Published June 6, 2011
The Boston Bruins are about to host their first Stanley Cup finals game since May 24, 1990.
It’s an exciting time for the Bruins and their fans. Still, there is skepticism and negativity surrounding the Bruins after they dropped the series’ first two games in Vancouver.
It feels as if the prevailing opinion among Boston’s hardcore fans and media is ridiculous. Do people really want to remove a scoring threat like Tyler Seguin so Shawn Thornton can go back in the lineup and beat the heck out of either Maxime Lapierre or Alexandre Burrows? Should goalie Tim Thomas suddenly change his style of play just because of what happened in overtime of Game 2? Does anyone think that coach Claude Julien will change anything that has brought him four wins away from a championship?
Absolutely not. The Bruins simply need to do the things that got them to the finals. They need to play better in the neutral zone, and for goodness sake, stop turning the puck over — period.
The Bruins need to reverse a disturbing trend in which they become very passive late in the game. Too many times the Canucks were able to exert their will and get Boston back on their heels. From the 11:35 point of the second period in Game 2 when Mark Recchi gave Boston their only lead of the finals, the Bruins had no answer for what came in wave after wave from the Canucks.
[pullquote author = “”]Does anyone think that coach Claude Julien will change anything that has brought him four wins away from a championship? [/pullquote]
This has to change. Cliché as it sounds, Boston needs to play a 60-minute aggressive game and push the Canucks so that they are the ones turning the puck over, giving the Bruins quality scoring chances. Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo has really not had to make many tough saves in this series.
All season, and throughout the playoffs, the Bruins have been able to come back and make things equal. Tonight, we need to see that kind of play. Vancouver has been the best team in the NHL all season long and so far, they have the results that prove it.
The Bruins have not won a Stanley Cup finals game at home since 1978 when Bobby Schmautz scored in overtime to beat the Montreal Canadiens in Game 4. Tonight would be a nice time to return to those days and hopefully start something big.