Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Karma crashes Luongo's crease
I don't know who's going to win the Stanley Cup tomorrow night, but there's no question in my mind about which team deserves it the most.
Led by the ultimate overachiever, former ninth round draft choice-turned-Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas, the Boston Bruins have repeatedly stared down adversity in the 2011 playoffs, and it's been adversity that's blinked every time. The Bruins are 3-0 in elimination games, including last night's 5-2 win in Game 6 against Vancouver after winning both the Montreal and Tampa Bay series in seven games. They've demonstrated terrific poise and character in bouncing back from oh-2 series deficits against the Canadiens in round 1 and the Canucks in the Stanley Cup final. For real hockey fans who admire and respect work ethic and resolve and aren't slaves to misguided nationalism or blinded by default hatred for a traditional rival, the Bruins are easy to cheer for.
The Canucks, meanwhile, have advanced this far in spite of themselves more than they've made it on merit. They came within a whisker of squandering a 3-0 series lead against Chicago in the opening round and have blown hot and cold ever since. Like the Bruins, they're a reflection of their goaltender. Overpaid underachiever Roberto Luongo tempted fate with his petty complaining after Game 5, and his errant focus was the determining factor last night in Boston, where the Bruins chased Luongo with three goals on their first eight shots.
Having been thoroughly trounced in all three games in Boston, the only thing the Canucks have going for them in Game 7 is that it's being played in their rink, where they've won three games in this series by the skin of their teeth.
The laws of karma and averages say Vancouver's number is up, and the next lucky bounce - and the Stanley Cup - will belong to the Bruins.