It was what everyone was talking about, the feel good story of the season. A triumphant return to the ice in Game 2 after no one thought it would happen. It was the longest of longshots that he would be available for the Canucks in this game, but Alex Burrows wasn’t suspended for his alleged bite and was brilliant tonight. Oh, and Manny Malhotra came back from injury. I guess that was also a big deal. I watched this game.

  • Manny Malhotra’s return to the ice was the emotional highlight of this game and the loud “Manny Manny Manny” chants from the Rogers Arena faithful were incredibly moving. He skated a regular shift on the fourth line and came out on the second penalty-killing unit as well, playing a total of 7:26. In that time, he blocked a shot, recorded a takeaway, and won 6-of-7 faceoffs. He was the only Canuck to finish above 50% in the faceoff circle, with 6 of his faceoffs coming in the defensive zone. It was a near ideal return to action.
  • Amazingly, each of his 7 faceoffs came against a different Bruin. 7 different players for the Bruins took at least one faceoff tonight, and Manny faced each of them in turn. The only one to beat Manny was Rich Peverley. I bet he’s bragging about that on the plane back to Boston.
  • For those who don’t think Manny’s return to the ice had much of an effect on the game, given that he only played 7-and-a-half minutes, consider that Henrik Sedin didn’t take a single defensive zone faceoff tonight. With Malhotra and Kesler covering that duty, the first line was able to start primarily in the offensive zone and focus their energy on creating offense from the blueline in. And that brief time-on-ice is still more than Cody Hodgson and Alex Bolduc have averaged in these playoffs.
  • Even if Malhotra had come in to this game and put up 5 points, won 18 faceoffs, and blocked every shot the Bruins took while he was on the ice, he still couldn’t crack the third line, which has been fantastic. Jannik Hansen had yet another superb game and is beginning to develop the vision of a veteran playmaker, making beautiful passes to his linemates and adding 4 shots. Poor guy got robbed by Thomas on one opportunity and just couldn’t find the net on a few other chances. Maxim Lapierre added 4 shots of his own as well as 3 hits, while Raffi Torres was physical and dangerous on the forecheck. They’re the best third line since Like a patient etherized upon a table.
  • But the true star of the proceedings was Alexandre Burrows, who Boston fans and media will be quick to point out shouldn’t have even been playing. Heck, Mike Milbury is both a fan and media member: guess what he thinks.
  • With 2 goals and an assist in Game 2, Burrows has inserted himself into the Conn Smythe discussion. He is now tied with Daniel for the team lead in postseason goals with 9, with 2 of them overtime gamewinners. He’s 7th in scoring with 17 points; if he has any shot at winning the Conn Smythe over Henrik, Luongo, Kesler, or one of the Bruins he’ll need to pick up a few more points. Two more overtime game-winners would fit the bill.
  • A couple things to notice about the opening goal of the game, an unexpected wristshot from a bad angle that sneaks under the arm of Tim Thomas. First, if Luongo lets that goal in, then I know I would not be able to listen to the Team 1040 on the drive home without putting my fist through my dashboard. Second, apparently the best way to beat Thomas is to catch him unawares. Maybe try the old hidden puck trick. Third, how good is the play by Sami Salo to keep the puck in the zone and hit Higgins with the pass? The answer is so good.
  • At 1:01 of the highlight video, you can see Higgins give up the puck to Burrows, knowing that Burrows has the best opportunity to score, which of course is the best opportunity for Kiss Huggins to get a post-goal hug. Everyone on the team seems to think it’s weird whenever he asks for non-goal-related hugs, so he has been encouraging everyone on the team to set goals for themselves, which he records in his Evolving Achievements Binder. That way he knows whenever someone accomplishes a goal and can swoop in for the post-goal hug. This has not led to anyone thinking he is less weird than before.
  • Of course, Burrows’ first goal immediately triggered every single sportswriter in North America into making a “bite” pun. Look for a variation on “Burrows Takes a Bite Out of Bruins” in every paper tomorrow.
  • At one point Daniel Sedin purposely stood on the puck, protected it under his skate, then kicked it back to Burrows. It was an incredible maneuver and I thought I was the only one who saw it. Then Craig Simpson showed it on the replay, which immediately made me feel a little less special. Fortunately, I have my mom on speed-dial so she can reassure me that I am the most special person on earth.
