You would never know which team had the previous night off and which squad was playing its second game in two nights the way last night’s lopsided tilt between the Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames went in Beantown.
Sure, the B’s have been red hot since the calendar turned from October to November, and the Flames are, well, not exactly on a roll and are in 12th place in the Western Conference. But the Bruins spent quite a bit of energy in beating Martin Brodeur and his New Jersey Devils by a score of 6-1 Wednesday night, while the Flames had that night off to prepare for its only visit to Boston this season the next night. Little did they know the B’s had a lot of fire power left in their tank.
Boston, no doubt the best and most complete team in the NHL (with both Tim Thomas and back-up Tuukka Rask at the top of the league in GAA, shutouts, and save percentage stats), scored nine unanswered goals against two Flames goalies last night, for what in effect was a merciless Beantown beatdown. It was the first time the B’s scored nine goals in 13 seasons.
It started with three goals in the first period by three different players (young stud Tyler Seguin, tough guy Milan Lucic, and veteran center David Kreji). And to emphasize how well balanced the team is, nine different players had points on those three goals.
The B’s went on to score six more goals in the next two periods, including two each by all-around good guy Patrice Bergeron and Nathan Horton, totaling nine, and they did it without one of their best offensive players (and pests), Brad Marchand, who was out with flu-like symptoms.
The reigning Stanley Cup champions eagerly await their rematch against the Vancouver Canucks tomorrow afternoon in Boston. The seven-game finals from last season was one of the most dramatic and thrilling series in NHL history, and marked the first league title for the Bruins since Bobby Orr wore the uniform in 1972.
Marchand will be on the ice for the match between these two teams (who are currently both at or near tops in points in their respective conferences), but unfortunately, Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo will not, even though he is 10-2-1 since his return to the ice from injury in late November, according to NHL.com. That’s not only too bad, but cowardly on Vancouver’s part. Yes, he was horrible in the Stanley Cup Finals in the Boston games (giving up 8 goals in one game alone). But the fact that he doesn’t want to even try and redeem himself (or that the coaches won’t let him) speaks volumes about their mental makeup.
If you watched the Stanley Cup Finals last June, you already knew the Canucks couldn’t handle the physical style of Bruins hockey and just whined or took cheap shots instead of truly fighting back (remember Marchand punching one of the Sedins like a rag doll?). But starting Corey Schneider (who happens to be a local product) instead of veteran Luongo might be exciting for the young goalie but shows the Canucks still have no guts, and robs fans of the only opportunity this (regular) season to see a Luongo-Thomas matchup. Knowing Boston fans though, they will still find a way to jeer Luongo tomorrow … and see the B’s beat down the Canucks soundly once again.