Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Boston Forces Game Seven

The Stanley Cup may have been in the building, but that wasn't going to change the theme song in Boston, as the Bruins played the same home game that they had played in Games Three and Four in this series, while the Canucks played a slightly different version of their game, with much of the same results.

The Bruins forced the all-deciding Game Seven in this series with a decisive 5-2 win on Monday night, thanks in large part to another big offensive outburst, which dropped their opponents to their knees and were never ready to stand back up.

In the two previous games in Boston, the Bruins were able to kick their offense into gear in the 2nd period, really putting a cloud of doubt through the Canucks minds for the 3rd period.  In Game Six, the Bruins got to the Canucks early, starting a 4-goal sequence just past the 5-minute mark, scoring the bulk of their offense in only 4:14, a Stanley Cup Final record.  Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic, Andrew Ference and Michael Ryder all accounted for a goal in that short stretch and frankly, the Bruins didn't really need to look back at all in this one.  Roberto Luongo was pulled after the Ference goal, making way for Cory Schneider again in this series, playing in only eight minutes of this one before giving up three goals.

The 2nd period saw a shift in the game, which could have had the Canucks get back in the game, as Patrice Bergeron took three consecutive minor penalties in the frame, but Tim Thomas stood tall, making all the saves that he needed to and kept the score at 4-0 through 40 minutes.  It wasn't a great effort from the Canucks in the 2nd, definitely a good blanket effort by the Bruins to keep their opponent scoreless though.

The 3rd period started off with a bit of a scare for the Bruins, as Henrik Sedin finally cashed in a goal on the power play, only 22 seconds into the 3rd, then it was followed by a quick goal post from Jannik Hansen, but the post arguably woke the Bruins back out of their 2nd intermission nap, to which they started closing down the gaps and getting back to the hockey that kept them their lead.  The Bruins tallied one more power play goal, then the Canucks added one late and the final score was 5-2.

The two teams will head back to Vancouver for a quick turnaround, as Game Seven will go on Wednesday night, 6pm MT.  The game for all the marbles.

The big point-getters in Game Six for the Bruins were Mark Recchi (3 assists), Tomas Kaberle (2 assists), Michael Ryder (2 points) and Tim Thomas (win).

Overall Standings
ImplicationsThe standings had themselves yet another shift, which has kept the pool rather interesting.  The Langdon River Dogs were able to keep Tryst'n'Grant within striking distance, as both teams managed to pick up 6 points in the game, bringing the decision right down to the final game of the season.

All She Wrote managed to pull in an extra point, bringing the gap down to 15 points... as if to say it really mattered.

Granny Smith is well entrenched in 4th spot in the standings, now holding a 4-point gap on 6th place, so I would imagine they should also finish in the money with only one game remaining.

A new team in the money through Game Six, as Hollywoods Heroes overtook Superstar, thanks to Henrik Sedin picking up a couple of points, so there was the shift in the standings I was alluding to earlier.

Positions 7th through 11th had a shift, as Pucking Luck returned to the top 10, while seaherwet fell out of the top 10.  There will be one last preview in these playoffs and we'll see if there will be any more movement in the standings, before we hand out any of the money.

Game-Winning Goals
New Playoffs Game Winner ButtonIt was another damn non-pool game-winning goal on Monday night that kept the series going for one more game.  Andrew Ference, the Bruins defender, managed to sneak a back-breaking goal past Roberto Luongo in the 1st period, thus ending the keeper's night and was eventually enough for the win in the end.

It looks increasingly likely that the winner of this non-money competition, will likely finish with 18 GWGs this year, as there hasn't been much love from the pool players, in terms of scoring winning goals in these Finals.  Only one goal left to be had now and it can go any which way on Wednesday night.

Well, the series has played out to a very strict script in six games, tight games in Vancouver with the Canucks winning and wild lop-sided games in Boston with the Bruins winning.  By this logic, the Canucks should be able to squeeze out Game Seven at home in Vancouver on Wednesday night, but there are no guarantees in this at all.  The Bruins have been the more consistent team in this series, but even consistency hasn't necessarily meant an easy series win.  This is why they play the games...

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