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Beantown Takedown! Canucks take it to Bruins with 4-3 win
Jon Foxall

Beantown Takedown!  Canucks take it to Bruins with 4-3 win
The defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins played this entire game like someone had stolen their milk money: upset, angry, and seething. The Vancouver Canucks played the game like a team that had just stolen someone’s milk money: defiant, resilient, and composed.

Vancouver - January 8, 2012 - There’s a lot of truth in the saying, “don’t believe everything you read,” because coming into this much awaited matchup, both teams were saying that it was just another game for them. Yeah right, go tell it to someone else, because this game was anything but just another game for these two teams!

The defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins played this entire game like someone had stolen their milk money: upset, angry, and seething. The Vancouver Canucks played the game like a team that had just stolen someone’s milk money: defiant, resilient, and composed. Much has changed since last year’s Playoff run between these two teams, but the most notable difference was how the Canucks responded to the Bruins trademark schoolyard bullying tactics, and that was by sticking to their game no matter what the Bruins threw at them. And it payed off with a 4-3 win for the visiting Canucks.

One thing is for certain, and that is these two teams do not, I repeat DO NOT like each other, which invariably makes for an exciting 60 minutes of hockey every time they meet, and today’s early game didn’t disappoint as both teams were locked and loaded from the opening puck drop. With emotions and nerves obviously running high to start the game, Ryan Kesler’s interference penalty at the 17 second mark didn’t get the Canucks off to a start that the Nation wanted, but that just seemed to light the cauldron of contempt between these two teams, especially after the Canucks killed off the penalty and came away unscathed. With both teams looking like they were prepared for the early start, it didn’t take long for the hatred to rise up and bubble over as the hometown Boston fans started chanting “Luonnnnngo, Luonnnnngo…” (maybe their taunting might have done some good if Roberto was actually playing instead of Ginger Jesus!) when at only the 3:54 minute mark the volcano erupted and a brawl broke out just in front of the Canucks bench during play.

For whatever reason (only words appeared to be exchanged), Shawn Thornton decided to attack Alexandre Burrows during a shift change, and all hell broke loose! During the scuffle it was nice to see every Canuck on the ice respond and stand up for their team mate, and jump into the scrum. Boston’s Milan Lucic did one better for his team as he left his bench to get into the action, which resulted in a game misconduct and automatic 10 game suspension by the league. Not even four minutes into the game, and Boston lost one of their best thugs players and neither team has broken a sweat yet. Yup, it was turning into just another game alright!

After the smoke cleared and the penalties sorted out, Vancouver ended up with a 5 on 3 power play, which is just what the Canucks needed to get their game going, and Ryan Kesler delivered the first sting as he wristed a rebound off a Bruins defender past Tim Thomas at 5:41. Early in the period, the Canucks controlled the puck well in the offensive zone generating lots of scoring chances. The Canucks outshot the Bruins 7-1 midway through the period. At 14:57 Brad Marchand evened the score at 1-1 when he capitalized on a defensive zone breakdown by being allowed to come in on Schneider from the outside side wall and tucked it through Schneid’s 5 hole. It was a nice goal, but wouldn’t have happened if the Canucks didn’t have the momentary brain fart!

The period ended with the Canucks on the power play when Rich Peverly got his stick high on Keith Ballard in front of Schneider with 1:15 left. After 20 minutes of play, the score was tied 1-1, and the combined PIM’s between both teams was an amazing 62, which helps explain why the shots on goal were only a mere 10-8 in favor of the Canucks. The second period started just as the first had ended, chippy. But with both teams making sure their respective penalty boxes didn’t go cold for too long, it was the goalies that remained calm and cool during the game, both making some spectacular saves to keep the other team at bay. But it was Cory Schneider that shone the brightest, especially by stopping a penalty shot by Daniel Paille 23 seconds into the second period to keep the game tied as the Canucks started the period with poor puck control.

Boston’s Rich Peverley gave the Bruins the lead on a very controversial, missed call by the Linemen when they didn’t call icing on a shot by Brad Pouliot from inside the B’s zone, which allowed Pouliot to catch Schneider and the Canucks D napping a little when they expected the obvious icing call. I’m not sure how the Linesman could not have made the icing call, as Puoliot’s shot was absolutely nowhere close to a teammate! Whatever, it was 2-1 for the B’s thanks to a blown call. It happens, even the best fry guys forget to salt the fries sometimes! Schneider didn’t allow the bad goal to affect his game though, as the Bruins pushed hard on the following play, but couldn’t beat Ginger Bricks. Alexandre Burrows tied the game at 15:21 by tipping in a Cody Hodgson blast from the left face off dot while on the power play. Then in what is becoming customary for the Bruins when they start taking liberties and cheap shots, opponents get broken.

Last year, Mason Raymond suffered a broken back because of irresponsible, non-respectful play by the Bruins Johnny Boychuck, and today Sami Salo was the recipient of the same kind of Bruins goonery. With the period almost over and the Canucks pressing in the zone, Brad Marchand went low to take out Sami’s at the knees forcing Salo to be somersaulted backwards, landing on his shoulder. The result was Salo leaving the game with an injury to a chorus of boo’s, taunts and chewing tobacco being directed at him, which is much the same treatment Raymond endured after his injury from the ever so classy Bruins fan base! Almost as important, was thug player number two for the Bruins getting a game misconduct and being tossed, giving the Canucks another power play opportunity.

This time it was Captain Henrik delivering the go ahead goal at 19:47 by tipping in Alex Edler’s shot over the shoulder of Tim Thomas. The period ended with the Canucks leading 3-2, and thanks to Marchand’s stupidity and recklessness they would be on the power play to start the third period.

At 1:09 of the third, Cody Hodgson blasts, I mean absolutely BLASTS a shot from the left faceoff circle, beating Thomas just under the crossbar to put the Canucks up 4-2 and still on the power play! But 30 seconds later, Daniel Sedin takes a hooking penalty, resulting in 4 on 4 hockey. At 1:51, David Krejci pulls the B’s within a goal picking up Schneider’s rebound and sliding into the side of the net. Things weren’t looking good for the Canucks at 4 on 4, as the Bruins totally dominated the play and were pressing hard. But thanks to Schneider holding down the fort, and the Canucks D regaining composure in the later stages of the period, they were able to hang on for the 4-3 win in very hostile territory.

The goaltending was fantastic in this game, by both goalies as they made some fantastic saves to keep their teams in it. If it wasn’t for Marchand’s stupidity, this game may have had a different outcome. Schneider stopped 36 of 39 shots, and Tim Thomas stopped 30 of 36. The Bruins appear to be the same schoolyard bullies they were last year, but the Canucks grew a little over the off season and refused, to a certain degree to be bullied like they were last year. With the win the Canucks leave Boston with their heads up and a win under their belt. The Bruins only have a loss and have to wait on the fate of two of their players to find out any supplementary discipline that will be handed out. By the book, Lucic will get 10 games for leaving his bench to join a fight, and Marchand should get at least the same for his attempt to injure hit on Salo. Other than that, the Bruins can cry in their milk. Oh wait they can’t, because the Canucks stole their milk money!

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