Bruins vs. Canucks: GAME 7!!!

[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: Luongo jokes are everywhere. I’m watching Sports Centre now and the Red Sox announcer just commented on a ground ball by saying “…and that one would have certainly got by Luongo last night” hahaha. I love it. Rolled into Boston Vancouver Pizza around 8:30 and pulled up a chair at the bar (as per usual). It was a Vancouver friendly crowd once again, but I pulled a page out of American History X and decided to just ‘throw up a flag’ (No I do not have a swastika tattoo). I put on the Thornton shirt and two seconds later I was joined by a guy in a jersey from Maine. We were there for one another, through thick and thin. 5mins in and we were high-fiving all over the place. After the third goal we didn’t even cheer any more, we just burst into laughter. I think that annoyed the Vancouver hippies even more than our cheering. When they scored on Schneider I was in hysterics. You guys suck! 5-2 isnt’ a blow out on it’s own, but when we score 4 goals in 4:14, it is a blow out. And when you combine that with the all out physical bullying we’re doing, I almost started to feel bad for you. How many punches to the face can Sedin take? Buddy just stands there and eats knuckles from a guy half his size, and not one of your other players come in to stand up for him!!! Even if there was no instigator penalty I bet not one of your players would drop the gloves with a Bruin. Who let’s their star player get whacked in the face and bullied by a punk like Marchand. Grow a pair Vancouver. I woke up the next day, flicked on TSN and the first thing they say is Vancouver is in an uproar over the Boychuk/Raymond hit. I was like “what the whistlin’ dixie are they talking about? That hit was clean, just awkward”. Then I saw the replay. Holy interference. The hit kinda started when the puck went by, so technically Boychuk was finishing his hit, it was just a real long, slow hit. Definitely not near the puck when he hit the boards though. Difference is, that wasn’t a malicious hit like Rome’s. Boychuck was just riding him into the glass, and had they Raymond been upright instead of bent over, no one would have even noticed.

John: If Game 6 can be summed up by two words they are: cheating and choking. Cheating because that’s what Boston and their refs do best. Unbelievable. So many hacks to the shins. So much interference. Three fractured vertabrae. An incredulous Danish person. And a Game 7 that has the NHL’s revenue stream flowing nice and thick, baby! As for choking, well, what’s left to be said? Roberto Luongo may well go down in history as the most controversial “great” goaltender in hockey history. I’m the first guy to admit being a Luongo apologist and believe that he’s unfairly treated by Vancouver fans who, as I’ve said before, are the worst. But last night, Luuuu, you put our team in a position from which they could never return. Kinda like the position Mason Raymond got put into away from the play with the puck nowhere near him.

Also, Steve Nash and I are going to tie Milan Lucic to a tractor and pull him around the Delta area once this series is over. He might be the most hated British Columbia export since Stockwell Day.

Finally, Boston won 4:14 of hockey. Unlike Games 3 & 4, the Canucks skated with your goons all game long. Had it not been for half-a-dozen goal posts and bad bounces (Henrik!!!), well, the Cup would’ve been hoisted already. Oh, and Tim Thomas was a genius and – literally – saved a goal with his giant cohones. #Amazing #DrewCareyImpersonator

Predictions: Game 7

John: Back to Vancouver means back to, um, probably one goal games. Well, maybe. But maybe not. Look. Vancouver is too good a team to score so few goals, so I’m going to predict that this game will be the anomaly. They will score often. Also, that Luongo guy will pitch a shutout, which would make three for the series and will add to his ridiculous factor – it’s so off the charts that it’s ridiculous. Just for the record, Tim Thomas/Drew Carey and Roberto Luongo have allowed the same number of goals at home.

They team will rally around Mason Raymond and his broken back and Tim Thomas will be scored on more times than Mark’s girlfriend, who is an absolute saint and an honourable woman, but a terrible goaltender.

Final score: 4-1 for the Stanley Cup Champions! (Vancouver, not Jerks)

Vancouver will celebrate like it’s 1982 1994 2011! And Boston will look like this:

Wait, not like that. That’s an ogre posing nude.

