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A Few Thoughts On Bruins/Canucks

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New Puck Daddy: Canucks give up 17 goals in Boston, and we’re all gonna solely beat on Luongo? What happened to the best d-corps EVAR?

*****

There seems to be a common misconception among hockey fans that flawed teams don’t win Stanley Cups.

Of course they do.

The Pittsburgh Penguins relied heavily on Crosby and Malkin, the Blackhawks didn’t have a top (well, this will cause controversy, but….) 10 goalie, and the list goes on and on. No team is without their issues to overcome, and winning the Stanley Cup validates those players struggles to overcome their team’s deficiencies.  It’s a nice metaphor for individuals in life, actually – we all have problems, you just have to fight through them.

The Canucks and Bruins are no different. They are awesome, messed up teams trying to win despite their weak spots.

Kind of a polarizing NHLer

Roberto Luongo is a one-man chaos magnet. Like Lebron James, he’s defensive, wants to be loved, and hasn’t yet won the big one (I feel like the second either of them do, they’ll become infinitely more affable. No need to explain themselves cause hey….”I’ve won before, that doesn’t bother me”). And hey – the Sedins are super-soft too, or whatever, right?

Boston’s top point getters racked up 62 points in the regular season (and one of them isn’t playing). SIXTY-TWO. I need a stat-geek….hold on while I tweet this question: has any team ever won a Stanley Cup with a top point getter lower than that? And their d-corps isn’t exactly the NHL’s best, correct?

{Update from twitter: Holik in ’03 (57), Dave Keon in ’67 (52), Bill Hay in ’61 (59). So three times thus far, and if the Bruins win, all four of those guys will have played in front of multiple Vezina-winning goalies – Thomas, Brodeur, Sawchuk/Bower, and Hall.}

While neither of those things are insurmountable, they’re facts that make winning more difficult.

That’s what makes winning the Stanley Cup so cool – it’s not that you necessarily rooted for the best pieces of a team, it’s that you rooted for guys who fought through difficulties to reach the summit of our sport. This series going seven games is perfect.

Neither team is without problems, but goddamn if one of them isn’t about to be validated. It can come down to any stupid bounce in a game like this, the teams are that close. The loser isn’t going to be exposed as a fraud, or overrated. They’ve both proven enough by getting to this point.

Game seven is going to decide who lives on in history, but in hockey, this year, next, and beyond, both teams deserve credit for giving their fans the very best they could hope for this season.

*****

By the way, this series is weird.

I usually gamble like mad (I failed in maintaining my gambling updates, as I stopped better for no other reason than I forgot to), and take any stupid bet.  I have none on game seven.

While fans of both sides are sure their team is going to win……they’re both wrong.

This one is a coin toss – but I can’t wait to see who comes out on top. See you tomorrow night for a Puck Daddy chat!

Comments

24 Responses to “A Few Thoughts On Bruins/Canucks”
  1. vx inTN says:

    I fuckin LOVE Game 7′s. It’s anybody’s game. Cant wait…….

  2. Pat says:

    I don’t think Luongo is as polarizing as LeBron. Luongo might be one of the only goalies to win hockey’s 2 biggest prizes: an Olympic gold medal and a Stanley Cup (in back to back years no less), and yet he’ll watch the opposing goaltender win the MVP awards both times. Which means a lot considering the best team is determined by who allowed the least amount of goals in the most games. I mean, you don’t have to be that big of a narcissist for that to sting.

  3. Neil C. says:

    I’m amazed at how few people have mentioned this today : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qn97tELtNTI&feature=player_embedded

    Two things blow my mind on this. First, obviously, is that Bruins fans saw fit to chant “FLOPPER” and boo a guy lying motionless on the ground with a broken back and a trickle of blood coming out of his mouth after getting skated into the boards with his head between his legs (that can hurt a guy? Crazy). If you can’t tell the difference between a dive and a guy having his back broken while he’s folded in half, you need to start questioning whether you know what a dive is or not.

    Second…. how bonkers has the reffing in this series gotten when something like that doesn’t get you two minutes? The stick between the legs, no contact with the puck, three feet from the boards, vulnerable position. How do you “finish a check” on a guy that starts three feet away from the boards with your stick between his legs, and ends with his head between his legs and you putting him into the boards, without taking two for interference?

  4. jtbourne says:

    Y’know, Neil, I thought it was one of those annoying plays that usually ends in “really ref, you’re not calling that interference?” It should be interference, at least. It’s a shame that he got hurt, but I didn’t think it was violent or malicious…..it was just a penalty that they missed. I don’t think it’s even close to suspendable. Can’t suspend to the injury.

