[Editor's note: John Horn and Mark Atkinson were friends at Bishop's University. But then Mark went to Nova Scotia and John moved to Vancouver. Sporadically, they kept in touch over the years, but - fortunately for you, the noble readers of the Daily Gumboot - their friendship has re-discovered itself thanks to hockey. More specifically thanks to the fact that Mark loves the Boston Bruins and John loves the Vancouver Canucks. Sure, after this series they can never be friends again. But the point is that you will benefit from their being
nemesises nemeses nemesoulmates nemesi each others' worst enemy! GO SPORTS!]
Re-Cap of Before
Mark: I knew things would be different in Boston, but not that different! Here’s what I originally thought of submitting for today’s article:
Trash talk: 8-1
The score is what it is. The first period was nerve-racking, as were the previous 6 periods (I don’t count 11 seconds of OT as a period). When Horton went down, I felt like the wind got sucked out of Boston for the rest of the first period. They must have had one hell of a moment in the locker room during the first intermission. Second period was pure awesome sauce, straight from the awesome tree. Once again, I had pulled up a spot at Boston Vancouver Pizza. For some reason (teamism?), all the Boston fans were relegated to the back of the bar. But that just gave us a good view of the Vancouver fans slowly sneaking out the back door with their tail between their legs. At 3-0, I turned to the guy next to me and said “I need one more goal before I can relax”, two seconds later, Bruins score, and I exhaled for the first time in a week. Third period was like watching a car crash or vulgar video – you know it’s wrong to keep watching, but you can’t turn away.
The big topics at the end are the score, the hit by Tim Thomas on Sedin, and the hit on Horton. I’ll leave Timmy’s hit and the score for trash talk, but I can’t go without commenting on the Rome/Horton hit in the first period, so here’s my take. The hit was late, but not a blindside hit. And I don’t mean late as in it came after Horton got rid of the puck, I mean late as in Rome didn’t even move toward Horton until AFTER the puck left his stick. Now, I don’t play organized hockey (I do consider myself the best pond product in Nova Scotia) but even I know you don’t A) watch your pass like it was a home run ball after you let it go, and B) you certainly don’t do it when you’re coming across the blue line in the Stanley Cup Finals. You’ll notice three things if you watch the video below in slow motion (0:45 is the best view): 1. Horton passes the puck and then stares at his pass until it reaches it’s destination, you can’t watch your pass like that, you’re gonna get smoked. 2. Watch Rome’s feet and body lean vs. the puck leaving Horton’s stick. He passes the puck and THEN Rome takes a step and then digs in for the hit. 3. He hit Horton as high as he could. He stands up absolutely as tall as can be and tries to get his shoulder into Horton’s head. 2 parts Rome, 1 part Horton. Do I agree with 4 games? Not sure, but I can guarantee you that he got that because they already knew Horton was gone for the rest of the series, an eye for a less valuable eye.
John: What. Just. Happened. Question Mark. Well, that was awkward. Terrible, even. After a pretty even first period, the Bruins – clearly offended by my comments about their team logo – rallied to combine one of the most epic shellackings in Stanley Cup history with one of the most disappointing collapses in Stanley Cup history. After the first period I left the comfort of my home for a pricy East Vancouver establishment – incongruently attired in my jersey, I stared in disbelief as the Bruins beat the crap – in every way – out of my beloved Vancouver team. Well, at least I was able to have some sweet conversations with old and new friends.
Regarding the hit, I totally agree with Mark and there isn’t anything else to be said. Bring on Keith Ballard? No, the question mark was not a typo. Yes, Bieksa can play 47 minutes.
As a Canucks fan, well, I’ve been here before…about two months ago. But Boston is not Chicago and this is not April. My hat goes off to your team, Mark. That was a beat down. I mean, your goalie flattened our captain! Unreal. We will bounce back from this in ways you can’t possibly imagine.
Predictions: Game 4
John: The Canucks have lulled your Bruins into a confident state of confidence and, well, you’re right where we want you, Bruins Nation. There’s no way that’s happening again. Both things. Boston winning and the Bruins scoring eight more goals. Not just in the game, but in the rest of the series. And if this doesn’t wake up the Sedins and totally piss off Luongo (who didn’t play badly, but was abandoned by his team), well, then we don’t deserve to win the Stanley Cup. Oh, and Keith Ballard will be amazing. Who’s Keith Ballard? Exactly. Final score: 2-0 Canucks. My other prediction is that something dirty happens and that an idiot Boston fan throws something on the ice in the last minute. Melee will ensue. Oh, and this will be your last game in TD Garden, buddy. Relish it.
Mark: You made your bed and now you gotta lie in it. Since we only ever played each other once this year (3-1 Boston by the way), it was hard for the Bruins to get pumped up the way they would for say, the Montreal Canadiens. But after Burrows chewing on Bergeron, Lapierre acting like a little brat, and the Sedins dropping like there was just an earthquake after the tiniest little touch, the Bruins – and the fans – now generally hate the Vancouver Canucks. You can see this in the volume at TD Banknorth Garden even for the 8th goal, the fact that Lucic stooped to Lapierre’s level, the punch to the head of Burrows after he tried to draw a penalty call, Tim Thomas’s hit on Sedin, and all the scrums after the whistle last game. Nothing gives us more pleasure now than beating the snot out of Vancouver on the scoreboard and physically. Because of this, the fact that we’re at home again, and because Vancouver is soon going to have to put John Horn on defence because they’re running out of defencemen, the Bruins will win this one in glorious fashion again. I’m going with at least 5-1, but predicting 8-1.
[INSERT TRASH TALK HERE]
Mark: Current season record (including regular season) 2-2. Goals for: Vancouver 6, Boston 13. You tell me who’s the better team? As I said in the predictions, the Bruins hate the ‘Nucks now. You bite our fingers, take out our best players with your worst players, and take dives all over the place. You are the cheapest, dirtiest team in the league and you think you’re God’s gift to hockey. We’ll have so much momentum when we head back to Vancouver for Friday night’s game that we’ll even win there and take the cup at home in 6 games. I wasn’t scared after we were down 2-0, and I am even more confident now. The Bruins aren’t picking up any new fans, but every non-hockey fan in the country thinks the Canucks are frigging team Canada which pisses us off even more. Buddy showed up in a Canucks jersey on Monday that still had the tag hanging off the sleeve! I might even fly out to Vancouver a couple times over the next 365 days so I can walk around downtown wrapped in a Bruins flag. Start looking for a Bruins jersey/shirt Johnny boy, you’re gonna need it on Monday night.
John: First, nobody gives up like the Vancouver Canucks. The team phoned in the third period and the goals, while nice for the Bruins, don’t really count. This isn’t Champions League Football, hombre. Mark, your team is a bunch of goons. Slow, bearded goons. Even your goalie. And, as you’re a man who can’t grow a beard, I’m curious about how you’re allowed to cheer for them? Speaking of mean-spirited, un-bearded, very-beered people, your fans are horrible! Man, you weren’t kidding, eh? Green Men being escorted by police, women being harassed (classy and tough to not pick on the guys, by the way, Boston fans) and more concern about a biting Burrows than the well-being of your concussed game-seven clincher. Not even a Yoda-Don-Cherry-Bill-Simmons hybrid could understand your fans, man. Anyway, I hope that you got it out of your system because the beatings and the scoring and the other kinds of abuse will be few and far between as our speed and cycling-powers turn you inside out. Don’t worry, buddy,
the Red Sox are good football season starts soon the NBA season is only a few months away Boston is a nice city and you actually live there we’re still friends!