Stanley Cup Finals: Observations from Vancouver After the First Period
VANCOUVER - Some thoughts and observations from Roger's Arena after the first period.
Mason Raymond is in the arena, after being flown in from a Boston hospital this afternoon.
They showed him on the big screen furring the first TV timeout, and looks like he is wearing Tony Stark's chest plate from Iron Man. But he is standing under his own power, so that's good.
Chants of "Raymond, Raymond!" filled the arena, reminding me of Malhotra's return in Game 2. Can the Canucks thrive off that emotion?
Jannik Hansen took Raymond's spot on the second line, at least to start the game. He and Jeff Tambellini have been alternating on that second line through the first period. Both have looked like a good fit with Ryan Kesler and Chris Higgins.
Johnny Boychuk, the Boston Bruin who broke Raymond's back in Game 6, got a huge series of boos and catcalls as he took the ice for the opening face-off.
No penalties in the first period, despite it being one of the most physical periods in the series.
The crowd was already louder in the warm up than they were third period of Game 5. My ears are ringing already. Its going to be a loud night, hopefully the Canucks can feed off that energy.
The Sedins, Burrows, Bieksa and Edler had an early shift where they controlled the play and worked the puck around in Sedin fashion in the Boston zone. There have been several shifts like that tonight, but no goals to show for it yet.
Perhaps in tribute to his fallen defence partner, Dan Hamhuis, Kevin Bieksa levelled Shawn Thornton with a hip check in the first period.
Roberto Luongo is on his game early, robbing the Bruins with a diving save back across the goal line approximately four minutes in.
Canucks had most of the pressure, out shooting the Bruins 8-5, but Bergeron scores a late goal off a tap in. Unlike most the goals lately, this one wasn't Luongo's fault. The crowd is loud, not dismayed by the early deficit.
The infamous Green Men were wearing Luc Bourdon shirts, and holding up a sign simply saying "Win it for Luc" during a TV timeout. Got a huge rise out of the crowd,especially when one of the green men emulated Bourdon's bow and arrow goal celebration, as Burrows does in tribute.
The Canucks certainly don't lack for inspiration in this game, but they need to do something neither they nor the Bruins could do in the first six games. They need to comeback after giving up the opening goal.
In fact, the only game where the lead changed hands after the opening goal was Game 2 here in Vancouver. Maybe history can repeat itself.
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