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Game 5: Home ice?

June 11, 2011

Tyler Seguin rushes the net.

U2’s “Where the streets have no name” filled Rogers Arena last night as the Canucks pounced on the ice. The illuminated banners of their players, the screaming, the shouting, the flashing green and blue, it all contributed to an oddly eery moment for Vancouver’s finest. It was sort biblical, really. A team slain twice returning to reclaim their glory. The apprehension mixed with exuberance in their locker room before the game must have been something.

What resulted resembled games one and two, in that it was fast and close and superb goaltending predominated. Something in that Vancouver air? Something in those match-ups the last change for Vancouver results in? I don’t know. But the game vacillated wildly with chances for both teams, and never quite seemed to find its rhythm.

When Maxim Lapierre was perfectly positioned and finally fired off that lone goal, a collective sigh of relief must have been released by everyone, Bruins and Canucks fans alike. Though, the tension wasn’t high. There was just a sense of inevitability, as if this was bound to be 1-0 game and it was a matter of who got there first. A quick one-timer from the side of the net aimed to bounce off Thomas’s chest. Thomas could have had the puck, but he fumbled, and it found its way in. The Canucks managed to play a puck possession game for the next several minutes, leaving the Bruins with only a handful of good chances at the end. Nevertheless, the shot total and chance total were tilted heavily in Boston’s favor. They just couldn’t break through.

And so it was, 1-0. Canucks up 3-2. Another cross-continent journey. Another game.

It would be remarkable if the Bruins came out and beat the Canucks by a large margin. It would also be utterly confusing. Are these the same teams? One might wonder. Is home-ice that important? It seems like it. Some people say a series becomes a true series when one team wins on the road. That might never occur in this series. What does that prove? Or disprove? Does that matter? If the Bruins want to be victorious, they must win not one but two games, and they must win the final one in Vancouver. For Vancouver, they may now reap the benefits of their hard-work from the regular season. They have earned it.

For all the wildness, it’s anti=climatic in a way. What now?

 

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