Don’t poke the bear. Pretty simple message that one. Itâ€™s also one that the Vancouver Canucks choose to ignore in just the worst possible hour. With just 5:07 played in the first period Aaron Rome took a really late hit on Bostonâ€™s Nathan Horton. The hit sent Horton on the stretcher and into the hospital but it also set the Bruins in a frenzy.
Now, at the risk of sounding like a Don Cherry type of guy, I have to say my peace. The way Vancouver played and carried themselves during these playoffs is wrong and this is coming from a guy who defended Torres after the Seabrook hit.
Hockey isnâ€™t clean and fluffy, we all know this and we probably wouldnâ€™t like it being like that either. However, when you bite people, dish out late hits, dive (and really dive, at any given chance) and your goaltender looks like a sniper target every time he comes into contact with anything (be it air) you leave yourself open to criticism. It is detrimental to the game of hockey, to the integrity of any great sport and to the players themselves. Itâ€™s not just doing it, although thatâ€™s what the good people of Vancouver will likely remember if they win the Cup, but how you do it. And I donâ€™t think they can be proud with the how.
Next topic on todayâ€™s list is â€“ running up the score. Maybe itâ€™s just a case of me being European on this one, but for the life of me I donâ€™t understand why you wouldnâ€™t score 8 if you can score 8. Even worse, why would a coach demand â€œpityâ€ and want the other team to â€œease upâ€? Is that really in the spirit of any sport? Fact is, if Iâ€™m the coach, you werenâ€™t good enough and Iâ€™m not letting you off the hook. Losing is supposed to suck, more so if you play without heart. Last but not least, I think the Bruins had every right to to score as many as they wanted because this was, in fact, a statement. This was also one of the 3 highest winning margins in Stanley Cup history.
Finally, the game. Tim Thomas was brilliant, Roberto Luongo wasnâ€™t. He may have been hung out to dry, but he also gave up some really questionable goals on bad rebounds, positioning etc. Mark Recchi continues to defy age. With yesterdayâ€™s two goals he moved up in the all time playoff scoring list. Brad Marchand is somewhat similar to PK Subban in the way he carries himself on the ice. Some think itâ€™s a bad thing, others think of it as character. Fact is, however you choose to call it, itâ€™s helping them be effective. Not being scared of anyone out there gives one the confidence to go out and score magnificent goals like the one Marchand scored yesterday night. In a shorthanded situation, he chipped the puck off the boards to himself, went passed the two Canucks and froze Luongo with a shoulder fake before putting it top shelf on a sweet delayed shot. Call it sass, pizzazz, arrogance I really donâ€™t care because for the first time during these Finals it got me out of my seat. All about the goal (including the video) can be found HERE just in case you missed it.
The whole game was much better than the previous two, not to mention it increased the â€œdislike levelâ€ in the two dressing rooms which should make the following games more enjoyable and finally, worth watching.
How did you see the Horton hit? Should Rome be suspended for it? What does this result do to the series?