Let’s set the scene here. I’m listening to the pre-game show on the Team 1040, watching three different games on my Centre Ice pack and drinking the first of what promises to be a night of cheap brandy.
Ah the life of a Canuck living in the southern desert.
So we await the second coming of Cam Neely in young Lucic …I will never, I repeat NEVER forgive Tom Watt for the Neely situation! And who fits the Boston image machine better than Lucic (objection noted, Zedeno) possibly could. Scores hat tricks and knocks out the safety glass? What are they putting in the beans these days?
Another part of the excitement is due to the fact that we haven’t seen the Bruins in this building for a few years…and for us oldtimers, any time we get to watch an original six team, well top me up there, bartender.
Southern Cal Centre Ice is carrying the NESN version of the game so I won’t miss any of the game that the Toronto Sports Network may delay because the precioso Leafs could run overtime. Three hundred thousand Canuck fans breath a sigh of relief when the Leafs fail to score with Toskela at the bench.
Then the first eight minutes bring me back down to earth. Oh Lord, the Bruins are playing the 1-2-2 trap. They clog the neutral zone which creates turnovers…and, as every Canucks fan knows, really, really boring hockey. The Canucks show energy, but they have to be patient. The trap is beaten with patience. Spread them out boys. And then speed at their blueline beats the trap. We have speed, right? An early penalty brings Luongo into the game, never a bad thing. But then the Canucks start to look pretty passive on the forecheck as well, so we’re going to have two teams trapping? Ahh, mannnn…
A Canucks two on one FAILS and then a delayed Canuck penalty produces the Bolivian Fire Drill and Ryder wrists one past Lou. We are down one to nothing in the first period to a team that played last night. Smart period by the Bruins. They are disciplined, well coached. The Canucks look like they have all been given a massive dose of Ambien. The trap does that. Imagine us, complaining about the trap.
People are wondering what’s wrong with the Sedins and Daniel’s breakaway is the perfect example. He has a breakaway from the centre line in. Too much time. He ends up shooting it into Thomas’ pads. The Sedins are instinct players. When they think too much, they FAIL.
And we come out in the 2nd a team that is playing right into Bruins’ hands. Except for the PP (how did Krog miss that one?) they are outplaying us, winning every battle. Yet we seem to be out chancing them two to one. It’s a misleading stat, however, as our scoring chances (save Krog’s) are really marginal at best. A power play with four minutes left does not change the Canucks frustration level. Numerous close calls. Another PP of near misses.
Relying on the third period, against a trapping opponent, has not historically been a Canucks’ strength. We press. We get over-anxious. And then we turn over. But the Canucks are patient until the ten minutes point. And then we start bringing the D up. We pinch and we pressure. One senses that we just need a break. But we do not attack the Bruin blueline with speed. And the Bruins turn us back again and again.
We are reduced to the old pullin’ the goalie. Never works, right? Well not tonight anyway.
It’s often a knee jerk reaction to being shut out to say, well, their goalie was lucky, we gave it to them, we made him look good, etc, etc. The fact is. They shut us down. Every member of that team did. And Thomas was better than lucky. He was good.
Mama said there’d be nights like this.