Mark: Nose Face Killin it! Brad ‘The Nose face Killah’ Marchand is going to haunt your dreams all Summer Vancouver. I’ve given up on Seguin. He had his time. I know you’ve won all of your games at home and Luongo stands on his head there, but we will win this one for two reasons. 1) We know why we lost. We didn’t bring the physical game. With it being game 7, I am sure the B’s will come out flying, and the Canucks have proven time and time again that you are scared little babies. 2) You barely won all three times in Vancouver. 1-0, 3-2, 1-0. That is not dominance. 16 goals in 3 games is dominance. You can’t win four games by the skin of your teeth. No way, no how. And 3) we’ve already proven that we win game 7′s. We did it against Montreal, we did it against Tampa, and we’re going to do it again against Vanloser. Boston 6-1. Fans start leaving towards the end of the 2nd after Boston score 3 goals in 1:36 and Luongo gets pulled.

“Round trip ticket Vancouver to Boston, $1999.00, scalped ticket section 310 $900.00, 1 night in overpriced Boston hotel $325.00, crying in your $6.00 beer after Luongo gives up 3 goals on 8 shots……priceless”

[INSERT TRASH TALK HERE]

Mark: What time is it in Boston? 16 past Luongo. What do Air Canada employees and Roberto Luongo have in common? They both walked off the job on Monday night. Luongo gets pulled more than my shoelaces. I can keep going. I can’t wait to send in a picture of me taking down that stupid Vancouver Pizza banner tonight after the game. I hope CBC is there again tonight so they can get a view of me doing it. If you see a guy/gal in a bruins shirt, make sure you stay close so you can get your picture taken wearing it Horn ol’ boy. And watch out downtown tonight, because with all of those angry Orca lovers crying on the way home it could get dangerous. This is going to be a slaughtering. Horton’s on the flight to Vancouver, the boys are gonna come out and kill the Canucks.

You win the Hottest fans award though, is there a Stanley Cup for that? But I’ve known that ever since the first time Will Connors showed me his yearbook back in 2000.

John: Enough has been said. I’ll let the Vancouver do what it does back. Answer punk comments by putting goals in your net.

Seriously, though. Mark, you’re an absolute gentleman and I’ll miss this – few Daily Correspondents have been as creative, insightful, funny, and downright committed as you’ve been. You’re gonna look great in a Canucks tshirt, buddy. Maybe you can pick one up at Boston Vancouver Pizza…

Bruins vs. Canucks: Game 6

[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: Probably the best first period of hockey ever seen. Back and forth and back and forth, and hits and saves and shots off posts. The highlight of this period (and game for me, since we lost) was the unsportsmanlike call on Burrows. Vindication for all of my moaning about all the dives the Canucks take. The second period was wild as well, saves galore, Vancouver players choking under pressure and fanning on wide open nets, etc, etc. As we head in to the third period, I am comfortably situated on my buddy’s couch, pizza in one hand, new flavour of Alexander Keith’s in my right, anxiously waiting to paint his ceiling with pizza sauce and alcohol as I celebrate a 3rd period win for Boston. Then it happened. Once again, going back to NHL ’94 by EA Sports and banking a shot off the boards behind the net. Cheese goal from a cheese team, but a goal none the less. It’s not like every goal in this series has been a beauty. I wasn’t scared, 15mins left in the third, we still have this. But then there was only 10mins left, then five, and next thing you know, our goalie is pulled. For the record, you guys couldn’t even score on an empty net.

John: BAM! Maxim Lapierre! A nicer, funnier guy couldn’t have beaten the Bruins. Luongo pitches a series-saving shutout. And thousands of Canucks fans – who are decidedly the worst – climbed back on the bandwagon. Vancouver totally outplayed Boston in every way and, were it not for Timmy Thomas and a huge whiff from Tanner Glass, the game would’ve been of the 3-0 variety. Anyway, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and probably had a few minor heart attacks – whatever, I’m relatively young and mostly healthy. If Ryan Kessler can skate through what is most likely the worst groin injury in the history of the universe, then I can walk off some heart tremors.

