The Bruins held the Vancouver Canucks to eight goals over seven games of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, only to concede eight goals to the Canucks over 60 minutes in a sloppy affair at TD Garden Thursday night. Here are the talking points from Vancouver's 8-5 rout.
GOLD STAR: Bo Horvat was the best player on the ice when the Canucks beat the Bruins in Vancouver, and he did the same thing against the B’s again this time in Boston. Horvat scored a pair of goals and had four points in 19:03 of ice time along with a plus-2 rating, and got the Canucks on the board early with a nice play at the B’s blue line. Horvat caused David Backes to hear footsteps as he was receiving a pass, creating a turnover where Horvat was able to cruise right in and snap one past Jaroslav Halak to get the Canucks going. Horvat finished with five shots on net, a hit and won 16-of-30 face-offs in a really good all-around effort, continuing to show why he’s leading the talented group of Canucks youngsters to bigger and better things.
BLACK EYE: The goaltenders were both bad for the Bruins as they gave up eight goals on 33 shots between Jaroslav Halak and Tuukka Rask. Halak was the one stumbling out of the gate as he allowed five goals before getting pulled in the second, and then Rask couldn’t do anything to stop the bleeding while giving up another three goals on 14 shots. Some of it was about turnovers and shoddy penalty killing, some of it was about soft defense around the front of the net and some of it was about pucks squeezing through the goalies a little too easily. There was also the terrible Rask play on the PK where Horvat intercepted the puck on a Rask clear attempt, and then easily fired it into the vacated net to pad Vancouver’s lead. It will be interesting to see what Bruce Cassidy will do for goaltending this weekend after both netminders struggled on Thursday night.
TURNING POINT: It was a one-goal game in the second period when the Bruins were threatening and David Krejci rocked a shot off the crossbar that just missed being a goal. It was late in the second when this happened, and a Bruins goal at that juncture could have pushed the B’s and Canucks into the second intermission tied at 5-5 with a lot of Boston life in the final 20 minutes. Instead Krejci zinged it off the bar, and the Canucks managed to score on an Erik Gudbranson shot from the point that found a hole against Rask. That made it 6-4 headed into the third period and pretty much made it impossible for the Bruins to dig all the way back against a high-octane Vancouver group.
HONORABLE MENTION: Jake DeBrusk was one of the few good stories for the Bruins in this game as he finished with a pair of goals and three points in 15:27 minutes of ice time that might have marked his best game of the season. DeBrusk finished with the three points and the plus-1 rating, had seven shot attempts and even threw a couple of hits and blocked a few shots in one of his best all-around games. DeBrusk was camped in front of the net redirecting pucks and paying the price, and showing the way to some offense for the rest of the young guys on the B’s roster. It’s probably no coincidence that Danton Heinen scored his first goal of the season later in third period doing the same thing: paying the price in front of the net. The B’s could use a hot streak from DeBrusk offensively, and maybe that starts right now.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1 – the first goal of the season for Danton Heinen scored against the Canucks in his 13th game of the year for the Bruins.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I was just trying to keep it under 10 [goals allowed]. That’s what I was worried about. But yeah, like I said, a loss is a loss, it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day. It was kind of a crazy game both ways. You know, a lot of goals scored and there was – at the end it looked like everyone was napping in the crowd. It was just one of those games where there wasn’t a whole lot of action on either end and all of a sudden it’s 5-3, 8-5 whatever. So yeah, weird game but that’s entertainment and we’re just providing it.” –Tuukka Rask, trying to describe what happened in the 8-5 loss to the Canucks.