Boston blanked Vancouver last night, 4-0, to wrap up the Stanley Cup and deny its return to Canada for at least another year. Though it's Boston (ick), at the least, this year it was one of the Original Six, and not a team in, say, South Florida who got to hoist the Cup this year. Still, as a Canadian, it was a sad outcome.
Some reflections on the playoffs:
- The seven game series really was among the most lop-sided ever. Vancouver won its three games 1-0, 3-2 (OT), and 1-0. Three wins by a total of three goals, with one of the games ending in regulation at a tie. The Bruins won their four games 8-1, 4-0, 5-2, and 4-0. That adds up to a 21-3 goal differential. It really wasn't close, and Tim Thomas was remarkable.
- It was ironic that, on the day of Game 7, an ESPN headline reported that the Boston PD were adding additional police offers in anticipation of potential trouble should the Bruins win and the Boston revellers get out of control. History was on their side, given the violence that followed the Red Sox World Series titles in 2004 and 2007, which resulted in the killing of a student (2004) and numerous fires and overturned vehicles (2007). This year, it was the fans in Vancouver who burned cars, smashed windows, and looted, perhaps undermining the generally accepted wisdom of Canadians as orderly and polite.
- It was sort of a nice touch to see Marc Recchi get one more championship and get to retire on a high note. Recchi is older than I am by a couple of years, and I honestly had thought he had hung up his skates already. My five year old has this winter started to learn to play (which at this point, largely means learning how to skate around with a stick, and to keep his focus on the puck and not randomly wobble around the ice), and I had told him about "The Wrecking Ball," a nickname that has obvious appeal to a five year old boy. Of course, in the world of five year old hockey, they're all more or less "Wrecking Balls" on the ice - meaning that one will crash into the rest, usually clustered in front of the goal, and knock the lot over like an old building that is being razed.
- The 2010-2011 season marks the 44th consecutive year that the Maple Leafs have not appeared in the Cup finals, which is by far the longest streak in the NHL. Better still, the team did not even make the playoffs, extending that streak to 7 seasons. The Leafs' last appearance in the Cup finals was the year my parents got married (1967)....