One disappointing part of the game was the embellishment from a few Canuckleheads, particularly my main man Alex Burrows – I would hate him with the fire of a thousand Suns were he not a Canuck. And the problem is that, because of the head-snapping, the terrible refs are having an even harder time knowing what to call – or a conspiracy theorist like my dad would say that they have evidence at which to point and justify the horrible and bias job that they’re doing.

Predictions: Game 6

John: I predict that Boston fans will be horrible, horrible people. These horrible people will inspire their team early on, but Luongo – chasing demons – will stymie Boston’s early chances. And the Canucks will overcome the horrible, horrible ice and horrible, horrible refereeing in Boston. After some goonish penalties, the Sedins will make the Beantowners pay on the power play (finally). And it will be amazing. Once the nerves and pressure set in, that’ll be it for the Bruins, who will fold like the folding chair Mark sits in when he folds a hand in poker while he folds icing sugar into the delicious cake that he’s making.

Final score: 3-1 Canuckleheads! (Empty-netter by Hank!)

Vancouver will look like this again:



Mark: Back to Boston means back to goal scoring. I can’t believe that was another 1-0 game. I swear, if Vancouver wins the cup in game 7 by less than two goals I’ll need to see a therapist to get over it. If you’re going to be crowned as the best team in the NHL, then play like it. My heart wants me to take the law of averages here and pick 6-1 Bruins after the 8-1 and 4-0 wins in Beantown. As much as Vancouver has managed to squeak out wins at home, Boston had straight up manhandled Vancouver at home, and tonight will be no different. Marchand is going to be a pest, likely will score the first goal, and then it’s Seguin’s turn. I know I predicted he’d set the team on fire after scoring in the past and he hasn’t scored a single goal, but tonight will be different. Once he scores, it’s over. He’s pumped, the rest of the team’s pumped, Thomas is pumped, you’re done. Speaking of Marchand, unlike you’re crybaby goaltender, we know how to laugh at ourselves. Check out Marchand below in his “Nose-Face Killah” T-shirt during a television interview. He’s got one heck of a schnoz and he ‘nose’ it. Gonna do some nose-face killin’ tonight son. Bruins 5-0.


[INSERT TRASH TALK HERE]

John: It’s been a pleasure writing with you, Mark. But I’m afraid that your goons of Boston and the terrible people not named Mark Atkinson who support them have run out of time. Look. We lost a couple of games because Gary Betman called Mike Gillis and asked the Canucks to throw a couple to make things interesting. I mean, it’s the only thing that makes sense, right?

Hey, Boston fans – how about we keep the hate crimes to zero in this game? Cool? Thanks. Human rights kinda sorta trump the mantra of “my local sports team is better than your local sports team” doncha think? Also, nothing will make the Canucks and their fans happier than skating Lord Stanley’s Cup around TD Garden. It’ll be a beautiful thing! Almost as beautiful as this video that I can’t believe I haven’t posted until now:

Mark: Luongo says he would have stopped the shot that gave them the win in game 5? I guess it was the 12 goals he let by him in games 3 & 4 that he hasn’t figured out just yet. Someone tell Count Chocula to stop adding flames to the fire. The Bruins and their fans are already seething at the chance to embarrass that smug little punk. He may as well wear his lingerie to the game because it’s going to look like he’s in the Red Light District with all of the pucks going past him. There’s a certain confidence that the Bruins have at home, and their back is against the wall, two reasons the Bruins are going to put a pounding on the Canucks tonight. I’m sporting my Thornton gear for the game tonight, just to let all the bandwagoners know what a real fan looks like. I hope Tim Thomas challenges Luongo at centre ice, cause you know Luongo would turtle so fast it’d make your head spin. This will be physical from the get go, someone on your team is leaving with at least a severe charlie horse. To borrow from a friend: “The NBA proved that there are sports gods, and at the end of the day they will never let gutless teams like the Vancouver Canucks and Miami Heat win championships. They just aren’t worthy.  The Bruins have too much pride to let Vancouver take the Cup on their ice.”

