Tuesday, May 12, 2009
THERE WILL BE 7
How nice was it to have a game end without a defenseman having his orbital bone examined? And how infuriating was it to see Scott Walker get an assist on Carolina's first goal? Just one more thought on Walker before getting to the Bruins' Game 6 victory:
With 5 minutes or less remaining, an instigator penalty carries an automatic suspension. This can be reviewed by the League office, and revoked. But the appeals process in hockey, all sports, and all judicial systems, is in place to fix MISTAKES. So the NHL basically said that their on ice officials made a MISTAKE in giving Walker an instigator penalty. But then what was the $2500 fine for?
Speaking of Walker, how about the game Aaron Ward put in? 2 hits, 2 blocked shots, a takeaway, a +1, and 20 minutes WITHOUT A VISOR. Unbelievable what some of this big Canadians can do, even when their bones are mush.
There was no revenge on Scott Walker, and rightfully so. The Bruins' objective in Game 6 was to win, not to hurt Walker. That being said, I'm sure Shawn Thornton and Milan Lucic would have relished a chance to knock Walker's block off, had one presented itself.
Tim Thomas is the best goalie in the NHL. He's allowed 2 goals in the last 6 periods of hockey. Carolina had 33 shots, some of which were extremely good, and Thomas stopped 31 of them. His counterpart Cam Ward stopped 15 of 19 shots. Which is more impressive?
Milan Lucic was genetically engineered for postseason hockey. His combination of strength and skill truly is Neelyesque, and some day he might surpass Cam. Milan's set-up of Savard's goal in the 2nd was brilliant, physically and mentally.
After Carolina iced the puck, Lucic knowingly took advantage of a tired set of Hurricanes. NBA style, he drove with the puck, across the high slot, up a seem, drew the defense, and found Savard near the goal mouth. It was such a smart play, knowing how exhausted Carolina was at the time, and it was perfectly executed, a tape-to-tape pass between 3 or 4 bodies and sticks. Brilliant.
How nice of an acquisition was Mark Recchi? Not only does he bring experience, but he can score. 3rd goal of the postseason for Recchi.
It was also nice seeing Montador get a goal, and he had a pretty solid game. He's looked awful in this series at times, but he was a strength in Game 6.
Byron Bitz, wow. He was Providence Bruin a few weeks ago. Then a 4th liner. Now he's out there with Krejci and Ryder, and he's causing a ruckus. He was born in Saskatoon, but his current residence is the crease.
All 4 Bruins goals either came from players near the net, or were dramatically aided by players near the net. Recchi crashed the net on the 1st goal, Bitz screened for Montador on goal #2, Savard was near the net for the 3rd score, and Kobasew crashed the net for the 4th one.
Carolina put up a good fight in the 3rd, and they were helped by some lazy and dispirited Bruins' defensive work. The Canes outshot the B's 14 to 4 in the 3rd, and that's inexcusable. We can ask Martin Brodeur and the Devils how dangerous it is to ease up on Carolina.
David Krejci put together his best game of the series since the opener. It was nice to see the 2nd line get back on the scoresheet, and Bitz deserves some credit for that. But Krejci and Ryder played their parts.
Bergeron, Kobasew, and Recchi had a very good night. Recchi was caught offside 3 times on rushes, which is a pet peeve of mine (See: Blake Wheeler), but scoring the opening goal in Games 5 and 6 more than makes up for that.
Game 7 is Thursday night at 8 PM, and it's on NESN.
AP Photo/Gerry Broome
AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker