Boston Bruins defeat Vancouver Canucks in 2011 Stanley Cup Finals
In what was a riveting 2011 Stanley Cup Finals series, the Boston Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks in seven games. The odds makers had the Canucks listed as heavy favorites heading into the series and they stayed that way right up until the end. The first two games in Vancouver were very physical, and I for one, thought that the Canucks would win this series easily. During the regular season, the Canucks had a stronger power play and a stronger penalty kill to go along with it. Those two figures combined with the home-ice advantage were weighing very heavily against Boston. The Physicality almost got out of hand as the series progressed, but it all started with a biting incident. The Bruins lost the first two games of the series and were fuming over how they lost. The reason for the anger and indignation resonating from Boston was an incident involving Vancouver’s Alex Burrows and the Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron that occurred in Game 1 of the series.
During a scrum of players along the end boards, Bergeron’s gloved pointer finger on his right hand was near Burrows’ mouth. When it came into contact with Burrows’ mouth, the Vancouver winger bit the finger. To the shock and dismay of the Bruins and their followers, Burrows did not receive a suspension or a fine for his actions. The National Hockey League’s disciplinarian Mike Murphy said in a statement dated June 3, 2011:
“After reviewing the incident, including speaking with the on-ice officials, I can find no conclusive evidence that Alex Burrows intentionally bit the finger of Patrice Bergeron.”
Ironically enough, it was Burrows who scored the game-winning goal in game 2, just 11 seconds into overtime. At that point, the Bruins felt like the NHL added insult to injury. But that is when things changed. The teams headed back to Boston for two games and the physicality did not end there. Game 3 of the series saw two players play their final minutes of the series. Bruins’ forward, Nathan Horton, was drilled by Vancouver’s Aaron Rome, and the blind-side hit resulted in a severe concussion that would cause Horton to miss the remainder of the series. The Bruins got some justice this time, as Rome was suspended for the remainder of the finals.
After an impressive two games in Vancouver, the Canucks were blasted by a combined score of 12-1 in games 3 and 4. With the series tied at two games apiece, momentum was shifting in Boston’s favor, but the books still had Vancouver slightly favored. In game 5, Roberto Luongo dealt another shutout as the Canucks would head back to Boston for game 6 with a 3-2 series lead. The Bruins evened the series at three games apiece in game 6 with a 5-2 victory that chased Luongo, and up to this point, the home team had won each game so far.
The odds stayed with Vancouver for game 7, as the series was moving back to Canada. But that is when the trends stopped. Boston scored early and controlled the tempo for the entire game. Not only did Boston finally win one on the road, but they did it convincingly with a 4-0 shutout. Boston goalkeeper Tim Thomas was awarded with the Conn Smythe Trophy as the series MVP and the Bruins brought the cup home for the first time in 39 years. This was an exciting series that one can only hope will be outdone by next year’s Stanley Cup Finals. I’m a big fan of the Sedin brothers, so I was going with Vancouver. My prediction was wrong, and although I wish Vancouver would’ve won, the better team lifted the cup this season and no one can argue that after watching Boston win three 7-game series’ on their way to the title.