Bruins vs. Canucks: Game 5

[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: That was more impressive than the 8-1 win. Marchand backing up his pestering by dropping the mitts, the fact that it was a shutout, and Tim Thomas actually chucking dukes instead of just body checking. Strolled into Boston Vancouver Pizza with the same crew as game 3, and got the same result (I might have to start paying for their drinks so they’ll keep coming, seems to be good luck). Everyone with half a brain knew Bobby Orr was coming out to kick off the game, but bringing out the Horton #18 flag just set the crowd, and apparently the team, into a frenzy! I knew then and there that this game was ours for the taking. I should offer congratulations to Henrik Sedin on finally getting a shot on goal in the finals, it only took him 9.5 periods, guess he leads by words and not example eh? 8 Mins left in the first and the guy who gets bumped up to replace Horton scores the first goal, I might have even peed a little when that happened. Canucks revert to there tried and true tactics of faking being hurt in the second period with Burrows and Sedin both embellishing a smack to the face, neither of which drew a call (ever read the boy who cried wolf?). Bruins score two and you know that with the way Timmy Thomas (we’re close, I call him Timmy) is playing that there is no coming back from 3-0 in one period. One more for good measure in the 3rd and the Canucks staff is thinking of bringing their golf clubs with them to Beantown on Monday.

John: The best team in the NHL is being beaten by a goalie and his minions of ragamuffin thugs. Not to mention said minions’ classless fans. The Canucks were beaten in every way on Wednesday. They were punished physically, emotionally and mentally – I mean, the way Marchand dusted off his hands as he skated by the Canucks’ bench after clothes-lining Erhoff and under-cutting Daniel was the kind of thuggery that happens when, first, a team can’t penalize said thug by making him pay on the power play and, second, this is what happens when a team can’t do the first thing or match physicality with physicality. Luongo was rightly chased from his goal – he let in some weak ones – but Keith Ballard and his brothers on the back line need to (and hopefully have been doing) some pretty serious soul searching. I loved how Ballard jumped on Marchand after his antics, but it was too little too late.

If one thing summarizes Game 4 it’s this: The Boston Bruins won every single battle for loose pucks.

This was unreal and is unacceptable.

Another unacceptable thing is that when Boston Bruins slash, punch, clothesline, taunt, slew-foot, hit-high. hit-late, run-the-goalie, and goon-it-up, the world calls it “old time hockey” – but when the Canucks to any of that – or fall down when they get hit in the face with a stick – it’s dirty or faking. You can’t have it both ways, world outside of Vancouver. The last unacceptable thing(s) I’ll mention are the ridiculous penalty calls on a Sedin (even I can’t remember which one) for slashing and Mason Raymond for hooking/slashing/cross-checking, whatever it was – utter crap. Also, goal number two came on a post-slew-foot turnover. Sure, Keith Ballard should’ve gotten the heck up and then not danced with Henrik Sedin next to the goal, but it was still a ridiculous non-call. At the end of the day, though, Vancouver needs to score on the power plays they have – six chances are more than enough to put Boston away.


Predictions: Game 5

John: I predict that Vancouver fans will be the worst. It’s already happening. The thing I like about your fans, Mark, is that they’re level of player loyalty is pretty high. From what I understand, no one was panicking during the Montreal or Tampa series – like, not the same way so many of Vancouver’s fans were freaking out during the Chicago series. Anyway, the people who are calling for Luongo’s head and yelling about the Sedins and Kessler need to know that this isn’t what the players need to hear right now. I predict that there will be an unfortunate air of nervousness and tension in Rogers Arena and this disappoints me to no end. Paying between $2,000-$6,200 for a ticket means that you should be yelling like it’s your last day on earth. Because, if fans don’t back the team, it very well could be.

