Except for the faint sounds of die-hard fans screaming in agony, the city of Vancouver was especially quiet last night while the Boston Bruins bullied the Canucks all over the TD Garden en route to tying the series at 2-2.
It’s amazing how good a team can look when they have a hot goalie. Yes, the Boston Bruins were the more physical team in game 4 and yes, the Bruins won all of the battles and seemed like the team with more energy, but they were also outshot by the Canucks in every period.
With Hamhuis out and the suspension to Rome, the Canucks are depleted on the blueline and the new replacements are having a real tough time handling the pressure of Boston’s forecheck.
Luongo hasn’t been at his best for the two games in Boston, but I’m not going to throw him under the bus now, he’s not the reason the Canucks weren’t able to get the split in Boston. Tim Thomas was.
With the 4-0 shut-out in Game 4, Tim Thomas became the first Bruins goalie to record a shut-out in the Stanley Cup Finals since the Gerry Cheevers A.K.A “Cheesey” did it back in 1978.
In the two games played in Boston, Tim Thomas has faced 78 shots. He has stopped all of them but one. He’s stopping breakaways, he’s stopping tipped shots, he’s stopping one-timers, rebounds, he’s hitting players, he’s the reason this series is tied.
Surely if the Canucks knew they were going to put up around 80 shots in two games, they would think they would be coming away with more to show for it. The power-play has been disappointing for the Canucks as well, but again, the best defense against a power-play is a hot goalie.
The Canucks will have to find a way to get more traffic to the net and capitalize on rebounds that Thomas gives up due to his unorthodox style. One thing is for sure, if he can see the puck, it looks like he’ll be stopping it.
The Canucks have been here before. Granted, Boston is a better team, but the Nashville series against the red-hot goal tender Rinne was a similar situation, as was the Chicago series against Crawford and both times, the Canucks found ways to win.
It’s all about winning the home games now. If there’s one thing the President’s Trophy is worth, it’s home ice advantage. It doesn’t look like either team can get a win on the other’s home ice, so if the Canucks can hold it down at Rogers Arena, at worst they can win the series in 7 games. For all intents and purposes, it looks like that’s where this series is heading.
I speak for all Canucks fans when I say, “Someone please fight Brad Marchand”!