Boston Bruins Win First Stanley Cup In 39 Years – Boston Herald
After 39 years of heartbreak, mediocrity and, at times, indifference from their once-rabid fan base, the Bruins are Stanley Cup champions and princes of the city once again.
Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand both scored twice as the B’s defeated the heavily favored Vancouver Canucks, 4-0, in Game 7 of the Cup finals at Rogers Arena last night. Once expected to be run over by the best offense in the NHL, the B’s held the Canucks to just eight goals in seven games en route to their first title since Bobby Orr graced the Black ’n’ Gold.
And well before the diehard Canucks fans had filed out of the arena and started burning cars, there was little doubt as to which team was the best in the National Hockey League.
“Best feeling in the world, man. Best feeling in the world,” said forward Shawn Thornton of his second title, the first one coming with the 2007 Anaheim Ducks.
Tim Thomas was his usual airtight self in the victory that was the pinnacle of the 37-year-old’s incredible journey. He made 37 saves to notch his second shutout of the series and was the only logical choice for the Conn Smythe Trophy.
“He’s so deserving of everything he’s gotten,” coach Claude Julien said. “The one thing he did for our hockey club is every night with him in net, we knew we had a chance, no matter if we had a slow start. We always had a chance to (win) with Timmy.”
Bergeron scored the first of his two goals at 14:37 of the first period off a nice feed from Marchand.
Then Marchand made it 2-0 at 12:13 of the second. He took a loose puck away from Kevin Bieksa at the left side of the crease, carried it behind the net and jammed it past netminder Roberto Luongo.
Bergeron added his second of the game with 2:25 left in the middle period with a shorthanded goal. With Zdeno Chara off for interference, Dennis Seidenberg sent a pass up the middle for Bergeron. Canucks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff hauled Bergeron down and a penalty was going to be called, but after Luongo made the original save, the puck went off Bergeron and in. The play was reviewed, but the goal stood up.
After that, the only cheers given to Luongo, who will have to wait a long time before he lives down his critique of Thomas after Game 5, were of the mock variety.
It was only fitting for this squad that identified so much with the concept of team that it was its hardworking second line of Bergeron, Mark Recchi and Marchand, which also shut down the Sedin twins in this series, that delivered the giant silver chalice.
“That whole line has been awesome,” forward Chris Kelly said. “They started the game and they set the tone for us and we just followed. I thought we got contributions from everyone, but our big guys stepped up and played a big, big role (last night).”
The B’s had lost a three-goal lead in Game 7 to the Philadelphia Flyers last year in the Eastern Conference semifinals, but they weren’t about to let this one slip away. They frustrated the Canucks at every turn in the third period, even when Milan Lucic took a questionable hooking call with 8:26 left. But the B’s killed it off with ease, as they did most of Vancouver’s power plays in this series. The penalty-killing unit was an incredible 31-for-33 against a power play that was clicking at over 28 percent coming into the series.
Finally, after Luongo was pulled for an extra attacker with 3:10 left, Marchand took away any flickering hope when he snapped an empty-netter home with 2:44 remaining. The trash-talking pretenders that the Canucks turned out to be were finished, and Marchand, no angel himself, basked in their defeat.
“They were diving, they hit (Nathan Horton) like that, they kept whining about stuff in the papers and shooting their mouths off,” Marchand said. “We just took it, went with it and we just played our game.”
And last night when they needed their game most, the Bruins just about played it to perfection.
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