By: Jeff Playdon | Follow me on Twitter @PlaydonJeff
For the first time since 1972, the Boston Bruins have a chance to hoist the Stanley Cup. Lots of storylines heading into this game; Mason Raymond would be out for Vancouver after getting injured in game six, this was most likely Mark Recchi’s final game in the NHL, this was the first game seven the Bruins were playing in the Stanley Cup Final, oh and this was the biggest game of most Bruins’ lives. 82 regular-season games, 25 postseason games, tons of adversity, and the Bruins have a chance to rejoice as the Stanley Cup Champions. Game seven is here folks, can the Bruins win in Vancouver and hoist the cup? Let’s find out.
Bruins Get on the Board First
The puck was dropped, and the Rogers Arena was electric. The play opened up with golden opportunities from both teams, but Luongo and Thomas made tremendous stops. Seven minutes into the action Daniel Sedin almost squeaked one between Tim Thomas’s legs, but Thomas somehow found the puck, and it was still a scoreless tie. As it was Vancouver controlling the first half of the period, Boston started to find their rhythm and looked to control the second half of the period. 5:23 left in the first period Patrice Bergeron opened up the scoring, and Boston had a 1-0 lead. Marchand pushed a soft back pass to Bergeron in front of the net, and Bergeron found the back of the net. The final five minutes ticked off, Vancouver couldn’t tie it before the intermission, and Boston had a 1-0 lead in game seven.
Bruins Take Control of the Second
The second period began, and Boston fired two quick shots on Luongo in the first minute. In the next 10 seconds, Marchand rang the post, but it was still only a 1-0 lead for Boston. Throughout the first eleven minutes of the second, Vancouver kept trying to play through their high octane offense, but the Bruins were doing a fantastic job slowing the game down and playing big boy hockey. A minute before the halfway mark, Burrows had a wide-open net but hesitated too long, and Zdeno Chara blocked the path. 7:47 left in the second period with the Bruins applying tremendous pressure in the Vancouver zone, Brad Marchand scored, and it was a 2-0 Bruins lead. Marchand skated behind the net and backhanded the puck off Luongo into the back of the net.
Closing in on the final minutes in the second with Vancouver now applying pressure to Boston, Chara was going to the box for interference, and Vancouver was on the first power play of the game. No need to fear, while Vancouver had a pristine opportunity to cut the deficit to one, Patrice Bergeron skated on an open breakaway, got tripped from behind, and his body motion pushed the puck behind Luongo to give Boston a 3-0 lead. They reviewed the goal to see if Bergeron’s hand pushed the puck into the net, and after review, his hand did not push the puck in. Boston had a commanding 3-0 lead with over two minutes left in the second. The final 120 seconds passed, and Boston took a 3-0 lead with them into the second intermission.
Bruins look to Hang on
The final 20 minutes of game seven are here. Could Vancouver come back to score three to tie the game? Or would Boston be able to hold on and hoist the cup? Anywho, the puck was dropped, and action was underway. For the first three minutes, it looked as if Vancouver was finally going to get on the board, but Vancouver couldn’t get much pressure on Thomas with all that zone time. 5:33 into the third, Jannik Hansen decided to drill Andrew Ference in the middle of the ice, and interference was issued to Hansen. Clearly a frustrating play by Hansen, but you can’t be doing that. Boston was on their first powerplay of the night but couldn’t score another goal. Still a 3-0 lead for Boston with 12:27 left in game seven.
8:26 left in the period Lucic was heading to the box, and Vancouver needed to score on this powerplay if they wanted to at least make it close. Vancouver looked very gassed during the powerplay, and Marchand almost took advantage of it when he received an open pass from Bergeron and almost got it by Luongo. Shortly after, Boston successfully killed off the penalty, and there were six minutes left in game seven. 2:45 left in the game with Luongo pulled Brad Marchand buried the empty netter, and it looked safe to say that Boston was going to hoist the cup in a few minutes. The last two minutes ticked off, and for the first time since 1972, the Boston Bruins were Stanley Cup Champions!
The Boston Bruins are Stanley Cup Champions!
A 39-year hiatus for the city of Boston without a Stanley Cup finally ended. The Bruins swarmed Tim Thomas and were handed their Stanley Cup hats. Among the Bruins on the ice was Nathan Horton, who was injured in game three. The handshake line took place, and after the Bruins continued to celebrate. Gary Bettman took over on the mic and presented Tim Thomas with the Conn Smythe trophy. You could barely hear Bettman as the trashy fans of Vancouver booed over him and proceeded to throw water bottles on the ice out of frustration.
Then, out came the beautiful Stanley Cup. Zdeno Chara was presented with the cup. Chara lifted the cup and let out a holler of joy as he and his teammates were on top of the mountain. Chara then gave the cup to Mark Recchi as this was his last game in the NHL. What a way to go out. What a season to look back on. I enjoyed taking the time to look back at this team and write about the memories that this team brought me. What an amazing season this was in Boston Bruins history.