BOSTON (CBS) – Now the head games have begun.
Two days ago, Bruins fans and media were telling Tim Thomas how to play goal. Hours before puck drop Wednesday, it’s the Vancouver Canucks coach who is asking the NHL to tell the Vezina Trophy winning Boston goaltender how to stop pucks.
Canuck Coach Alain Vigneault is concerned with Thomas’ aggressive nature of tending goal and being outside the blue paint as well as complaining about the check Thomas put on Henrik Sedin.
Vigneault was asked about talking to the League big wigs about it.
“Part of Thomas’ way of playing is playing out of the blue paint, initiating contact, roaming out there,” he said. “He seems to think that once he’s out, set, makes the save, that he can go directly back in his net without having anybody behind him. Well, that’s wrong. He’s got the wrong rule on that. If we’re behind him, that’s our ice and we’re allowed to stay there. We’ve talked to the NHL about him initiating contact like did on Hank. They’re aware of it. Hopefully they’re going to handle it.”
WOW! I thought the Bruins had dispatched the whiny/crying hockey team from the Quebec Province. Or does it just seem like the Canadian team from the far West is just like the Candian team from the East?
Whatever the case, it all comes down to stopping the puck and playing solid hockey in front of the goalie. Game 3, the Bruins goalie stopped most of the shots, the Vancouver goalie let in eight!
In the first two games in Vancouver, the Canucks were maybe a bit more physical than Boston while in Game 3, Boston took it to them a bit more.
Claude Julien talked about his team being more physical in Boston than they were in Vancouver.
Says Julien, “I think there’s been some pretty exciting hockey, when you look at the physicality of the game, the goals that have been scored, how both teams are just putting everything on the line. I think we need to focus more on that than the other stuff that’s been making headlines there. I don’t think we need that in our sport.”
Of course he was refering to the finger biting, the taunting of finger biting and the horrifying hit on Nathan Horton by Aaron Rome which has left both players out for the rest of the Finals.
The Canucks also had some things to say about the finger pointing.
Bieksa On Bruins Toughness, Finger Pointing
“The finger pointing and all that stuff is getting really old really quick,” said Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa. “When you’re the sixth guy to do it I don’t think it’s that funny anymore.”
Lost in all of the head games is the fact that Boston scored eight goals by seven different players, two power play goals and two shorthanded goals. The Bruins hit and got hit but they were buzzing around Roberto Luongo and made him look very vulnerable, much like he did in the first round of the playoffs against Chicago.
The Bruins need to come back in game four with that same persistence and drive and head back to the Great Northwest with the series tied at 2!
Ric Duarte has covered hockey and the Bruins for various media outlets since 1986. You can follow Ric at BruinsDieHard.com and at twitter @bruins_diehard.