Being someone who thought or even expected Vancouver to win the Stanley Cup, I will not deny that I was struck with a bit of surprise when it was all over. I really didn’t believe that Boston would be much of a serious “threat” to the Canucks. I think I predicted Vancouver to win it all in 5 or 6 games.
However, that is why the games are played. The offense I thought the Bruins didn’t have and the firepower I claimed they lacked showed itself to be MORE than present. Of course, Tim Thomas was simply brilliant and truly helped to win the Cup for his team. Boston plainly outplayed Vancouver in many instances, and as the Sedins seemed to disappear, so too did the Vancouver offense.
I think there is going to be quite a bit of soul searching among the Vancouver organization. Roberto Luongo surely played his share of awesome games, but the fact remains that he gave up some bad and untimely goals as well. Ryan Kesler was far from the presence he established in previous series, and the mounting injuries on defense certainly hurt the Canucks as the finals unfolded.
I think it will be interesting to see what Vancouver does in the off season. They had arguably the best defensive unit in the NHL, and they possessed more than enough offensive power on paper. Perhaps, they will seek another solid winger to add to their solid top line. I have no idea what they will do, but, undoubtedly, there will be changes to come.
Also, getting back to the finals,well, let’s face it, despite what was downplayed a bit by Boston was the hit on Nathan Horton. Things like that can truly turn a series around, as a team can rally around an incident like that. No bulletin board material is even necessary. All the guys know what happened and that begins to become the inner and outer mantra of the team mentality; “win it for whomever” the guy who was hurt happened to be.
The bottom line, though, is the Bruins battled their way through 3 game 7 affairs and definitely earned the championship. No one can deny that for sure. After losing the previous 3 games played in Vancouver, they won the contest that meant the most. Additionally, they took 4 of the final 5 games to come back for the overall victory. Vancouver had the upper hand and could have put the death nails into the proverbial coffin in Boston for game 3, but they failed to do so, and the Bruins built on that win.
So, my personal congratulations to Zdeno Chara and company. It was a run for the history books. It was certainly an entertaining series and one I can personally say I enjoyed quite a bit.
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