  • Andrew Alberts had a successful return to the lineup, recording a game-high 6 hits. The leader in hits for the Bruins was Mark Recchi, with 5, but let’s face it: hits from the 5’10″ Recchi are not really equivalent to hits from the 6’5″ Alberts. That’s like Harvey Danger comparing themselves to The Beatles.
  • Aaron Rome, on the other hand, was frustrating to watch. While he had 4 hits and 4 blocked shots, he also made poor decisions with the puck, including a baffling icing with less than 5 minutes left in the game. He also took two penalties: yes, both of them were incredibly soft calls, but he put himself in a position for the refs to make those calls. On the first, he took one hand off his stick and put it on his opponent. While he didn’t actually hold said opponent, you run the risk of getting called when you take that action. In the second, he appeared to attempt a hipcheck when the puck was nowhere near his opponent. Sure, he didn’t actually make contact so it wasn’t technically interference, but it sure looked like interference. You can’t blame the ref for making what appear to be obvious calls.
  • At one point, Jim Hughson said Aaron Rome has joined the rush. No. If Rome joins the rush, it is no longer a rush. It is now a dawdle.
  • Bieksa also appeared to be out of sync without his Hammy. He had a whopping 5 giveaways in this game. He was like Ace without Gary, Garfunkel without Simon, or Snowy without Tintin. Here’s hoping Hamhuis makes a speedy recovery or, at the very least, that Bieksa can be partnered with someone he isn’t reluctant to pass to.
  • In a best-case scenario for Vancouver hockey fans, Milan Lucic scored his first Stanley Cup Final goal in his hometown and the hometown team won. The goal was not Ehrhoff’s finest moment, as he loses the initial puck battle along the boards against Lucic and then gets caught watching the puck instead of tying up Lucic’s stick on the rebound. Hey Ehrhoff: it’s my job to watch this game, not yours.
  • At 43, Mark Recchi is the oldest player in NHL history to score in a Stanley Cup Final. Far more impressive is the fact this goal came on a Boston powerplay. I have heard tell of such things, but never thought to see one with my own eyes.
  • After a terrible second period, the Canucks were down 2-1 going into the third. The Bruins had a 6-0 record in the playoffs when leading after two periods. Had. The Canucks then proceeded to dominate the third, outshooting the Bruins 11-5. Daniel Sedin scored the tying goal into a wide-open net, which seems to be a bit of a theme for the Canucks’ goals against Tim Thomas. The net was wide-open because Thomas overplayed the Alex Edler shot from the point, which Burrows knocks down in front of the net to feed Daniel. Since they don’t award points for tertiary assists, Henrik gets left off the scoresheet, though his super-high saucer-pass to the point is the most impressive part of this play.
  • Just before the tying goal, Glenn Healy talked about Thomas “making saves at the right time.” That right there would have been the right time to make a save. When the shot came on net. You might even say that it would have been a “key save.” The wrong time for Tim Thomas to make a save is when the Bruins are shooting on Luongo. That would be silly.
  • I’m used to overtime being a tense, heart-pounding affair. After downing an American Mountain Dew with dinner, I was afraid the combination of caffeine, sugar, and crazed back-and-forth overtime action would cause my heart to explode: instead, Burrows scored the second fastest playoff overtime goal in NHL history. After Henrik lost the faceoff, the Canucks created yet another in a long series of neutral zone turnovers, as Edler intercepted a pass from Ference. With typical speed, the Canucks immediately transitioned into the offensive zone. They have a better transition than a star-wipe.
  • Burrows first outskates Chara, then outbattles Chara, and then — and most impressively – outreaches Chara. Burrows keeps his legs moving, even as he fakes the shot, while Chara stops skating. The other person who stops skating is Brad Marchand, who coasts in from the blueline instead of skating hard to the front of the net, where he may have been able to stick-check Burrows. I haven’t seen that much coasting since Lupe Fiasco’s “Kick Push” video.
  • My favorite view of the gamewinning goal is this in-net camera as it shows just how wide open the net was for Burrows. It is absolutely baffling how far Thomas comes out of his net. He has to know that Chara will keep Burrows to the outside, but Thomas challenges like he’s Gorka Pintado — way too aggressively. Then he bites on the fake shot harder than Burrows bit Bergeron. Then, instead of recognizing that Burrows is going behind the net and trusting Chara to prevent him from cutting back in front, he dives at the puck. It’s a series of increasingly poor choices; I honestly have no idea what was going through his head, but if I had to guess, it would be this.

