Even if the Canucks had won Cup last year, I'd much rather be a Bruins fan than a Canucks fan. I feel kind of bad for the fans of Vancouver, having to root for the likes of Roberto Luongo, Maxim Lapierre, Dale Weise, Alex Burrows, et cetera. A goalie who doesn't want to play in goal. A coward. A guy who skates away from a fight. A fiend. It must kind of suck to have to support the likes of these characters.
There were two games on Saturday afternoon. There was the game when Vancouver was on the Power Play, which the Canucks won 4-0. And there was the game when they weren't. Which the Bruins won 3-0. There were 107 penalty minutes issued and 18 Power Plays for both teams. 13:34 of this game was played with the Canucks having at least one man advantage.
To be fair to the refs, this was a hard game to officiate. These teams do not like each other. And the refs called the game tight for both teams. And the refs did a good job not allowing Dale Weise to get away with goading Shawn Thornton into dropping the gloves then not fighting.
Unfortunately, the refs were a bit inconsistent. Some hits and stickwork was called for 2 minutes. Some wasn't. Some calls confused me. Seguin's tripping call, Krejci's goaltender interference, the 3rd period holding penalty on Alexander Edler. And why was it that Alex Burrows waves the blade of his stick at Thornton's eyes, the lines brawl, and somehow the Bruins emerge down 2 men?
The officials' inconsistency favored both teams at timse. And credit must be given to Vancouver for their special teams' play. Their Power Play won them the game. And the Bruins' lack of a Power Play cost the B's the game. The Bruins had 7 chances with a man advantage. And failed each time.
I actually think the PP slowed down the Bruins' momentum at times. They were attacking in the middle of the 2nd, for instance, then drew a penalty, then played a static, undramatic, uninspired two minutes of 5 on 4, then drifted through the rest of the 2nd.
This game was weird. It was emotional. It was rarely 5 on 5. Vancouver won, fair and square. But if this were Game 1 of a 7 game series, I'd like the Bruins chances to win.
There may be future ramifications for the Bruins. The NHL rescinded Lucic's game misconduct, which was a correct call. Lucic didn't climb over the boards, he was still on the ice in the middle of a line change, as were several Canucks.
Marchand has a hearing with the NHL today. And I don't think he'll just be fined. His clipping penalty was a good call. He's claiming that he was trying to protect himself but it didn't seem that way. The hit was dirty. And unnecessary/stupid. The refs had been calling EVERY infraction up to that point so it was stupid for Marchand to risk giving Vancouver another power play.
Marchand has already been fined this year. He was suspended last season. He has a reputation that's growing more and more infamous. I think he should be suspended, and will be. For 2 games, I'd say.
Vancouver won a game. Good for them. And good luck in the playoffs when half the penalties called on Saturday won't be called. And good luck in the playoffs with a star goalie who doesn't demand to play in big games like this one.
The Bruins stand up for their teammates. They have goalies who crave big games. They have fighters, not talkers. They didn't get a win on Saturday, but they can and should be happy that they are much better than the Canucks, and not just at hockey.