But on to the game. The Sedins are going to be huge. And so is Chris Higgins. I don’t know if it’ll be the hits, the goals, the puck possession, or Daniel getting on Henrik’s shoulders and fighting Zdeno Chara. But something is going to happen and these players are going to play like the guys that got us here and not like dudes skating on terrible ice in an arena where the hate crimes were higher than the temperature…in Fahrenheit. I also think that Keith Ballard is going to be a difference maker. And that’s all I’ll say.

You look like you’ll fill out an XL Canucks t-shirt nicely, buddy. Have you been working out?

Final score: 4-1 Canuckleheads!


Mark: I’ve been bragging up home ice advantage for the past two games, and tonight is no different. I figure the Vancouver faithful will be out in full force and scream extra loud to show the boys in blue and white that they still love them. Too bad for them that they’ll be shut up by half way through the first period. We’re on too much of a roll right now. I haven’t seen the offense AND defense clicking like this all season long, it’s ridiculous. The Sedins, both of those aliens, aren’t doing jack squat, and Luongo is just bad, as voiced by the drunken Masshole below on the way home after the 8-1 drumming in game 3. Maybe he can do some head and shoulders ads in the off season with those pretty locks of his to supplement his income. If you guys score first, I’ll be back to sweating like I did during the first two games in Vancouver. If we get the lead at any point, even if we get the lead and Vancouver comes back to tie it up, we will still emerge victorious. Bruins 5-1. I said it, 5-1.


[INSERT TRASH TALK HERE]

John: Welcome back to the Pacific Northwest, pal. Here, we have real ice. It helps our hockey players move like hockey players and not like oafs. Speaking of which, in order to deal with your fans and players, I’ve made some calls to some big characters from The Princess Bride who are ready to put your rabble in their collective place.

Seriously, though. Once we get back to hockey we’ll reveal Tim Thomas for what he is. A great goalie who played two great games and who is ripe for a fantastic error that will cost you kids the game. Oh, and the red light will light on more than one Canucks power play, my friend. Finally, you’re crappy ice gave your goonish, overachieving team a lot of lucky bounces. You’ve had your turn with luck, and now it’s ours. Remember I told you this when the first garbage goal finds its way past Timmy.

Good luck, good sir. You’re gonna need it. Boston Vancouver Pizza will be a place of celebration tonight!

Mark: Before last night’s Mavericks win, the Boston Bruins had more points in 24 hours than Lebron James (12-8). I said it after the first two games and I’ll say it again: You squeaked those first two wins out by the skin of your teeth. One with the clock ticking down and one in overtime, both by one goal. We embarrassed you so bad in games 3 and 4 that your grandchildren will wake up with nightmares. Luongo has about as much confidence in his game as Tiger Woods does right now, and you don’t just come back from a public shellacking like that with ease. Canucks keep diving, and we keep hitting. Not only are you not getting the calls any more, I would wager that someone on the Canucks gets an unsportsmanlike for faking being hurt at some point in the next two games. I’m heading to my hometown of Bridgewater tonight (think Merville on steroids), meaning I will be watching the game at a house party surrounded by friends and not one Canuck fan. That positive energy combined with the fact that a case of beer at home costs as much as 3 beer at the bar, will make me even more of a jerk during the game. I do not envy you John Horn, if you have to watch the game on Monday night knowing that you’re down 3-2 and heading to Boston because the garden is going to a literal zoo if that happens. Best of luck chummmmmmmmmp.

[Editor's note: Mark Atkinson is responsible for all swearwords associated with this blog post. His comparison of Bridgewater to Merville is also 92.5% accurate, even though he has never been to Merville. Well played, Mark].

Bruins vs. Canucks: Game 4

[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:

Re-cap: 8-1

Predictions: 8-1

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? ExactlyFinal 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!

