VANCOUVER -- The Boston Bruins smashed the Vancouver Canucks' Stanley Cup dreams in Game 7 of the Final last season. They may have also ended Vancouver's season a lot sooner this year.
On Tuesday, Canucks president and general manager Mike Gillis identified an emotional rematch in Boston as the turning point in a season that ended surprisingly early with a five-game loss to Los Angeles in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Vancouver won the hard-fought game with the Bruins 4-3 back on Jan. 7, but was never quite the same after that.
"I really felt the game in Boston for some reason was such an emotional and challenging game, it was almost like playing a Stanley Cup Final game in the middle of the season, and from that point on I don't think our team really ever collectively got their emotions together," Gillis told a packed press conference two days after being eliminated.
"It's a bad time to peak, if it's true," defenseman Kevin Bieksa said.
Goalie Cory Schneider, who won that game in his hometown, said it's tough to link one game in January to the end of the season, but added "guys were sore for a week after."