It wasn’t just another two points on the line in January, it was personal.
Over the past few weeks, the Vancouver Canucks have returned to their rightful place in the standings while the Sedins climbed to the top of the Art Ross race.
The team was back to the President’s Trophy winning level they were at last year.
Unfortunately, last year’s level didn’t include winning in Boston, and facing the Bruins in Boston fresh off a 9-0 beatdown of Calgary made this the ultimate statement game.
In what may well be the game of the year, the Canucks went into Boston and forced game 9.
Onto the Love’Em and Hate’Em for the Bruins matchup.
1. Power Play
All four of the Canucks goals came on the powerplay, the weapon that had going missing in June.
Two of them came on the five minute advantage afforded to them by the ratboy Brad Marchand.
The Canucks scored just two powerplays goals all series long against Boston in the finals, and Saturday morning was a glimpse of what could have been.
All in all, the Canucks were able to take advantage of the heightened emotions and capitalize on the Bruins’ immature penalties.
Let’s just hope the powerplay doesn’t disappear again when they need it the most.
Dale Weise wasn’t with the team last June, but the rookie winger made himself known to the Boston Bruins quite effectively.
He took on Nathan Horton in the main event of the early first period line brawl, and then goaded Shawn Thornton into thinking he was going to drop them again before calmly skating way.
Weise somehow still got a penalty out of that but it was the kind of performance that solidifies Weise’s spot on the roster as the trade deadline approaches and Mike Gillis considers his options.
Cody Hodgson‘s limited playoff run ended in the Western Conference Finals, meaning the kid was on the ice with the Boston Bruins for the first time in his career.
Well, the legend of Cody Hodgson continues to steadily grow thanks to his beautiful slapshot to kick off the third period that stood up as the game winner.
It was very reminiscent to a goal he scored a couple weeks back against the Wings.
He also maybe should have the credit for Alex Burrow‘s second period goal as it looked like the puck went in clean off his shot.
Now that the injuries are finally behind him, he’s starting to remind us that he’s actually very very good.
1. Low Blow
Brad Marchand is a bunch of words I probably can’t use.
His low-bridge of Sami Salo was dirty yet typical.
And god knows Sami Salo doesn’t need any help getting injured.
He’s on the fast track to being the next Matt Cooke, he may already be there by a nose.
Of course, just as I mentioned, the Canucks made him pay by scoring twice on the major powerplay to win the game.
Thank you for the win, stupid. Who nose what you were thinking?
Hope you have fun watching the next few games from the pressbox.
The Bruins second goal should have been icing.
It was somehow waved off at the last second, creating enough confusion for Rich Peverley to score.
These games are unpredictable enough already without the refs getting into the act too.
Still, the Canucks should have known to play to the whistle.
Thankfully, it didn’t decide the outcome of the game.
Milan Lucic was the other Bruin kicked out of this one.
Lucic came off the bench during the early line brawl, one complicated by the fact both teams were changing at the time.
The game misconduct was later rescinded, meaning he won’t be subject to the automatic 10 game ban or the smaller ban drawn by accumulating misconducts, and believe me Lucic accumulates misconducts.
Either way, it’s pretty hilarious how quickly his night ended.
The Anakin Skywalker of Vancouver has now fully embraced the dark side.
It’s a shame really.