Game 1 was a heart-pounding, fast-paced 60 minutes. It wasn’t until the final seconds that the Canucks were able to do what the Bruins couldn’t — score a goal — and they skated away with a huge victory on home ice.
But still, the Bruins showed they can skate with the Canucks, and both teams have to feel confident heading into Game 2.
To help break down what might happen in that Game 2, we’ve asked Ian Walker of The Vancouver Sun a few questions.
NESN.com: What did the Bruins do well to limit the production of the Sedins in Game 1?
Ian Walker: I don’t know if it was so much what the Bruins did well as much as it was how well goalie Tim Thomas played. Thomas was easily the best Boston player on the ice and came up big on the Sedins time and time again. You need not look any further than his stop on Daniel Sedin’s redirect of a slap pass from brother Henrik in the game’s opening seconds. Granted, it looked like Andrew Ference managed to get under the twins’ skin at a point midway through the game. That said, I’ve seen points during these playoffs where the Sedins were nullified by their opponent, but I can’t say that was the case in Game 1 against the Bruins. Heck, Daniel finished with eight shots, with most, if not all, of them set up by Henrik.
NESN.com: What can the Canucks do to regain their power-play prowess after going 0 for 6 in Game 1?
Walker: Vancouver needs to get more point shots. The Canucks hardly set up for the cannon blast from their defensemen, rather choosing to use wrist shots the Bruins were happy to block. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sami Salo back on Vancouver’s No. 1 power-play unit to take advantage of his heavy shot. The Canucks were also guilty of being too cute down low at times, looking for the pretty passing play rather than getting the puck on net and looking for a rebound.
NESN.com: How did you see the Alex Burrows-Patrice Bergeron biting incident unfolding?
Walker: It’s an unfortunate incident that has no place in the game. Although Burrows did avoid supplemental discipline, I’m sure the Bruins won’t let him forget it anytime soon.
NESN.com: What has changed for Roberto Luongo to help him go from being benched in Game 6 of the Western Conference quarterfinals to turning away 36 shots in a Game 1 shutout of the Stanley Cup opener?
Walker: One of Luongo’s greatest attributes is his professionalism. He turned that negative experience into a positive. He took criticism and became better for it, and as a result is making a case to be in consideration for the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoffs MVP.
NESN.com: What’s the mood around the Canucks after such a dramatic win, and how do they carry over that momentum to ensure they come to Boston with a 2-0 lead?
Walker: The mood is no different than it has been all playoffs, if not all season. This is a team that prides itself on not letting its highs get too high and lows too low. It’s a trait they inherited from their captain, Henrik Sedin. Even after big wins, last-second wins like we saw in Game 1, or double-overtime wins like in Game 5 against the San Jose Sharks, Vancouver has always remained even-keeled. This is a team that knows nothing is for certain until they get that fourth win in the championship final. It’s this very approach that lends itself well heading into Game 2.
Thanks again to Ian Walker for answering our questions. You can read more from Ian by clicking here. Please check back before every game of the Bruins-Canucks series for more Across Enemy Lines. You also can read NESN.com Bruins reporter Douglas Flynn’s contributions to this feature on VancouverSun.com.