  5. jmac says:

    He drove the guy into the boards tail first holding his head down. He wanted to hurt him. He wasn’t thinking. It was no more malicious then a lot of the garbage that goes on but it was a dirty play And please clean up the language I find it vulgar and one more example of the low standards we are living with today

  6. jtbourne says:

    Check your inbox, jmac. It’s time to have a discussion.

  7. Sherry says:

    Long day, filled with frustrations and I am CRANKY – but jmac, honestly, why do you follow this blog if you are so offended by the language we use here. No point in repeatedly trying to press your views on those of us (the majority I believe) who are perfectly fine with the exchanges on this blog – as they are. Please feel free to excuse yourself from commenting further if you can’t quit the admonishments about language (if JB hasn’t blocked you already).

    Nice post today JB, I too think that tomorrow’s game is anybody’s to take. Sure makes it exciting to anticipate and watch.

    Love, loved, loved seeing the dream team from F-L-A get their asses handed to them in the NBA Finals, and I think it would be really fun to have the Bruins do the same to the Canucks. Everybody outside of Miami was rooting for the Mavs and it seems that everyone outside of Vancouver is rooting for the Bruins. I think it’s gonna be a barn burner!

  8. Neil C. says:

    I agree Bourne, it’s not suspendable, just one of those plays where a guy has a guy in a vulnerable position and takes advantage (I don’t hold it against Boychuk at all, it’s a tough game and I can’t imagine he thought “maybe I’ll break his back”). It’s one of the most obvious interference calls you’re going to see and the ref was standing five feet away staring at the play, so we’re left wonder why he chose to let it go.

    My major gripe is with the Bruins crowd uniting in chanting FLOPPER at a guy on the ice who hasn’t actually moved for about 20 seconds while the trainer comes running out. That’s gotta be a low-point in Bruins history and certainly a low-point of the playoffs this year :( I’m not sure why it hasn’t been mentioned more (if the Canucks crowd did that Wyshynski would have published a small book on it by now)

    Sherry — http://www.gq.com/sports/profiles/201106/boston-bruins-sports-drought

  9. Richie says:

    Correction Sherry, everybody outside Canada. I know a few Habs fans that are temporary Canuck-maniacs because it’s a Canadian team and of course it’s the Bruins. Prior to the playoffs I had no feeling towards either team except an admiration for the Sedins skills but throughout the playoffs I, personally, have found the Canucks difficult to like and Thomas has completely won me over with his Hextall-ness so ,Go Bruins!

  10. Phil Turk says:

    Hey Justin:

    Your email accounts have been hacked; I’m getting email claiming you’ve been held up at gun point.

    – Phil

  11. KForbes says:

    Looks like your email’s been hacked, bud.

    Unless you truly are in London and have had all your belongings stolen at gunpoint.
    If that’s the case, I’m kinda surprised you’d contact me…

  12. KForbes says:

    Just read your Twitter

    Nevermind, ignore me.

    Have fun in the UK!

  13. Char says:

    Nobody in their right mind would rag on an injured player. Sadly, the Canucks have gained such a reputation as floppers and divers that the instant perception is going to be “faking again.” I have to admit when I saw the aftermath on TV (they didn’t show the play, and I think relatively few at the Garden saw it either), my first thought was “here we go again.” There’s a reason why the boy who cried wolf remains an archetype.

  14. Sherry says:

    Ritchie, yes, you are right of course. I was a little too broad in my estimation of who woudl be rooting for the Bruins. It has been fun to read about the shifting alliances as the playoffs have progressed. I’m not an ardent Boston fan either, but I want it really bad for Thomas – love that guy!

    Neil C – yes, I read something similar to the GQ article and realize that in the grand scheme of sports things, not a lot of people would root for a Boston/New England based team (I personally hate the Patriots), but the specific story of these two teams in the Final has got a lot of people pulling for the Bruins.

    Yes, the fans chanting “flopper” was a low point in the game – as was the resulting injury from a hockey play gone awkwardly bad (as I see it Boychuck was finishing his check, or okay, interferring, and then finishing his check, but that’s it). As Char said, I doubt those fans would have mocked Raymond if they knew the extent of the injury (I figured right away that he probably had a tailbone, or lower lumbar injury).

    However, reading the hyperbole from the Canucks in the aftermath of the injury has got me a little disgusted. My mom was an RN who worked with many brain and spinal chord injury patients, and she and I agree that the carrying on about Raymond’s injury is a bit much. Not that the injury isn’t awful for Raymond or is something to be taken lightly, but the characterizations coming out of the Canucks organization are way over the top. As I remarked to my mom, they sound like effing politicians! I know, it’s all about gamesmanship, but I am tired of the sheer volume of it from the Canucks. Enough – let’s just play hockey and quit whining!

