BOSTON – In what was expected to be an intense, hard-fought matchup between the two clubs that duked it out for the Stanley Cup last season, it’s likely few foresaw what an absolute circus Saturday’s matinee between the Bruins and Canucks turned out to be.
But after a game filled with many a misconduct penalty and a memorable melee, many of the players inside Vancou ver’s dressing room didn’t sound the least bit surprised that the tilt turned out the way it did.
Boston saw two of its top six forwards sent to the showers early. Milan Lucic got the gate for allegedly jumping off the bench to join in on a brawl beside the Canucks bench. Brad Marchand was ejected after clipping defenseman Sami Salo late in the second period.
As far as Vancouver was concerned, it was the same ol’ song and dance from the Black and Gold.
“We play hard, but we are a disciplined team. That’s what separates us from them,” Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa (pictured right) said after his team’s 4-3 victory at TD Garden. “They obviously play hard, but they tend to do stupid things. The Marchand hit was a pretty stupid thing and I’m sure he’ll be getting a phone call for that one. There is no reason for that. But we made them pay for that.”
With a five-minute power play to work with, the Canucks made that juncture of the game the turning point, turning a 2-2 tie into a 4-2 lead.
“We got to score two goals on that power play and that’s the game,” said Bieksa. “He’s got to live with that.”
Forward Henrik Sedin, whose brother Daniel was upended by Marchand on a similar hit during the finals last season, felt as though justice was finally served.
“It happened last year in the playoffs – tonight it was a five [minute major] and a game [misconduct],” Henrik Sedin said. “And maybe it should have been last time too.”
While many will argue that the Bruins were the recipients of some overly severe punishment on Saturday, the Canucks ultimately got the last laugh. Vancouver finished 4-for-11 on the power play and got the victory, earning at least some sense of redemption after losing four of the last five games to Boston in the final round of the postseason.