Game 3 was about as exciting as it gets if you are a Bruins’ fan, as Boston steamrolled the Canucks en route to an 8-1 win. Hopefully, the B’s can keep this momentum rolling forward. An egg Wednesday night negates everything that was accomplished on Monday.
As the teams take a day to recover from the physical contest (and Aaron Rome awaits word on a suspension), here are ten thoughts about Game 3:
1. Aaron Rome’s hit was late and high: Despite Manny Malhotra’s claim that is was “a very clean hit”, there is no questions Rome’s hit on Nathan Horton was illegal. He hit a player who did not have the puck and he hit him high. These are the hits that end careers and the hits that the league wants to eliminate from the game. I said no one should be suspended from a final unless someone is hurt, and I stick by that. Horton was wheeled out on a stretcher. Rome should be gonged for the rest of the final. Let’s hope the NHL does the right thing and suspends him for at least a game or two – though I would not hold my breath on that. Breaking news: Tony Massarotti of 98.5 The Sports Hub is reporting Horton is out for the rest of the playoffs with a serious concussion. To me, this guarantees Rome is out for the duration as well.
2. Tim Thomas still knows how to play: Shocking, seeing how many people wanted a former (and likely future) Vezina winner to changed his style after Game 2. Thomas was brilliant, especially early and in the minutes after Boston had taken a 2-0 lead. To me, he is the Conn Smythe favorite, win or lose.
3. Roberto Luongo is human: Luongo has been brilliant since finally getting past his arch-nemesis, the Chicago
Blackhawks, in the opening round. Last night, though, the Bruins found a bunch of holes. Luongo’s mental make-up has been questioned in the past, and time will tell whether the Bruins are now inside his head.
4. The Bruins need to stay away from the taunting and just play physical hockey: I was disappointed to see Milan Lucic and Mark Recchi sticking fingers in the faces of Vancouver players. I am glad Claude Julien reamed them both for it, and that both apologized for it after the game. Just keep hitting the crap out of the Vancouver defense – it looks like it is wearing them down. Let Alex Burrows and Maxim Lapierre do the taunting.
5. Better hope Kesler and the Sedins stay quiet: Other than throwing a few punches at Dennis Seidenberg, Ryan Kesler did not do a thing last night and has been rather quite after a great play in Game 1. The Sedins have been invisible so far – and Boston should hope it stays that way.
6. Shawn Thornton adds more than just fighting: I said this a few days ago, but Thornton is a heart-and-soul guy that drives the team. His work ethic led to a penalty call and a goal, and he definitely appeared to inspire Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell, as well as others, to elevate their own games. I love this guy! Honestly, he probably should be an assistant captain.
7. Tyler who? I also love Tyler Seguin and I believe he is going to be a top-notch NHL player sooner rather than later, but the Bruins did not need his speed last night. Between Paille (who absolutely flies), Brad Marchand, Rich Peverley, Chris Kelly, and Michael Ryder, the Bruins made the Canucks’ defense look pretty slow on a number of occasions. Putting Thornton in and sitting Seguin turned out to be the correct move.
8. This series is going to get even uglier: Don’t think the Kesler-Seidenberg “fight” will be the last one of this series. This could go down as the most penalty-filled Stanley Cup final by the time it is over. For two teams who never face one another, they certainly have developed a quick hatred. To me, that’s a great thing or a fan. It has been a great series and should only get better.
9. This series is good for hockey: People with whom I work are talking hockey and saying how they have fallen in love with the game thanks to the Bruins’ postseason. Bandwagon fans or not, it’s always good to get more people watching the games and loving the sport. Instead of harassing these new fans, embrace them. Help the sport grow.
10. What will the lines be? With Horton likely gone, here is what I would do:
Lucic-David Krejci-Michael Ryder
Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi
11. One extra: Ryder was fantastic: Ryder is often maligned in Boston (usually deserved), but he has been great the past two games. Hopefully, he is on one of his patented hot streaks through the rest of the series.
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Topics: Aaron Rome, Bandwagon Fans, Boston Bruins, Brad Marchand, Chicago Blackhawks, Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille, Daniel Sedin, Denis Seidenberg, Game 3, Gregory Campbell, Henrik Sedin, Mann Maholtra, Mark Recchi, Michael Ryder, Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton, Rich Peverley, Roberto Luongo, Ryan Kesler, Shawn Thornton, Stabley Cup Finals, Tim Thomas, Tyler Seguin, Vancouver Canucks