BOSTON (CBS) – And then there were two…
Backed by the stellar goaltending of Tim Thomas, the Boston Bruins have come back to Boston and held serve and beat, no, destroyed Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 in Game 4of the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Series is now tied at two and headed back to Vancouver where a fan-packed Rogers Stadium erupted with cheers when Canuck’s Coach Alain Vigneault waved the white flag for Luongo, removing him from the game after Rich Peverley scored the final goal of the evening, his second.
The Canucks tried to take their cue from their coach by trying to get in the “blue paint” and disrupt the aggressiveness of Tim Thomas. They had no chance. Thomas was his feisty self and his teammates would have none of it.
The Canucks had two power plays in the first period which the Bruins killed off with more spectacular goaltending from Thomas while the Bruins had a good advantage in puck possession, but only seven shots. But one of those shots was on a breakaway by Peverley, marking the beginning of the end for Luongo and the fight-less hockey team from the Great Northwest.
It has been Bruins hockey since their return to Boston as they have fought and clawed and broken down the Canucks, outscoring them 12-1 in the games at the Garden.
Read/Watch: Fans Give Bruins Grand Send-Off At Garden
Synchronicity or coincidence, I’m not sure, but Monday, Cam Neely was the Honorary Captain, last night it was the Great Robert Gordon Orr. Monday the Bruins scored eight goals, last night they scored four. You tell me!
These games in Boston have been about the Bruins playing their game. Not letting Vancouver get their speed going and being extremely physical, finishing checks, Tim Thomas not letting a BB get behind him, going to the net and putting quality scoring opportunities on Luongo, who is in one those spells where he couldn’t stop a beach ball thrown his way. The Canucks problems were mostly defense, but a lot of them had to do with being outworked, and out-smarted, by the Bruins who had a lot more going for them than just goaltending.
Look at the first two games. The Bruins weren’t outworked, they just seemed tired halfway through the games. Since they were coming off a hard-fought, seven game Eastern Conference Final series.
Coach Claude Julien was asked what kind of carry over can be brought out West? Julien says stay the course: I think we got to bring our game with us. Simple as that. We have to bring our game. That has to continue in Vancouver. It doesn’t matter where you are, you got to play the same way whether you’re at home or on the road.
The last time a Bruins goaltender had a shut out was Stanley Cup Final since May 18, 1978, when Gerry Cheevers made 16 saves to blank Montreal 4-0 in Game 3 at Boston Garden.
Thomas has three shutouts this playoff year!
Now the Bruins need to show that they can continue this type of hockey away from the friendly confines of the TD Garden and their fans.
We are now promised a Game 6 and it will be an elimination game and the Stanley Cup WILL be in Boston. I will stop right there because I still haven’t been able to let myself go there. But just imagine!
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.