Posts Tagged ‘bruins’
Yesterday, I previewed the NBA finals, today it’s hockey’s turn. Tomorrow night, the Stanley Cup finals will begin; pitting the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins against each other. Unlike the high powered offenses that the teams faced in the conference finals, these teams are very similar. Both are built from the net out. Both have good, deep defensive corps. The similarities will help, as they have only faced each other 6 times in the past 6 years.
The goaltending match-up may pit the 2 best in the league against each other. Both Tim Thomas and Roberto Luongo are up for the Vezina as the league’s top netminder. But that is where the similarities end. Luongo is the classic butterfly goaltender, who uses his big frame and solid positioning to make saves. Thomas has neither of these qualities. He is often out of position and makes up for that with incredible acrobatics. To his credit, Thomas has proven more clutch and has never lost to Vancouver. But Luongo is more consistent so I would give a slight edge to Vancouver in net.
Move over Broadway Joe, here comes Beantown Tim. Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, predicted before yesterday’s Eastern Conference Final game 5, that his team would be victorious. After all was said and done, he held true to his word. In a hard-fought game, the Boston Bruins emerged the victors over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The primary reason for this was Thomas himself, who turned in a magnificent performance, stopping all but one of the 34 shots he faced. Could he have super powers? Perhaps, but I don’t believe that they involve predicting the future.
Instead Thomas made his prediction become reality. His powers lie in his goaltending ability. He has a slinky for a spine and is far more fast and agile than he should be at the ripe old age of 37. In fact he is more fast and agile than most goaltenders are at the age of 27. He reminds me of Dominek Hasek, as he is unorthodox, and makes up for less than sound positioning with unfathomable acrobatic saves.
Today, the NHL playoffs will begin. Perhaps the most intriguing 1st round matchup begins Thursday pitting the Boston Bruins against the Montreal Canadians. It was 1 month ago that Bruins’ captain Zdeno Chara hit Montreal’s Max Pacioretty into the turnbuckle between the benches resulting in a cracked vertebrae and a severe concussion for the Canadian’s forward. Since the hit, Montreal police have launched an investigation into whether or not charges can be brought against Chara. Officers have said they have no plans to arrest or question Chara when the series shifts to Montreal for game 3. I do not believe that Chara will face prosecution. My question is whether or not someone else will try to bring Chara to justice.In hockey-crazed Montreal, this may be possible. The hit caused quite a stir, leading to threats from companies to pull their sponsorships, protests and a media frenzy. Political leaders have even asked for the postponement of a Canadian electoral debate that would have conflicted with game 1 of the series. Fans, outraged by the hit, are sure to let Chara know it but my concern is that there may be retaliation from the players.