Like Jenny Shepard and Agent Gibbs, the Canucks and Bruins have history together, so it’s really odd that no one made any mention of it leading up to or during the game. There wasn’t a single reference to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final from CBC’s broadcast, fans on Twitter, or players in the game.
Instead, it was treated like a normal, ordinary game. While it may have lacked drama, emotion, and anything resembling entertainment value, the Canucks were just happy to get the two points with the modest victory.
I became a horrible liar after I watched this game.
Canucks 6 – 2 Bruins
- It quickly became apparent that this would be an emotional game when Ryan Kesler dropped the gloves with Jarome Iginla just over 6 minutes into the first period after an open-ice check by Iginla. Like a David Cronenberg film, things quickly took a turn towards body-horror when a punch to Kesler’s sent Iginla’s left ring finger sideways at a 90 degree angle from where it should be. Amazingly, Iginla returned for the start of the second period, surprising even the Bruins, who had sent out another player on his line.
- For all my concern over starting the same goaltender on back-to-back nights, Roberto Luongo was superb, making 39 saves on 41 shots, including a clean sheet in the first period that ensured the Canucks took a lead into the intermission. It was the highest shot total Luongo’s faced this season, but he handled the load like a one-ton pickup truck with freshly pumped tires.
- Jannik Hansen opened the scoring with one of the oddest goals of the year, beating Tuukka Rask with a knuckler that would make R.A. Dickey proud and made Rask look like J.P. Arencibia. His slap shot from centre ice nicked off Zdeno Chara’s stick and seemed to be heading high to Rask’s right, before dive-bombing unexpectedly down and to the left between Rask’s legs. And now, here’s the reference to D2 that is contractually required of every hockey blogger whenever such a goal is scored: it’s knuckle-puck time!
- The Canucks struggled to start the second period, giving up the tying goal 4 minutes in after a string of sloppy play. John Tortorella was mildly displeased and called a timeout to calmly explain why he was unhappy. By that I mean he tore into them like a bag of Skittles. He went full Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (NSFW) on the Canucks and it appeared to have the desired effect. It was the most effective use of a timeout since this morning when my oldest son wouldn’t stop throwing things at his brother.
- Just over a minute after the goal and timeout, David Booth put on a burst of speed through the neutral zone that we haven’t seen from him in a long while, getting a step on Torrey Krug and firing the puck past Rask’s glove. It was so vintage Booth that Clark Kent stepped into it and emerged as Superman.
- Three minutes later, Mike Santorelli put on a clinic in the Bruins’ zone, powering to the net for two quick scoring chances, then out-battling both Milan Lucic and David Krejci for the rebound. His subsequent backhand appeared to deflect off Ryan Kesler’s skate as he created a ruckus in front of the net, but it fortunately made its way to Chris Higgins, who ensured Santorelli got a point for all his effort by putting the puck into the open net. Santorelli repaid him by giving the man we call Kiss Huggins what he really wanted all along: man-cuddles.
- Judging by ice time, the line of Kesler, Santorelli, and Higgins — the KeSHa line — was the actual first line in this game. The Sedins played under 16 minutes and were basically shut down by Zdeno Chara at even-strength. As soon as they got on the ice against someone other than Chara — namely the defence pairing of Dennis Seidenberg and rookie Kevan Miller — they set up a goal, Yannick Weber’s first as a Canuck. We finally got a chance to see Weber’s much-vaunted slap shot and it deserves all the vaunts it has received.
- Don’t believe that this was just another game for the Canucks: they don’t like the Bruins and thoroughly enjoyed delivering this tuchus-whupping. Need evidence, observe how the normally reserved Henrik Sedin, when given an open net to shoot at, murders the puck with a slap shot. That puck has ceased to be. It is an ex-puck. At that point, Tuukka Rask had already been chased from the net and the game was out of reach, but Henrik just had to get his licks in. Then, for good measure, he punched the air right in its stupid face.
- Here’s how badly the Canucks beat the Bruins: Chris Tanev scored a shorthanded goal. Santorelli jumped on a loose puck off a faceoff and Tanev took off up the ice to make it a 2-on-1. Santorelli’s pass was perfect and Tanev tucked it between Chad Johnson’s legs like Lois Einhorn. As Thomas Drance pointed out, Tanev’s goal differential at 4-on-5 is now plus-1, which is insane.
- Finally, let’s talk about Brad Marchand, who earned attention for a nifty bit of taunting at the end of the second period when he paused from chirping Henrik Sedin to remove his glove and kiss his ring finger, ie. where his 2011 Stanley Cup ring is worn. It was actually a pretty solid and funny piece of trollery (though he reportedly tried to chirp Brad Richardson, who has his own Cup ring, the same way). Unfortunately for him, Henrik wasn’t even looking at him at the time, so Marchand was left just having some fun with his own hand, all by himself.
- That was when the score was 3-1 with a full period to go, so the result was still in doubt. Unfortunately, like Saturday Night Live dredging up Gilly again and again, he went back to the same comedy well later in the game, again kissing his hand. At this rate, he’ll be on the next Kings of Catchphrase Comedy Tour. Speaking of going to the same comedy well, that’s two SNL references in the same bullet point. I blame you, Brad.
, I Watched This Game