After going down in the series 3-2 Friday on the strength of a Roberto Luongo shutout, the Boston Bruins rallied to win the final two games of the Stanley Cup final with the Bs being the only team to take a road game in the series in last night's game seven. Boston erases their "choker" label after last year blowing a 3-0 series lead in the second round against the eventual conference champion Philadelphia Flyers. There were great stories across the board for the Bruins in this one; Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and especially Tim Thomas (your 3 stars of the game incidentally) were dominant throughout the game. Thomas set the NHL record for saves made in a playoffs (798) and in the finals (238) as well as most shots against (849) on his way to earning the Conn Smythe trophy as MVP of the playoffs. He also is now the only goaltender in NHL history to post a game seven shutout on the road. Clutchitude, thy name is Tim Thomas.
Marchand finished the night with 2G 1A 3pts +3 to improve his impressive rookie playoff total to 11G 8A 19pts +12 and tied for 6th in playoff scoring. He skated at will, all over Vancouver last night, and did a lot of the heavy lifting on Bergeron's first goal. Our former Isle to congratulate, Zdeno Chara hoisted the cup first as his team's captain, passing it first to Mark Recchi (who is retiring, NSFW) who apparently loves big Z, who passed it to Bergeron, then to Thomas.
While Boston had its heroes, Vancouver certainly had their goats as the players who were supposed to perform were found wanting. Ryan Kesler, Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin combined for 6 points -18 and 65 penalty minutes in the series while Roberto Luongo is in the process of taking off his LeBron James costume as we speak...It's a shame none of his teammates gave him the Heimlich at some point.
It was a memorable and hard fought if not dirty and despicable series at times, but one of the most enjoyable in recent memory with perhaps one of the only "good guys" coming away the victor. This was a tough rooting interest for many. The biggest story to come out of this championship will unfortunately be the loathsome behavior of many Vancouver fans in the overnight devastation of their city as police are still struggling to bring rioters and looters to order. More on this and game highlights and links after the jump.
Stories and Links:
NHL.com front page with complete coverage, interviews and video links all over the place.
Video: Nathan Horton pours Boston water on Vancouver ice - Puck Daddy - NHL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Did Nathan Horton's black magic change home ice advantage for the Bruins? You decide.
Chris Higgins Hits Zdeno Chara In First Period Of Canucks-Bruins Game 1 - SBNation.com Some of the dirty stuff continued in this game as well.
Choose Your Own Adventure: The ____________ (Canucks/Bruins) are Stanley Cup champions! | The Two-Line Pass
Here is a "media narrative" choose your own adventure story for the series that really could apply to any game you've ever seen.
Vancouver Riot Pics: Post Your Photos (2)
Please help police by posting photos to bring the dirtbags to justice.
Remembering the 1994 Stanley Cup riot | Posted Sports | National Post
Bruce Arthur of the National Post foreshadows what is to come by recalling the Vancouver riots in '94 after, hmm, I forget who, defeated the Canucks in game 7.
Game 7: On the streets | Page 5 | Liveblog live blogging | The Province
Timeline of riots beginning on the end of page 4. Very comprehensive with pictures and video.
Riot police struggle to calm violent crowd in Vancouver - CTV News
A violent and unruly crowd overturned cars, set fires and looted stores throughout downtown Vancouver late Wednesday, after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup final 4-0 to the Boston Bruins.
Live Video, Breaking News, and the day's top stories from abc7news.com.
On a last note, it's always a struggle to make sense of the destructive tendencies of people; the selfishness, the thoughtlessness and the harm people can do to others and the larger community. There is no justification or explanation that would appease the rational and those not connected to the mob itself. What has happened in Vancouver is a tragedy and a black mark/stigma that will stick with that community and even more specifically, that fan base for some time. It's important to remember there are good people out there despite overwhelming images to the contrary; good Canuck fans who not only didn't participate in this sideshow, but also condemned the acts and wished and hoped for the safety of their fellow citizens and the police. Guys like semi_colon and others shouldn't be lumped into the portion of the fan base that is absolutely bat-shit crazy. Scenes like this have the potential to happen anywhere if we don't concentrate on being better people, respecting each other, ourselves, and most importantly, our morals and principles as humans.
For those who can be swayed into mayhem and hooliganism, I wish many of these upon you. Be safe Vancouver.