Stanely Cup Finals 2011: Are the Boston Bruins Now in Control?

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Stanely Cup Finals 2011: Are the Boston Bruins Now in Control?
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Tim Thomas stopped 40 shots Monday Night in a win against Vancouver

After a dominating 8-1 win in Boston, the Bruins appear to have swung the momentum in their favor.

The game's first big moment came when the Canucks' Aaron Rome blindsided the Bruins' Nathan Horton about five minutes into the game. Horton had to be carted off the ice on a stretcher.

The downhill slide for Vancouver started immediately in the second period when Andrew Ference scored the first goal of the game. The Bruins followed that up with three more goals in the period and four more in the third.

More important than just picking up a win, the Bruins got to Vancouver. The first two games of the series were highlighted by the Alex Burrows biting and the taunting that followed.

With Vancouver coming back to Boston up 2-0, it appeared that they were well on their way to wrapping this series up early. Yet, in Game 3 the Bruins made it clear that they weren't going to lie down for the Canucks.

There was a total of 125 penalty minutes. Both teams weren't afraid to let loose with the physical contact and even let some fists fly.

Bruins' players didn't hesitate to let Vancouver know that they weren't happy with the way the series had gone and did a little bit of taunting of their own.

Normally composed players like Daniel Sedin were openly displaying their frustration. Tim Thomas even laid a big hit when Henrik got too close.

So, how does this play out for the rest of the series?

Roberto Luongo, as talented as he is, has a history of letting his head get the best of him. Whether you want to call them mental lapses or "choking," he has been known to disappear in big games.

How will he respond to giving up eight goals in one game? What kind of hit has his confidence taken?

What about the Sedins? They are the clear-cut leaders of this team, and if they are letting their emotions out on the ice, what kind of message does that send to the rest of the team?

Regardless, we know one thing for sure: The Bruins confidence has skyrocketed. They did lose one of their best players in Nathan Horton for an undetermined amount of time.

However, with another game in Boston on Wednesday night and the chance to reset the series to a best of three, the Bruins have to be feeling good.

If the Canucks can't put this game behind them, Lord Stanley's Cup may be coming east.

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