 

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39 comments

  1. Timmmy
    June 5, 2011

    Another classic as always sir.

    On another note, can anyone confirm another flasher at the game?
    About a minute or 2 before the Lucic goal, a redhead (couldn’t tell male/female) in a H.Sedin jersey lifts up the jersey – he/she was facing the ice, probably around the blueline about 10 rows back.
    Just interested to see if somebody did it again.

    Keen for a couple more wins woot woot!

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  2. Jeff Trounce
    June 5, 2011

    I love watching you Canuck fans twist, struggle, and labor in defense of Burrows’ actions. Reading some of you garbage is truly hilarious. I heard Burrows’ daddy had to call him and console him after his ‘courageous’ finger-biting actions in game 1. “Awwww….poor baby, I didn’t really mean to raise you to bite another human being – this is really my fault”…is probably what daddy Burrows told his little cowardly spawn. I can’t wait to see what you Canuck fans are going to say when your ‘brave’ boy Burrows starts to pull hair. Enjoy your Stanley Cup victory….although, I’m now a Bruins fan after watching the class and style they’ve exhibited through the first two games of this series. The Canucks? They’re a complete embarrassment to Canadian hockey and to the game of hockey, itself. Sorry, but that’s how it is.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      June 5, 2011

      Oh no, we lost a fan! And he’s acting like a child!

      Lost child! Amber alert!

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    • peanutflower
      June 5, 2011

      Oh, I get it now, you don’t like the Canucks. I can’t take you seriously, though, because you misplaced too many commas. Sorry. Poor punctuation just sucks all of the effect right out of your diatribe. This just isn’t the place for you.

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      • Jeff Trounce
        June 6, 2011

        no, i just dont like uppity canadians with usernames of ‘peanutflower’ hu think there so dam smart for pointing gramar erors on other peeples postings beecaws they have no other valid point to make. now run along and go bite someones finger….and another part of the human anatomee that im sure your good at biting

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        • Olde Coot
          June 6, 2011

          For anyone to stoop so low
          Attacking one that you don’t know
          Displays an utter lack of class
          You pretentious pompous ass

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    • gumby
      June 5, 2011

      Hey did you notice he scored two and got an assist last night? Did ya? That’s gotta really burn, no? And he sure made a monkey out of Thomas on that OT goal though, didn’t he.

      So, like, neener-neener.

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    • Scarlet Ibis
      June 5, 2011

      Why is it you have to hide
      anything that’s slightly snide?
      Censorship i can’t abide,
      being from the southern side.

      Of latitude forty-nine,
      in case you didn’t get the line.
      Down there in the USA
      we let people have their say.

      In any case I’m going home.
      I hope the Nucks play Aaron Rome,
      When they meet us in game three
      And we come back as you will see.

      It’s just I think that Ballard’s better.
      Rome should wear a Boston sweater.

      Scarlet Ibis

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      • S!
        June 5, 2011

        “Click here to see.”