Bruins vs. Canucks: Game 3

[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: Alex F@#%ing Burrows. Of all people to score the game winner, it’s Burrows…..for Game 2 I was suckered by a Habs fan into heading to a different sports bar. ‘Sure thing’ I thought, ‘Boston Pizza wasn’t very Boston-like for game 1, so I’ll go with ya’. What he didn’t tell me was that not only was his Canucks fan of a girlfriend coming, but she was bringing 3 other Canucks fans, two of which brought brand new Canucks jerseys! I’ve walked into the lion’s den again! I’m not even going to go there on the officiating of game 2. You guys got screwed, we got screwed, and we definitely evened up the whole nibble-gate scenario with that McSorley style two handed calf hack on Bieksa. Maybe it was payback for Lapierre taunting Beregeron…mess with the bull buddy, you get the horns. I almost had my prediction right on the Recchi game winner with what I would have to call, the most beautiful tip-in in the history of all hockey. PS, that goal by Burrows in OT was straight out of NHL ’94. Kid must have been up all night on his Genesis scoring goals doing the wrap-around.

John: Alex Burrows. Great hockey player or the greatest hockey player? I’ll leave that to you, NHL Conn Smythe Selection Committee. Anyway, I watched the game with the Horn Family at the Beagle Pub in Victoria, BC. I can now cross-off Watching the Canucks win the Stanley Cup with my Dad off of my Bucket List. As Mark said, Boston evened (or went ahead) the Cheating Cup Cheaterthon Finals with the two-handed axe-job on Bieksa. It was dirtier than a bear who just binged on blackberries, boiled eggs, dirt, an ants nest, and 600 chicken stackers. If there is one important thing to re-cap about Saturday’s game is that the rest of the hockey world is in full-blown “we hate or strongly-dislike Vancouver” mode. Don Cherry is just Don Cherry, which was reflected in his comments during “Confused Man Yells Things at Moving Pictures Corner” about how Boston was about to run away with the series based on the first period…after which they were trailing. But what was even more astonishing was Mike Milbury’s Healy-like anger about Maxim Lapierre’s hilarious antics that involved a finger and Patrice Bergeron’s mouth. Check it out:

In conclusion, I am of the following opinion: for every gear that Boston has, Vancouver has two more.

Predictions: Game 3

John: The Canucks powerplay will come alive and everyone who cares for bears should be scared of this prediction/fact. The thing about Vancouver is that they win everywhere – and there’s no way that Chicago, Nashville and San Jose (arguably the three loudest arenas in hockey) aren’t louder than TD Garden. I also predict that Tim Thomas will cease to be the second best player on the Vancouver Canucks and go back to being the third best goaltender in the NHL (Cory Schneider is the second). The Canucks will continue to capitalize on incredibly sloppy and poor neutral zone play by the Bruins. And the following rumour will continue: because of their reputation for “coming second, third or worse in life” the Boston Bruins actually got their most recent logo from the reject-pile of pitched Batman logos back in the 1930s. The more I think about it – especially the finishing third in life stuff – the more this rumour totally makes sense! Especially because Batman was not a tennis player, which – I think – is what your team’s logo is all about. Final score: 3-1 Good Guys.

Mark: You had your turn, now we get to have ours. You’re supposed to win at home, that’s why they give you clowns the extra home game, because you had the better regular season record. Bruins ain’t scared though. Bruins are pumped really. See, we’ve been through two 7 games series’ already, we know that you don’t win the cup with two wins, you need four. As much as I hate to say it, I would assume that based on the past two games, we’re looking at another nail biter. If this series goes 7 games, I’ll be watching from my hospital bed cause I’m not sure how many heart attacks one man can survive. Last game I predicted Seguin would score the first Bruins goal, but not necessarily the first goal of the game. This time around, I say he scores the second goal (putting us up 2-0 in the first 10mins of the game), first goal is coming from Krejci in under 4mins. We then trade goals back and forth, sometimes even having a tie game. Boston scores one goal in the third and actually manages to hold the lead until the final horn blows. 4-3 Boston when the fat lady sings.

