Bruins-Canucks Game 5 Scoring Chances

When I first started getting back into hockey, I really enjoyed watching the Canucks. Roberto Luongo was one of my favorite goalies in the league to watch and I liked watching the Sedins, Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond do their thing. After I watched more of their games and not just the highlights, I began to see why so many hockey fans dislike this team and watching them in these playoffs has got me on board with that mindset, especially last night’s game. Alex Burrows looking like he was about to cry after taking an embellishment penalties was embarrassing and one of them most pathetic things I have ever seen. Then the Sedins and Kesler falling down and clutching their faces every time someone from the Bruins touches them. I get trying to draw a penalty but the stuff I have seen from the Canucks in these playoffs has been embarrassing. The usual stereotype of Western Canadian teams is that they are supposed to be tough and the Canucks are the opposite of that. Max Lapierre is looking more like a fit there every game. Speaking of which….

Every team needs agitators, especially ones who are effective at getting on the scoresheet while pissing off their opponents and Vancouver’s roster has many of those. The acquisition of Lapierre at the trade deadline was meant to take some of the heat off Burrows and Kesler when it came to drawing penalties and being pests so they could focus more on scoring instead. While those two have struggled have struggled to produce offense the last three games, Lapierre stepped it up a little this game and was on ice for five scoring chances and it was him capitalizing on a good deflection that gave the Canucks a 3-2 series lead as he scored the only goal of the game. I expected Vancouver to tighten things up after getting destroyed the last two games and they did but they still struggled to create chances and they caught Thomas off-guard on their only goal. This game could have been very different if Boston had took advantage of their early powerplay chances. The refs were finally penalizing Vancouver for their shenanigans but the Bruins didn’t do anything with their powerplays. Maybe that will convince Claude Julien to put Tyler Seguin on the powerplay unit next time instead of Gregory Campbell, eh?

Both teams played well defensively and Boston couldn’t do much with the four powerplay opportunities that they had and even coughed up a shorthanded chance. If they more like they did in the second period then I think they would have had a better chance of winning this game. I bet the people at Rogers Centre who were cheering Luongo when he was pulled in game 4 are feeling stupid now. He was very sharp last night and earned his second shutout of the finals. Thomas did well at the other end but I think he would have loved to have that Lapierre goal back. He was caught off-guard but it looked like he got a piece of it before the puck went in. The good news for Boston is that they have another game in Boston coming up and they did play well in this game and could easily be up 3-2 in this series.

Boston Bruins Scoring Chances By Player:

Best ES Forward: Tyler Seguin, Gregory Campbell +2

Worst ES Forward: Patrice Bergeron -2

Best ES Defenseman: Dennis Seidenberg +2

Worst ES Defenseman: Johnny Boychuk, Adam McQuaid -1

Seguin generated five chances with limited ice time and didn’t even get a shift until nine minutes into the game. Despite that, he got barely any time on the powerplay and yet Gregory Campbell got 2 minutes with the extra man. This does not make sense to me at all. Seguin even played on the first line for a little bit and did well there. Vancouver got the matchups they wanted and Boychuk ended up with a negative rating as a result while Seidenberg and Chara thrived. However, I did notice that Julien split up his pairings a bit and Seidenberg played a little bit this time.

Canucks Scoring Chances by Player

Best ES Forward: Raffi Torres +4

Worst ES Forward: Daniel Sedin -3

Best ES Defenseman: Kevin Bieksa, Alex Edler +3

Worst ES Defenseman: Christian Ehrhoff, Sami Salo -4

The Sedins didn’t have a rebound game like I thought they would and that was even with Vingeault being able to utilize having the last change and get them away from Chara. The Canucks third line did take advantage of their matchups again, though as they were on fire in the third period and were able to score the only goal of the game. Canucks second line is finally producing chances again but they sure are giving up a lot too and even the fourth line is pitching in. Tanner Glass might have had the best chance of the game for Vancouver but unfortunately, he fanned on the shot. Pairing Bieksa with Edler worked out very well as he seems to be doing better with him than he did with either Salo or Ehrhoff. Speaking of which, those two got beaten pretty bad and struggled with working the powerplay too.

Head To Head Scoring Chances:

Bieksa and Edler won all of their matchups and were the only players to do so. Bergeron lost all of his which is not good news for the Bruins. Could be due to a lingering injury because I feel like he hasn’t been that effective this series. Inserting Tanev into the lineup instead of Ballard proved to be a good decision as he did well with limited ice time. Look at how well Seguin did against the Canucks second line. Damn.

I am hoping Boston takes game 6 because I want this to go to seven games and I am not ready for hockey season to be over yet. I will say that Tim Thomas should win the Conn Smythe and it will be a shame if he doesn’t. He has been phenomenal all playoffs and I can’t think of any player for either team who deserves it more. Luongo was in the running before games 3 & 4, Bieksa obviously will not win it after this series, neither will Burrows or Kesler. Chara is a possibility but the people who decide who wins this award tend to look over defensive play.

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