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        • Scarlet Ibis
          June 5, 2011

          So why’s it hid in the first place?
          Is it a way of saving space,
          an attempt to draw attention to,
          or just a way to shit on you?

          SI

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          • S!
            June 5, 2011

            It’s functionality provided by a WordPress moderation plugin that is controlled by user input. You can read about how it works at this URL: http://wealthynetizen.com/wordpress-plugin-comment-rating/

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            • Scarlet Ibis
              June 5, 2011

              Well I suggest you pull the plug
              On the one that judges “Ugh!”
              I like the yellow and the pink,
              But not the one in faded ink!

              How about a pukey green
              To highlight those the fans demean?

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    • By-Tor
      June 5, 2011

      It’s funny that you talk about Burrows, but completely fail to mention the Rich Peverly slash on Kevin Bieksa.

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    • Timmmy
      June 5, 2011

      Bruins exhibiting class and style… so you mean like Peverly’s slash on Bieksa then?

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    • JS Topher
      June 5, 2011

      Actually Dude, Burrows does pull hair http://youtu.be/DGysIQ3NNTk
      and we still like him more than you.

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  3. chicken chick
    June 5, 2011

    I do not watch the second game
    Clay Pigeon’s baseball is to blame
    But its first star I still can name

    It is the Reds against the Greens
    The players in their early teens
    Burrows scores first without Sedins

    Then Blue misses a double play,
    So Greens score four with two away
    And goals against the fans dismay.

    An infield fly has just occurred
    Blue’s calling it is hardly heard
    It’s still two-one late in the third

    Somebody says at least he tried
    Blue blows a full count strike inside
    Burrows assists and now it’s tied

    And then at last the game is done
    Clay Pigeon scored the winning run
    Somebody says Vancouver won

    I later learn that it is true
    The final score was three to two
    What more will Alex Burrows do

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  4. scarlet ibis
    June 5, 2011

    Well I’ve but this one thing to say
    It’s now in Boston we will play

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    • olde coot
      June 5, 2011

      And I’ve just these few things to add
      It is not that the Bruins are bad
      It’s that the Nucks are very good
      And win the Cup they surely should

      For ev’ry game someone comes through
      Tonight ’twas Burrows scoring two
      And assisting on the tying goal
      This team seems always in control

      (He fakes a shot like Cournoyer
      That Alex Burrows comes to play
      Just seconds into overtime
      His wrap around was just sublime)

      And but this one more thing to say
      It doesn’t matter where they play

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  5. Bob
    June 5, 2011

    Great IWTG. And great game to watch.

    I was still griping about Glenn Healy and his ridiculous ‘saves at the right time’ comment when Daniel’s goal happened. Great timing!

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  6. SteveB
    June 5, 2011

    Y’know, when the Finals are over I’m going to go back into the archives and read every single IWTG. It’s so refreshing to read PITB’s writing.

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  7. Noodle
    June 5, 2011

    Great IWTG. The Lapierre and Luongo clips made me laugh. Especially the slow mo on Lu. So…..glamourous?

    I was watching in the Fan Zone on Granville, and the crowd sang along with the anthem, chanted Manny, and was just generally loud and excited. Highly recommend watching the game there, with 4500 of your closest friends. Plus the 70 000 that streamed into Granville afterwards. Sea of people from Granville/Pender to Granville Street Bridge. Unreal.

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  8. Karen
    June 5, 2011

    Ahhhh… Lapierre never ceases to crack me up. Excellent game! Excellent IWTG. Looking forward to watching game 3 in Rogers Arena with 18000+ other screaming fans!!

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  9. C
    June 5, 2011

    Healy’s a moron.

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  10. JC
    June 5, 2011

    This is top-shelf writing and every link a winner. Well in sir.

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  11. Noodle
    June 5, 2011

    http://www.news1130.com/news/local/article/236180–roberto-luongo-s-inukshuk-new-landmark-in-campbell-river

    Pretty sweet Luongo Inukshuk. And made by someone who doesn’t consider himself a fan….would that be the equivalent of a die-hard in Florida?