[INSERT TRASH TALK HERE]

Mark: Speaking of John’s [INSERT NAME SOMEONE CLOSE TO JOHN THAT WAS INAPPROPRIATE TO PUBLISH] singing, it’s going to be the power of Rene Rancourt’s voice when he belts out the anthems that gets this game going. Home ice advantage is a big deal. Heck, I get goosebumps sitting at a bar in Halifax, Nova Scotia when they start playing ‘Shipping up to Boston’ or ‘Hells Bells’, imagine how freakin pumped the Bruins will be. Heck, we even lost both games at home against Montreal then went on the road and stole two from them, so it’s not like we don’t know how to get this done. And I know you’re up by two games, but come on, both games decided by one goal, both of which happened almost right at the 60 minute mark. It’s not like you dominated the Bruins at home. More like you barely survived the Bruins in your own freaking rink. I’m going to return to Boston Pizza  for tonight’s tilt in hopes of having a few fellow Bruins fans to cheer with, apparently they do exist here.

They also have two for one drinks tonight, so I’d be there even if there wasn’t a hockey game ;) . Apparently those broccoli coloured spandex lovers are coming to Boston for the game. That’s balls. Even I wouldn’t be dumb enough to do that. There’s a poll online right now, vote 1 to leave them alone, vote 10 to punch their lights out: it’s currently at 8.5. And we have better fans anyway, check this kid out, that’s a real fan right there. Logo on his jersey and on his chest. You’ll never hear the crowd go wild for a couple of faceless aliens.

And if I were them, I’d be sure to wear a diaper, cause when you go to the bathroom, this is what happens:

John: I can’t disagree on the fan-front, Mark. Vancouver fans are decidedly corporate, quiet and like texting people about how they’re at the game. Those are the fans inside the arena, though. Outside, well, they’re closing even more streets tonight in order to accommodate the excited sprawl of folks looking to celebrate victory in North America’s most beautiful city.  Just to clarify a comment above – Vancouver at the Good Guys. In terms of Trash Talk, well, I’m not about poking bears or spiking touchdowns when the score is 2-0. I’ll take a break from writing about how, Mark, your team needs to spend less time braiding their beard hair and more time hockeying because, well, it borders on gloating at this point. Good luck, good sir!

Bruins vs Canucks: Game 1

[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

John: What do you need to know? Oh, how the Vancouver Canucks qualify as Stanley Cup Finalists? Right. Here are a few bullet points:

  • President’s Trophy Winners? Check.
  • Scoring champion? Check.
  • Equally good twin of said scoring champion? Check.
  • Vezina Trophy-candidate goalie? Check.
  • Slaying hybrid dragon-monkey in epic first round battle? Check.
  • Badass second line centre who will skate through the boards if he thinks it will help his team win? Check.
  • Domination in the Western Conference Finals? Check.
  • Pending return of gritty “team guy” who does nothing but kill penalties, win face-offs and drive the other team’s best players crazy? Check.
  • Healthy defense and the ability to roll five-and-a-half lines? Check.
  • Hilarious coach who makes press conferences fun? Check.
  • Rabid fans who are ready to explode? Double check!

That is all.

Mark: I know that my beloved Boston Bruins knocked off their arch rivals, the Montreal Canadians in 7 games, I know that they stomped on the team with the second best record in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia Flyers, and I know that they knocked off the Tampa Bay Lightening in 7 games in the conference finals.  You beat your arch rivals, the guys who embarrassed you last year, and win a game 7 that was tied 0-0 without one single penalty called and you know that you have the drive to do it. Who did the Canucks beat to get here? With the exception of Chicago, Vancouver was tested in such hockey hotbeds as Nashville and San Jose. Nashville and San Jose!!! Be forewarned there ‘nucks fans, The Garden is not a friendly place for visiting teams. You ain’t in California or Tennessee anymore bub. And if this series goes to game 7, make sure you keep your eyes on Nathan Horton. He’s scored the game 7 winner against both Montreal and Tampa Bay.