  15. Sherry says:

    Oh and, sorry to hear about the snafu in London JB! LIfe’s a bitch, huh? :)

  16. Steve C. says:

    That’s one way to get paid for this blog…is small bills OK?

  17. minnesotagirl71 says:

    Quoting Char “Nobody in their right mind would rag on an injured player.”

    While a lone person might not rag on an injured player, somehow it becomes too easy for a faceless crowd to go on the attack – verbal attack in this case. The fact that the majority of those people are passionately rooting for the other team only adds fuel to the fire. The whole phenomenon frightens and disappoints me. Somehow as a large group people are willing to sink lower in our actions than we ever would as individuals. (Obviously making a generalization here – I know not all people participate in this type of actions.)

  18. Char says:

    Minnesotagirl, I agree that the “mob mentality” can often rule in group situations, but I sincerely believe that if the Garden crowd (or any crowd, for that matter), had been aware at the outset of the severity of the injury, the reaction would have been totally different. I find it hard to believe that anyone, even the most rabid Canucks fan, would think that 17,000 people would cheer a terrible injury. Unless it happened to Matt Cooke.

  19. jtbourne says:

    Ha, yeahhhhh, sorry about that, one and all. On the upside, I did lose all my old emails, contacts, and ability to recieve emails. Soooo, I’ve got that goin’ for me!

  20. Sherry says:

    Good lord JB – please excuse my snarky comment above. What a sucky way to start the day! :(

  21. Sherry says:

    I think the fans were caught up in the heat of the moment Minnesotagirl (doesn’t excuse them, just explains). We’ve seen that happen plenty on the ice too when players not normally known for cheap shots throw an elbow or two (Chris Kunitz comes to mind…).

    And speaking of cheap shots – how amusing is all of the Avery love out there for his continued and “tireless” :) work in favor of gay marriage (post on PD today)? Talk about alliances shifting… I had to smile when Cynthia Nixon referred to him as an enforcer (bet he was embarrased!).

  22. Beer:30 says:

    WTF? Why is Justin Bourne emailing me at 4 in the morning? Why is this email not even remotely funny or insightful!? What? Mail Bourne money? Struggling and hardship is what being a writer is all about! This is good for him!

    Bad break man. Depending on the vector of attack you could also have online banking stuff in jeopardy. If you haven’t already go change all your passwords to anything with access to money.

  23. Neil C. says:

    “My mom was an RN who worked with many brain and spinal chord injury patients, and she and I agree that the carrying on about Raymond’s injury is a bit much”

    Well geez, if you and your mom agree that no one should be “carrying on” about a verterbrae that’s been cracked in half, I guess that’s that. I mean, ok I get it, your back is broken and you can’t play for the next 4 months, get over it!! Right?

    It might be a Canadian hockey thing or maybe I’m just idealistic, but you never taunt/cheer/boo/heckle when a person is on the ice and not getting up. If he’s faking and staying down there for a call, that’s douchey and it’s on them. But as much as I hate, say, Sean Avery, I’m never going to cheer or chant ‘faker’ at him if he’s lying face-down on the ice without moving. There’s a big difference between going down easy and going down like Raymond did, laying motionless for about a minute, and getting pulled off because you can’t stand up. If you can’t tell the difference, then you need to consider that your whole “diving Canucks” narrative might have crossed into some very irrational (and hostile) territory. If Marchand goes down with a broken back and doesn’t get up, I will absolutely not defend a building full of Canucks fans chanting FAKER at him on the grounds that he’s been diving a lot (check youtube: yes he has). At the end of the day it’s just a sport, let’s try to remember that when people get seriously injured.

  24. Sherry says:

    Neil – from what I’ve read (although I haven’t read extensively about the injury or any specific Canadian press on the subject), it sounds like it was a non-displaced compression fracture of a vertebrae (no mention of where on the spine), but since he is ambulatory it means that he doesn’t have spinal chord damage – which is terrific news (and seemed evident as he left the ice even).

    So, no, not *right*. I’m not saying I don’t feel bad that he got badly injured, or that I don’t believe that it is a serious injury that will unfortunately keep him out for 3-4 months. But it is hockey, a game with the potential for serious injury (played by men who are paid to do so), and the Canucks seem a more than a little strident in their post-injury press about it. The hyperbolic nature of the Canucks commentary from yesterday reeks of gamesmanship to me, sorry.

    And you do understand that I am not in supoort of the fans taunting Raymond as he was down and obviously in distress, right?

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