Some random thoughts post Stanley. If you aren't a hockey fan, so sorry but it needs to be said.
- The Canucks were terrible in this series. Sorry west coasters but it is true. It is pretty hard to win a seven game final while only scoring eight total goals. Their power play was simply non-existent (something like 3%!) and they even allowed two short-handed tallies. Roberto Luongo may have been horrid when it counted, but it really didn't matter because this team simply couldn't score.
- I have heard a lot about how the Canucks were playing hurt. Bullshit! Great teams learn to manage their injuries in the crunch and rise to the occasion. I think the Bruins' loss of Nathan Horton for four games was a far bigger hole than Vancouver's loss of Mason Raymond for a game and half and the Black Bears still managed to put together some offence.
- Boston's third and fourth lines badly outplayed Vancouver's first and second. The Sedins were MIA and Ryan Kessler, though clearly not healthy, was all but invisible. Brad Marchand, Shawn Thornton, Patrice Bergeron, and the ageless Mark Recchi were simply unstoppable.
- Boston played far better in Vancouver from the very start of this series than Vancouver ever played in Boston. Frankly, the Canucks were lucky to win both of those first two games and could just have easily left for Boston down two rather than up two. There was a mirage factor that had fans hoping for the team that dominated during the regular season. This clearly wasn't that team.
- Tim Thomas was all-universe. We have all seen goalies stand on their heads to carry a team, but this was truly unreal. As long as Boston scored one or two, everybody knew that Vancouver would be in tough in every single game. Luongo never showed that poise. Thomas simply didn't allow his very few mistakes to rattle him the way that Luongo did.
- Can we please get off the bullshit that this was Canada's cup!! As a Leaf fan for all of my life (I know-let the ridiculing begin!!) I can almost guarantee that if the Leafs were ever fortunate enough to find themselves in Vancouver's situation with a chance at the Holy Grail, (May God make this possible during my lifetime-PLEASE!) westerners would be actively rooting for whichever team they might be playing, and hatefully against all that is Toronto. Just the way it is, folks.
- As a Leaf fan I have to say that I was thrilled to watch Tomas Kaberle hoist the Cup. This is a guy who slogged away and gave his all to a thankless fan base here for 11 futile years. He never complained even when he was being mocked and dumped upon. When he was finally dealt, he had only good things to say about our laughable franchise. He deserved the chance to win and I for one was happy to see it happen.
- For all of those Leaf fans lamenting Tyler Seguin, I get it but get over it. Phil Kessel has scored 30+ goals in each of his first two seasons here. Players like that don't grow on trees in the NHL. He may not be a complete player, but he isn't crap either. Seguin didn't play a huge role in these finals even after Horton got hurt. He might very well be great one day, but frankly-BYGONES!!
- For all of those Leaf fans lamenting Tuuka Rask. I have two words for you-BACK UP! He didn't play a single minute. Yes he has shown to be a competent NHL goaltender, but he lost his job to a 37 year-old. BYGONES!
- The after-riots have been a true disgrace but I will put forth the theory that they would have occurred win or lose. Yesterday The Husband said just that to me-BEFORE THE GAME EVEN STARTED! The fact is that these riots were not about hockey. They were about a fringe group of assholes looking for a reason to riot. Stop blaming fringe lefties or fringe righties or the cops. Stop carping about this not being Canadian. This was about too many people looking for trouble and finding it.
Just my two cents folks. One more-Playing hockey in June is really stupid. It is too hot to keep the ice decent. The pucks were bouncing all over the place in Boston the other night and it wasn't much better yesterday. When Bobby Orr scored his famous goal to win Boston's last cup, it was on May 10th-a full month earlier. Something needs to be done.
Now finally our attention turns to baseball. Go Jays!