The final transcript from Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals should delight Boston Bruins fans on a level akin to the 60-minute bout that it chronicles. There might have been a few sketchy moments in the third period, but the eventual 5-2 triumph was otherwise a thoroughly savory outing.
After all, every last Spoked-B who saw a shift in the 2010-11 season finale at TD Garden did at least one thing to garner a stick salute. There is literally no sense in leaving a single on-ice contributor out of the afterward.
Whether it was scoring, playmaking, winning face-offs, blocking shots, forcing turnovers, or punishing the adversary, each Bruin performed one or more of those tasks on more than one occasion.
When the last drip of ink dried up on Monday night’s scoresheet, a total of 10 Bruins had a point or more to his credit. The same number, including four of the non-point-getters, logged a plus-one rating while the rest of the squad pulled even under that heading. Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Chris Kelly, and Tyler Seguin all had matching rows of zero points, but still a positive rating, a testament to their proficiency in each end.
All but one Boston skater charged up at least one shot on goal. The odd man out, sophomore defenseman Adam McQuaid, did his part on the home front with three hits and a team-best three blocked shots. Led by McQuaid, Rich Peverley, and Dennis Seidenberg, a total of nine Bruins combined for 17 blocks.
Of all people, oft-maligned defender Tomas Kaberle tied Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi for the team lead with four shots on net. And with two assists, he joined Recchi (three assists) and Michael Ryder (goal, assist) in the evening’s multi-point club. That gives him 11 helpers in 24 playoff outings.
Bergeron took an uncharacteristic four minor penalties and went barren even while his linemates stoked the first-period flames. That said, the alternate captain was still a respectable plus-one, threw a hit, stole the puck from a Canuck twice, and won 11 out of 18 face-offs.
Similarly, Kelly sparkled at the dot once more, winning 14 of the 19 draws he took. As a team, for once, the Bruins bested the Canucks in that category. They claimed 46 of 74 draws for a 62 percent success rate.
And Kelly was one of 14 home players with a multi-hit night. Those with more than one check on a Vancouver skater and multiple shots on goaltenders Roberto Luongo and/or Cory Schneider included Gregory Campbell, Chara, Daniel Paille, and Seguin.
None other than Shawn Thornton led in the hit department with seven checks, followed closely by Johnny Boychuk, who landed six of those to go with his helper on Milan Lucic’s goal. In all, Boston outhit Vancouver, 43-38.
Only three Bruins did not register a bodycheck: goaltender Tim Thomas (it’s not like he’s never been credited for a hit before), defenseman Andrew Ference, and Peverley.
But Peverley assisted on Lucic’s strike at 6:06 of the first period, which granted Boston a 2-0 edge well before public address announcer Jim Martin could emit the signature “Woo!” over Marchand’s icebreaker.
Just two-and-a-half minutes thereafter, Ference slugged home a refreshing power play strike, the goal that ended Luongo’s shift and the eventual game-winner.
And naturally, Thomas spoke for himself, repelling 36 of 38 tests from the Canucks, including 14 during his busiest stanza in the third period.
Oh, and David Krejci, the team’s top gun this postseason, put in a brownie biscuit between Vancouver’s two for-naught third period goals. That goal, coming with 13:01 to spare in the third, completed Recchi’s playmaker hat trick, gave Kaberle another multi-point outing, and gave the power play its first multi-goal game since May 17.
And by renewing the Bruins’ four-goal lead to 5-1, it virtually wrested the game away and thus maxed out the NHL playoff schedule.