The Bruins and Canucks in an old school battle for the Stanley Cup
There is no doubt in the minds of hockey fans all over the world (particularly in Canada) that physicality is a huge part of the sport. Body checks, board play, shot blocking, traffic in front of the net, and of course fighting separate hockey from the rest of the sports world. And whether the National Hockey League wants to admit it or not, it's a huge draw for the sport.
Keep in mind that the days of line brawls and fighting in the stands are long gone. Gone with the era that older fans remember fondly. A time where shots to a helmet-less head were a right of passage. That degree of violence is long gone, but there is no doubt that professional hockey players have a high emotional level that is unseen in most other sports leagues.
If you are a fan of hard-hitting, high tempo, and incredibly emotional hockey, you are in for a treat with this series. A word of warning though, if you don't like the physicality, you may want to avoid reading any further.
With a commanding two games-to-none lead of the best of seven Stanley Cup Final, Vancouver entered Boston on Monday night with the hopes of putting a stranglehold on the series with an almost impossible three to none lead. In fact, with a fairly convincing first period for Vancouver, it looked like that may have been the case.
That is, until a vicious hit changed the look of this series.
When Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton approached the Vancouver blue line, he had no idea what was coming next. With what the NHL rules as a "blind side" hit, Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome levelled Horton, sending him hard to the ice. For the most part motionless, Horton was stretchered off the ice and taken to hospital. Understandably, this was a scary moment for all the players on the ice. With Horton stretchered off the ice, Rome made his way off the ice. He received a major five-minute penalty, as well as game misconduct.
Neither player will be back for this series. Horton is out indefinitely with the injuries suffered by the hit, and Rome received the highest suspension ever for a Stanley Cup Final. The result being a four game suspension, which is the greatest amount of games left the teams can play this series.
Even though this was a scary moment, it seemed to incite the Bruins for the improbable comeback.
When the second period began, Boston played like a different team. Boston continually attacked Vancouver both physically and on the score sheet. Boston went on to win the game by a score of 8-1 and change the series to a 2-1 lead for the Canucks.
This game was not without its fair share of ugliness though as the finger biting from the series opener returned for this one.
Early in the game, Bruins forward (and oldest player to score in a Stanley Cup Final) Mark Recchi taunted Canucks forward Ryan Kesler with two fingers in his face, urging him to bite. This reoccurred again in the third period as Milan Lucic gained his own sense of revenue on Canucks forward Alex Burrows, the man accused of biting the Bruins Bergeron in Game 1.
When the game ended, both benches were thin as many players had left the game due to penalties being called. The fans became astounded with amazement at what they had seen. The heads of NHL disciplinary were a bit surprised themselves, as they have been quick to quell this type of behaviour going forward.
Wednesday night in Boston is shaping up to again another physical affair. Let's hope no one else gets injured as this another pivotal moment in the series begins.