After tonight’s Vancouver’s Game 1 victory, thanks to Raffi Torres’ late goal, there are a few things we learned during the course of the game.
1. Daniel & Henrik are brothers
Over the course of the whole game, Doc Emrick may have mentioned that the Sedins were brothers about 479 times. I can understand mentioning it a couple times, because there are new viewers, tuning into the playoffs for the first time. But it seemed like everytime the two were on the ice together, or passing to each other, it was mentioned. Reminded me of the old Slapshot quote from Ned Bradon to the Hansons, “are you guys brothers or something?”
2. Zdeno Chara is in the wrong spot on the Bruins PP
Not that I’m an NHL coach or anything, but one would have to think Chara would be more effective on the powerplay at the point with his booming shot. Yeah, Chara can out-muscle and outreach any other player on the ice for a loose puck in front of the net, but wouldn’t you want a 106 MPH cannon on the blueline? Just ask Ryan Callahan how that feels.
2a. Speaking of the Bruins PP….
The Bruins’ powerplay woes were well known coming into the series, going 5 for 61 (8.2%) heading into tonight, including an awful 1 for 26 (3.8%) on the road. Their woes continued tonight, as the team went 0 for 6, making their overall playoff percentage 7.5. Yikes. The Bruins failed to score on an early four minute powerplay and a 1:32 two man advantage, and it cost them in the end.
3. The referees’ whistles work
Through the first two periods, the refs called 13 penalties for 28 minutes. Thankfully they put the penalty whistles away in the third period. Unfortunately they still had to blow them for offsides and icing, which seemed to happen every couple minutes during the game. Hopefully Game 2′s flow is a bit better.
4. Patrice Bergeron tastes like chicken
At the end of first period, there was a scrum, in which Patrice Bergeron got mixed up with Alex Burrows. Bergeron picked up a minor for roughing; Burrows a double minor for roughing and a quick snack. Video appears to show Burrows biting Bergeron. Burrows should probably be suspended, but do the importance of the Stanley Cup Finals cancel that? I’d bet no, but regardless, Brendan Shanahan has his new job cut out for him.
5. Thomas & Luongo are good; really, really good
Everyone knew these two guys were two of the best goalies in the league, as shown by their Vezina nominations. But their play in Game 1 was stellar. People talked about nerves, as these guys are playing in their first Stanley Cup. If either one is nervous, neither is showing it. Both goaltenders made “wow” saves throughout the game to keep their team alive. When Pierre McGuire said, “the goaltending has been magnificent”, he actually wasn’t exaggerating for once. The two were the clearcut first and second stars of the game, combining for 69 saves on 70 shots. If these guys keep playing this well, we might have a bunch of 1-0 games in our future.