I've just got to start by saying wow, is hockey an awesome game or what?
What incredible hockey we have been, and continue to be, treated to so far in these 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
If you haven't been watching the Stanley Cup finals, it has so far been a tremendously hard-fought two games with no quarter asked or given.
So far, it looks like the Canucks have the Bruins exactly where they want them.
But if there's one thing we've learned about Boston this offseason it's that they never give up. Ever. The Bruins are the most tenacious team in this year's playoffs and, as such, I don't expect them to roll over for the Canucks any time soon.
To steal a line from Teddy KGB, this team's got alligator blood. They keep hanging around and hanging around.
As such, I expect their strongest effort of the playoffs tonight as the series shifts to the TD Garden in Boston.
The Burrows Effect
Alex Burrows is a player that knows how to drive the opposition crazy. Not only by his lip-flapping after the whistle, but by his tremendously gritty on-ice play and timely goals.
So far in this series, Burrows continues to be the yin to the Sedins' yang as he does the dirty work, creating time and space for the talented twins. In addition, Burrows continues to agitate the opposition.
During Game 1, Burrows was accused of biting Patrice Bergeron's finger while in a scrum and, looking at the replay, he looks pretty guilty. That being said, Burrows got a good talking to by his father after Game 2.
His dad told him that he didn't like that Burrows was getting attention for foolish things like finger biting. He went on to tell Alex that he should get attention by scoring goals and not by performing foolish antics.
Well, it looks like Alex listened to his father because he scored a huge game winning goal in Game 2. 11 seconds into overtime, to be specific, sealing the victory and a 2-0 series lead for Vancouver.
And if that wasn't enough, Burrows, speaking to the media after the game, explained that the Canucks did some advanced scouting on Boston goalie Tim Thomas. He went on to say that Thomas tends to be overly aggressive and that he took advantage of that on the goal.
Since then, that seems to be the only thing anyone is asking the Bruins about, as the soon-to-be two-time Vezina winner's play is suddenly called into question. Boston, from their coach on down to Thomas himself, are pooh-poohing any notion their goalie needs to change anything, and I tend to agree.
That being said, the question is not whether Thomas should change anytime, but rather if Burrows' comments will affect Boston, and more specifically, Thomas. Thomas was noticeably agitated by questions about his play during interviews yesterday.
So does that mean that the next time a Canucks player comes down the wing Thomas will think twice about challenging the shooter and in doing so, get away from playing his game?
It remains to be seen, but you've got to love the playoff psychological games that are being played by Burrows.
While I fully believe that Vancouver will win this series and originally picked them in six games, the Bruins will not lose both games in Boston. They have too much pride, grit and determination to get swept.
That being said, I think they'll lose one, however, and that the Canucks will wrap this up in five at home in Vancouver.
We'll see, starting tonight, if I'm right.
New Sunday Shinny Podcast - June 5, 2011
In this episode Gary Whittaker, Nick Murdocco and Kamal Panesar welcome Steve Hindle from HockeyBuzz.com to the panel.
-reflections and recap of the Stanley Cup Finals thus far implications for game 3 in Boston
-Winnipeg gets an NHL franchise... again...will it work this time? (see Atlanta, Minnesota etc...)
-Colin Campbell steps down...thoughts
-Shanny to take over functions...thoughts
-expecting drastic changes or same old same old?
-Habs signed Hal Gill: good or bad signing?
-Dallas will not make an offer to Brad Richards, should Habs follow suit with AK46?
Click here to listen in (listing time 47:06).
Kamal is a freelance Habs writer, Senior Writer/Editor-in-Chief of HabsAddict.com, Montreal Canadiens Blogger on Hockeybuzz.com and Habs writer on TheFranchise.ca. Kamal is also a weekly contributor to the Sunday Shinny on The Team 990 (AM 990) every Sunday from 8 to 9 a.m. Listen live at http://www.team990.com/