106. That’s how many games both the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins have played. When you think about it, they quickly become 106 meaningless games. An OT loss against the Philadelphia Flyers in December? Meaningless. A 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche in March? It still fucking stings, but it’s meaningless. Nothing that happened during the regular season, or second season, matters now if you don’t win tonight’s game. Hyperbole? Absolutely. True? You bet.
“Everything in the past is in the past,” Vancouver center Ryan Kesler said. “If we win tomorrow, we become legends.” (via ESPN)
And if you lose? You become forgotten. If you’re the Vancouver Canucks you become the third Vancouver team to make the Finals and lose, a franchise that has yet to win a Stanley Cup. If you are the Boston Bruins, you become the team that almost ended the drought, and 39 years becomes 40. That’s an ugly number.
That just managed to become even uglier.
My preview for tonight’s game, after the jump.
If you’re the Canucks it comes down to one player and one player only. Roberto Luongo. And frankly my dear, that’s not fair. Where have the back to back Art Ross winning Wonder Twins been all series? Where has Ryan Kesler been all series? Yeah, he definitely got hurt when he got crunched into the boards by Johnny Boychuck in Game 2, but buck up dude, if you want to be Captain America you need to step up your game. I’ve got a tummy ache, but here I am typing this up. If the Canucks lose tonight, all you will here is Roberto that and Roberto this, that this was his fault. Well they’re wrong. You win as a team, you lose as a team. If the Canucks win tonight you know who won’t be praised? Roberto Luongo. Sure he hasn’t played well away from home, but the whole team hasn’t. He wasn’t losing 1-0 games in Boston, he was getting shelled. That’s not his fault, he’s not playing defense. Sometimes all he can do is look at the closest player and say “well where the fuck were you?” If Vancouver wins tonight, it’s not going to be because Roberto stood on his head, it’s going to have to be the Sedins stepping up, or one of the 13 pests on this team.
Cloud fucking 9. They have to be feeling it. Down 3-2, winning at home, chasing Roberto, it’s got to feel good. But when the puck drops, that feeling will go away. The Bruins have to remember to stay hungry. They can’t think about the two times they’ve been shut out in Vancouver. They can’t think of the goals they gave up with 18 seconds to play, and 11 seconds into OT in Games 1 and 2, respectively. They have to forget the 15 goals they scored on Luongo in Boston. Forget the way that they manhandled the Canucks in Beantown. They can’t remember Nathan Horton getting rocked the fuck out by Aaron Rome. None of those games matter anymore. This team needs to play hard, and grind tonight. Tim Thomas will be there. He’s been there all series. All he needed was a couple of seconds, say 18 or 11, in Games 1 and 2, and you wouldn’t even be reading this. Boston just has to show up like they did in Game 6, and they will be parading in Boston.
It’s going to be a good one, and damn would overtime get my juice flowing, but I think this game gets settle early. Boston is going to come out roaring, and I think they chase Roberto again. 4-1 Boston. Let’s go Fish.