Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wake Up With GTOG: Congratulations Boston Bruins*!!!

By Finesse

Congratulations to the 2010-11 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins*.  Without a doubt, they were the best team in the Finals and absolutely deserved to beat the Canucks.  Whether the Bruins* were the best team in the NHL this season is a moot point - they won the Cup so, by definition, they are the best.

We each picked the Canucks to win a close series, so let's analyze what happened - did we overrate the Canucks or underrate the Bruins*?

Can someone explain this?
Many people, including us, definitely underrated the Bruins*.  They don't really have any truly great players (maybe Chara, but the OT goal in Game 2 is a perfect example of why he is good, not great) and they relied too heavily on Marc Recchi (we all know how that worked out for the Pens....6 years ago).  But two months later, Tim Thomas was setting playoff records and Marc Recchi was consistently pulling multi-point games out of his Centrum Silver bottle.   They peaked at the right time, bonded as a team, rallied around some injuries, and took advantage of every opportunity.  That's the formula for winning the Cup.

But any analysis of this series begins and ends with Vancouver.  Their performance in the Finals was epic softness.  Straight baby thighs, son.  It starts with the Sedins who were essentially invisible on the ice, but were even less effective off the ice.  Daniel Sedin "guaranteed" the Canucks would win Game 7....and then changed his mind!!!  Looking back, how could we have thought that the Canucks could win this game after that happened?  Then there's Roberto Luongo, who was so bad in four of the games that he never even gave his team a chance to compete.  He can fall back on the Olympic Gold if he wants to, but we're going to give that one to the real heroes - Sid and Iginla.

And then there are the Vancouver fans.  You can't paint them all with a broad brush and say they are all drunken rioters who went abooot the city destroying things after the game.   99% of them didn't riot, and trust me, you don't want to have the characteristics of the worst 1% of people in your city attributed to you either.  But what you can get on the fans for is the performance of the in-arena crowd.  They were so tight, so nervous, so much in "waiting for something bad to happen" mode that, you guessed it, something bad was destined to happen.  Either they put way too much pressure on themselves or the team or, maybe, they just realized Boston was better.  Whatever the case, they weren't doing the team any favors.

We might have to do an emergency podcast about this picture.
Last night's game was reminiscent of the Pens-Canadiens Game 7 from just last year.  By all measures, the home team should win - superior talent, better resume, home-ice advantage, etc.  But there was still something off, something that felt wrong about the whole thing.  Last year the problems that had plagued the Pens all playoffs came back to bite them in that game so in hindsight, it was no surprise at all.  The same thing happened to Vancouver last night -- shaky goaltending, no-shows from the biggest stars, injuries taking their toll, and, most importantly, a complete vacancy of all mental toughness.  We should have seen it coming.

So congrats to the Bruins* and their fans.  Nothing is better than the Cup.  Enjoy it while it lasts.

Pens 2012

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