The Stanley Cup Finals. It pits the two “best” teams in the league up against each other for a chance to lift Lord Stanley’s Cup. The most exciting time of the season.
When you hear Stanley Cup Finals, you think overtime hockey. You think close, exciting games. You dream of that game seven overtime goal.
At the end of game one, this is what we thought we were going to have as the audience. Raffi Torres scoring the game-winning goal for Vancouver with 18.5 seconds left in the third period. A final score of 1-0. One of the most exciting game one’s I have ever seen.
Game two was no different, with overtime being forced and Alex Burrows scoring the second quickest goal in SCF history, at 11 seconds.
Game three was do or die for the Bruins. Boston wasn’t going down without a fight as they romped the Canucks, 8-1.
Since that third game, the verdict of the series was evident. Boston was going to win. Boston was clearly outplaying the Canucks. In the games that Boston won, they outscored the Canucks 25-3. In the games the Canucks won, the difference was 5-2. Meaning, the Bruins scored 27 goals this series, while Vancouver only scored eight. Lopsided offense much?
The Bruins were also able to do something almost unheard of in the Stanley Cup Finals. They were able to chase the Canucks’ star goaltender, Roberto Luongo, from the game. You want your best players to be just that, your BEST players. Luongo was not the Canucks best player this series, on or off the ice. Karma struck Luongo after he criticized Tim Thomas’ playing style, as he gave up three goals within the first nine minutes of game six.
This Stanley Cup Final also saw the Canucks lose, even though they never trailed in any of their other playoff series.
To sum it up, congrats to the Bruins. They were clearly the best team this off-season. Their on-ice product is something other teams need to look at and try to duplicate. Claude Julien, former Devils coach, knows how to run a successful organization.
And a special congrats to Tim Thomas for becoming only the second American-born player in history to win the Conn Smythe Trophy (the other was Brian Leetch in 94, against the Canucks. I see a pattern).
PS: It doesn’t hurt to think of it this way: The Devils beat the Bruins in the final game of the regular season. Therefore the Devils beat the Stanley Cup Champions. Therefore, the Devils are the true champions.