Welcome to Caps 'Round the Clock, a blog covering the Washington Capitals and the NHL. In season, I update the Blog after every practice and on game day with Caps news and information, and then provide a recap and analysis after each contest. I also write a periodical Prospect Watch and weekly feature pieces on the state of the Men in Red and other things Capitals. And of course, I will post videos and tidbits from around the League and offer my two cents as the season wears on. In the offseason, I write a Report Card for each player, and will keep you updated on all the news about the Caps through the summer. I'm glad you're here, and hope you come back!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rapid Rewind: Torres Blindsides Bruins

The Vancouver Canucks took game one of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final tonight, riding a 36-save shutout from Roberto Luongo and a last-minute goal from Raffi Torres to victory.  Tim Thomas was brilliant in nets for the Bruins, stopping 33 shots of his own and holding off the powerful Vancouver power play.

Vancouver got off to a flying start, controlling play within the first two minutes and getting four chances that were all thwarted by Thomas.  The Bruins were slowly able to get some momentum back and at 4:03 were awarded a 4 minute power play when Henrik Sedin was boxed for high-sticking.  The Bruins domintaed on their power play, generating nine shots, but Roberto Luongo was up to the task and Boston was not able to convert.  Chris Kelly was called for holding the stick himself at 8:47 but Vancouver could not convert either before Boston was given another man advantage after Alex Burrows was boxed for holding at 10:18.  The Canucks were able to kill that one off as well, however.  After more Boston pressure they were called for another infraction when Brad Marchand was given the gate for holding the stick at 12:27; Vancouver was dominant on their power play but were unable to convert.  As the period continued, both teams got some chances but neither could score the opening goal and the first period closed tied at 0.
Alex Burrows was called for roughing at 20:00 of the first period, so the Bruins got a power play that quickly turned into a 5 on 3 after 27 seconds when Kevin Bieksa was boxed for high-sticking.  Boston had some great chances during their extended power play time but were unable to score due to more good saves from Luongo.  Another penalty was handed out at 4:00 when David Krejci was called for cross-checking, but the Canucks didn't get anything going on it.  The Bruins continued to carry play after the man advantage and got some good shots off, but were called for another penalty at 9:28 when Dennis Seidenberg was sent off for kneeing.  Rich Peverley was then called for hooking at 9:56 to give Vancouver a long 5 on 3.  However it was negated at 10:02 when Alex Burrows was called for tripping.  All of the minors expired without incident, though Luongo was forced to make some nice saves again.  The Canucks slowly gained some momentum and the Bruins barely escaped a 1-0 deficit when Henrik Sedin bounced one off the post.  Vancouver got another power play at 17:50 when Patrice Bergeron was sent off for tripping, but they again could not convert and the 2nd period ended tied 0-0.
The Canucks came out hard in the third, but again were thwarted by two great saves from Tim Thomas to keep the game scoreless.  Vancouver kept pressing as the early stages of the frame continued and Jannik Hansen was sprung on a breakway about 5 minutes in, but Thomas made the save with his pad.  As the middle stages of the frame approached the Canucks continued to get the majority of the chances with great passing but again Thomas stood tall in the Boston cage.  Really buzzing inside of seven minutes left, Vancouver kept throwing pucks at the net and hit two posts to keep the game scoreless.  Finally, however, Raffi Torres collected a pass from Ryan Kesler inside the blue line and patted it home past Thomas for a 1-0 lead with only 18 seconds left.  That lead held up and the Canucks brought it home for a 1-0 series lead.


What a game.  This is what you live for as a hockey fan, so much so that was on the edge of my couch the whole time even though, well, my team is out.  Both goalies were unbelievable and the action was fast-paced.  I can't wait for the rest.

Alex Burrows has some explaining to do.  TV camera's showed him apparently biting down on Patrice Bergeron's finger after the first period, which would be a suspendable offense if he was convicted.  This will be a big test for the NHL's new head of discipline, Brendan Shanahan, as the loss of Burrows would hurt the Canucks big time.

The Canucks may have suffered another loss due to injury in prized defenseman Dan Hamhuis.  Hamhuis left the game in the second period after being cross-checked in the head by David Krejci, and with his history of concussions, that is worrying for Vancouver.

Game two is Saturday night in Vancouver.

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