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  12. Pilsnerpunk
    June 5, 2011

    Are the antibiotics Bergeron has to take slowing him down? He doesn’t seem quite right.

    Lappiere’s offer to Bergeron is one of the funniest Canuck moments ever. Second only to Ruutu making a clown out of Phaneuf.

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    • peanutflower
      June 5, 2011

      I don’t know, it might even be better than the Ruutu Phaneuf thing. The funniest thing about the Phaneuf trip is Larscheid’s giggling. Well, the whole thing is pretty priceless I guess. Lapierre is definitely in the same class as Ruutu, right down to that grin.

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  13. Pyewacket
    June 5, 2011

    Can people now stop putting down the Canucks with “Yeah, but they don’t have a true #1 D-man” comments? I think that’s actually one of the things that’s got us this far. Keith-Seabrook, Weber- Suter, and Boyle- can’t remember were exhausted by the end of their series. We don’t HAVE to run a player into the ground playing 30 min a night. Nevermind depth for injury- having a fairly decent pairing that’s almost 10 min fresher going into OT (for example) makes a difference. It’s actually a way smarter strategy for winning 4 gruelling playoffs rounds.

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  14. BECanucks
    June 5, 2011

    No, no, no, it’s not possible! You have a whooooooole point over the fact that Alberts is back in the game and NOT providing the excuse for our favourite Dan-I’m-the-community-man-Hamuis. No way. I want to know! Is he already in Boston rescuing the storm-victims? In Yemen trying to help build a democracy or has Patrick Kane called him in emergency because he was going to do a big mistake? Come on, you HAVE to tell us…

    Otherwise, thank you for a great IWTG

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  15. Drew
    June 5, 2011

    http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/22825103/vp/21428025#43283571

    Good look at Peverley’s slash on Bieksa at 0:04

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  16. Pilsnerpunk
    June 5, 2011

    @Peanutflower the icing on the cake of Ruutu/Phaneuf was that Phaneuf got a penalty.

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  17. FerenczyRAM
    June 5, 2011

    Love the spoon video!

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  18. JS Topher
    June 5, 2011

    Don Hertzfeld’s “Rejected”? Teen Girl Squad? Ambiguously Gay Duo? You sir, have tapped into 3 of my greatest guilty pleasures all within one IWTG! Incredible… My Anus is bleeding.

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  19. Sanstanya
    June 5, 2011

    You had me at “Like a patient etherized…”

    Then you lost me briefly with the Evolving Achievements Binder. I say lost because I so badly was trying to continue reading but couldn’t stop wondering why you even know such a thing exists. Very distracting.

    But you won me back for good with a Dick Dastardly reference. How much do I Love Muttley? And then some!

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    • JS Topher
      June 6, 2011

      That was one of those links where you stop for a second and wonder what it was that lead them to such a site… Is it random? A friend’s site? One of those things you hope you never hear the answer for!

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      • Daniel Wagner
        June 6, 2011

        Answer: none of the above. My Google Fu is strong.

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  20. DanD
    June 6, 2011

    My two observations:

    - Is it just me, or is all of CBC fans of Boston. Hughson is probably the only exception here. Simpson and Healy can’t stop gushing over Boston. It seemed during the first period that they were actively trying to cheer the Bruins in to picking up their game. I half expected Healy to break out in the Herb Brooks speech between the benches.

    - It’s not getting mentioned much, but Daniel (I think it was Daniel) made a great pass to Burrows to spring him on that breakaway. Without those guys, Vancouver’s transition looks much less like a star wipe. Perhaps more like a wet wipe?

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    • Harrison Mooney
      June 6, 2011

      I saw a wet wipe in a movie once. It wasn’t an appropriate movie.

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      • DanD
        June 6, 2011

        Haha I was more referring to the things you get for wiping your face after eating wings. But that works as well!

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