Predictions: Game 1

Mark: The great unknown. It’s the unknown that has both worried and intrigued mankind for eternity. Western  Conference, you are the great unknown to us East coasters. All I know about the Vancouver Canucks is that they won the President’s Cup and they have some latex love freaks who wear full body suits to their hockey games. Best record in hockey? That’s a nice hat to hang in your locker, but since I don’t really follow the teams in the west, maybe you had it easy. Maybe you played all of your games against such perennial powerhouses as the Columbus Blue Jackets. I’m still of the belief that Colorado has a decent team. And who the hell is Manny Maholtra? All this fuss about whether he’ll return or not and I’ve never even heard his name before he tried to put his eyeball through a pane of glass. That’s his claim to fame, getting injured. I do, however, follow the Eastern Conference with unparallelled vigour.

The puck drops at 8pm eastern tonight. Both teams have been kicked back spinning their wheels for a while, so I’m not anticipating a real wide open, fast paced first period. Thomas and Luongo will both make stupid decisions that ALMOST cost their team the first goal. I’m thinking 1-0 Boston after one period. Those Sedin fellas seem to have some skill, but once Chara runs Kesler in to the stanchion and puts him out, we can focus on those red headed hamburgers, and if you shut one down you shut them both down. I’ll give you a goal or two in the second, but Boston will be leading after all three periods.

John: After overcoming some early jitters because the corporate, texty and too-cool-to-cheer Rogers Arena crowd actually gets excited, the Canucks settle down and draw some early penalties. I think that Luongo will let in at least one so-so goal, but not a soft goal. Zdeno Chara will continue to be tall. He – as will the rest of the Boston defense – will turn the puck over the the neutral zone like Kurt Heinrich turns over a satay chicken stacker. A lot. Finally, the Campbell-conspiracy will make my dad yell about how the NHL, Don Cherry, the rest of Canada, and the International Monetary Fund are vehemently anti-Canucks. Final score: 4-2 Vancity.

[INSERT TRASH TALK HERE]

John: Mark Atkinson, you ski like the Boston Bruins play hockey: slow, grinding, and possibly with a concussion. Also, your Bridgewater-dialect makes you sound like a drunken compilation of all the worst Adam Sandler characters. Finally, it takes a special man/probable-bear-in-disguise to love a team like Boston. I mean, I know that Nova Scotians have no regional team to call their own, but why didn’t you just do what everyone else does and pick the Montreal Canadians? You know, the Original Six team that sucks now but used to be pretty good. Not like Boston. I mean, Vancouver was in the Cup Finals more recently than B-Money was. Oh, as an addendum, I stole money and things from you after you passed out before going to the bar during university. I’ll use the money/things for our bet on the series, which is $6,093. Yeah, I’m a terrible person, too.

Mark: For those of you who are not aware of my pedigree, I spend a significant amount of time with my rear-end parked on a bar stool. For tonight’s game, I will have it parked at the local Boston Pizza in downtown Halifax. I have heard that the Boston Pizza’s in Vancouver have been advertised as Vancouver Pizza as of late. That’s fine. They did the same thing in Montreal and look where that got them. During the first round, I was surrounded by Habs fans, second round was pretty much 50/50 Boston/Philly, last round I had real, live Bostonian chicks next to me. You’d think that since Vancouver happens to be in Canada, that they would have the majority of the fans all across the country. That might be true in most provinces, but not in Atlantic Canada. We basically like three teams: The Habs, The Leafs, and The Bruins, and I can’t wait to be surrounded by Bruins fans tonight when that final horn blows and we take the first game in your own rink. As a final note, it just so happens that my lovely girlfriend is heading to BC for the summer on Saturday. She’ll tell you that it’s to spend time with her family, etc. but the real story is that ever since my Pittsburgh Steelers beat her Baltimore Ravens, she’s been dreading this Bruins/Canucks match up, and just wouldn’t be able to deal with me after the Bruins win the cup.

[Editor's note: here is a video that is making the rounds on the Internets - the character in the video is very similar to John's friend Mark; Mark's better looking, though].

PS. Care to wager a picture in the opposing teams garb when all is said and done there Horn? Bruins win, you don a bruins t-shirt, and if the Canucks win, I’ll take a pic with a stupid orca on my chest?

John: Done. Shirt-wearing embarrassment it is!