BOSTON, MA – The marquee matchup that the hockey world had been anticipating was intense.
The Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks hit the penalty box often (107 total minutes), which didn’t bode well for the B’s, as they were facing the league-leading power play unit (23.6 percent coming into the game).
“It went a little differently than I expected, I didn’t imagine that many penalties, you know?” said goaltender Tim Thomas
. “We generally play a five-on-five game for the most part, most of the time.”
Vancouver converted four power play goals, as they took a 4-3 win at the TD Garden and Thomas said all the stoppages killed the flow of the game.
The biggest energy killer came with 13 seconds left in the second period when Canucks forward Henrik Sedin scored to give his team a 3-2 lead, on the power play that was induced by Brad Marchand
’s clip on Vancouver defender Sami Salo.
“Every time we started to get momentum, we have a power play or a long power play to kill,” Thomas said. “I think we were really coming back there in the second period and I thought we were going to take the game over.
"Five-on-five we dominated the play. But then they got the penalty and whether you agree with the calls or not, they were a huge factor in the way the game turned out.”
The scrum that occurred in front of the benches nearly four minutes into the game epitomized the intensity that was bottled up from last year’s Final.
With the Stanley Cup rematch out of the way, Thomas said the Bruins are ready to move past the loss. However, Thomas acknowledged the fact that the abundance of penalties can complicate winning games.
“It was the second time in three games that we started out a game and got down on a five-on-three within three minutes,” Thomas said. “When you put yourself down right off the bat, it makes it harder."
--- Anthony Gulizia