The Bruins defeated the Canucks on Monday by a lopsided 8-1 score to win their first game of the Stanley Cup Finals. No, I don’t have a witty open this time. There isn’t much to be said. The Bruins dominated in every department and things got chippy. Here are my top five game notes on the Bruins first Cup win since 1990.
Number Five: Milan Lucic
The best word to describe this game last night was classless. The biggest standout was the Aaron Rome hit on Nathan Horton, but the Bruins were not exactly immune to the chippy play. During a scrum Milan Lucic stuck his fingers into the face of Alexandre Burrows, the player who bit Patrice Bergeron’s finger.
Now, the Canucks have already made a mockery of this and I was hoping the Bruins would hold back. If anyone has been able to ignore surronding issues over the last couple of yeats, it has been Boston. But they got caught up in it tonight and I am not very happy about it.
Number Four: Daniel Paille
Shawn Thornton was entered into the lineup tonight at the expense of Tyler Seguin, but there were rumors that Paille may have been the causality. Seguin is the big name offensive star, so of course many around Boston did not approve the move. But once again, Claude Julien is proven right.
Paille played one of his better games of the playoffs, picking up a goal and owning the penalty kill. He is a guy I have never been too high on, a speedy player with no craft or hands, yet he was often the best player on the ice, and that has to be noticed.
Number Three: Sedin Twins
Has anyone seen Daniel or Henrik Sedin? I sure haven’t. In a series the Bruins have held the Canucks offense in check, the Sedin’s have not stepped up their play at all. Henrik got zero shots on goal. None. This is an MVP candidate the Bruins have shut down, and that can only be a good thing for them.
Number Two: Boston’s Transition Game
Boston was rather successful versus Tampa’s 1-3-1 format. They were able to score on the transition, which is the Bruins’ offensive strength. And after Game Two vs Vancouver, it became evident that the Canucks aggressive forecheck was causing problems. All four of the Vancouver goals scored in British Columbia were on turnovers of failed clear attempts. And even when the Canucks did not capitalize, Boston was not able to produce any scoring chances.
Last night they cleaned up their game with an obvious adjusment and exposed Vancouver. Now it is the Canucks turn to make an adjustment, and it will need to be significant.
Number One: Aaron Rome’s hit on Nathan Horton
This could have been a replay of the Matt Cooke hit on Marc Savard. As Horton passed the puck across the blue line to Lucic, at least two seconds could be counted before Rome came in with the vicious forearm to the head of Horton. As Horton’s head violently hit the ice, his eyes stayed open and his arms stiff. The stretcher was immediately raced to the ice, as everyone stared in wonder wondering what happened.
Then the replay was shown on the TD Garden Jumbotron and gasps of horror could be heard. Rome had left his feet to make the late hit on the Bruins forward. Horton was rushed to the hospital where he was alert and moving all his limbs.
The league is going to have to come down on this one, right? I’m not sure anymore. All I know is I have been disappointed with them in the past, and I expect to be again.