In the end, it wasn’t even close.
In a series that was strange and mostly unexpected, the Boston Bruins became the first team to win a game on the road in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. Their 4-0 victory over Vancouver gave the Bruins their sixth Stanley Cup in franchise history and their first in 39 years. In retrospect, we should have known how this game would end. After all, the Bruins brought their lucky charm with them to Vancouver.
Injured Bruins player Nathan Horton poured water from TD Garden onto the ice at Rogers Arena and, just like that, it was like the Bruins were playing at home.
Of course, the Canucks tried to counter with an injured player of their own, but it didn’t work. Apparently a concussion and a water bottle is better luck than a boring old broken back.
The Canucks are seemingly going to make Mason Raymond walk everywhere now.
The game started off well for Vancouver, but it quickly went downhill. Patrice Bergeron scored the first goal of the game with 5:23 left in the first period. As we all know, the first goal in the game has been key in this series, so it looked like the writing was on the wall for Vancouver.
Because it was a game seven, and because Dan O’Halloran and Stephen Walkom were the referees, there weren’t very many penalties called. Chris Higgins somehow managed to hit Zdeno Chara in the head, which is a Herculean effort in itself.
The Bruins put the Canucks to bed for good in the second period. While a one goal lead seemed difficult to overcome, a three goal lead was pretty much insurmountable. At that point it would have required scoring four goals on Tim Thomas to win the game. Considering the fact that the Canucks scored only eight goals all series, scoring four in game seven wasn’t going to happen.
The man who opened the scoring also scored the third goal in an incredibly bizarre fashion.
There really wasn’t much that anyone could have done to prevent that one.
The fact that it was a shorthanded goal just further punctuated a major problem for Vancouver in this series: their power play. The Canucks power play came into this series with a 28.3% success rate. They scored only two power play goals all series and watched as Tim Thomas and the Bruins shut them down. To make matters worse, the Bruins scored three shorthanded goals in the series, meaning Boston was more successful on Vancouver power plays than Vancouver was.
After the game Alain Vigneault stated that he wasn’t going to blame injuries for the loss. He even went as far as telling Hockey Night In Canada that none of his players had significant injuries, though it’s hard to imagine that Ryan Kesler isn’t injured.
Now that it’s all said and done, the Canucks have to wonder why their best players (Kesler, Luongo and both Sedins) weren’t able to come through when they needed them the most.
For Boston, their best players were exactly that. Tim Thomas was a wall, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand put up big numbers, and 43-year-old Mark Recchi had seven points in the series. Speaking of Recchi, after the game he told reporters that he was going to retire a champion and that this was his last game. There aren’t many better ways to go out.