Let’s Get Physical
By Thomas Chace Jr.
June 13, 2011
“I’m excited, I can’t wait.” Those were the words Bruins center David Krejci used today when asked about tonight’s Game 6 in the TD Garden. Krejci went on to talk about playing their brand of hockey, he said “we are going to have our fans behind us and we have to play just like it’s our last game.” The reality is, it could well be their last game, and the Bruins don’t want to allow any team to celebrate on their home ice.
Game 5 began with a much maligned Vancouver defense, establishing some physical play that was unseen in Games 3 and 4 in Boston. The defensemen who were still standing for Vancouver were being pummeled by the big Bruin forwards. Turnovers resulted in goals and a territorial advantage for the Bruins was clearly established. Each home game was played the way the Bruins want to play. That successful style of hockey resulted in two blowouts and a question of whether the British Columbians were already packed between periods of Game 4, looking forward to getting home.
Alexander Edler and Christian Ehrhoff banged and bruised any Bruin at the blue line early in Game 5. The Canucks had 23 hits in the first period alone. The Canucks out hit Boston 47-27 overall and were able to turn the tables on the Bruins. A lone goal by Maxim Lapierre beat likely Conn Smythe winning goaltender Tim Thomas on a deflected pass that came off the boards behind his net. However, it was the physical play of the Canucks that won them Game 5.
Boston Head Coach Claude Julien agreed in his a.m. press conference this morning. “I think they were more physical than we were and that's certainly something that they did very well in that game. We know that we have to be better in regards to that ifwe want to establish our fore-check. We've got to, you know, match hit forhit if not be better than them.”
That will be the focus tonight and the question of the day. Can the Bruins bring their Game 3 and 4 mentality and energy to tonight’s critical Game 6? The Bruins are looking at this like two Game 7’s and hope to get another shot at Vancouver in their building.
Milan Lucic wants to end their last home game on a good note. “It’s a great experience so far, it’s a great opportunity, and we want to make the most of it.”
They must, or the ice will hold a celebration the Bruins and their fans do not want to be a part of.
Drop that puck!