After a 39 year hiatus, the Boston Bruins are bringing Lord Stanley's Cup back to Boston after a 4-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 at Rogers Arena behind a 37-save shutout by Conn Smythe winner Tim Thomas.
Patrice Bergeron gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead 14:37 into the game after freezing Roberto Luongo with a one-timer from the slot. Henrik Sedin won the draw back at the right circle, but Brad Marchand was able to swoop into the circle and gain possession of the puck. Marchand looped back to the right wing boards and fed a backhand pass, that may have been intended for Mark Recchi, but found its way to the stick of Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron's one-timer beat Luongo low on the stick for a 1-0 first period lead.
Brad Marchand extended the Bruins' lead to 2-0 when he jammed a backhand wrap-around off of Luongo and in with 7:47 left to play in the second period.
With the Bruins shorthanded late in the second period after Zdeno Chara went to the box for interference, Patrice Bergeron broke free on a breakway before being hauled down by Christian Ehrhoff. Bergeron and Ehrhoff went crashing into Luongo as the puck crossed the goal line to give the B's a 3-0 lead and a little bit of breathing room with 2:25 remaining in the middle period.
Brad Marchand put the final nail in the Canucks' coffin when he added an empty-netter with 2:44 left in the game.
From there, it was all about just killing time and waiting to pile on the ice to hoist The Cup!
Notes & Quotes:
- Bruins are the first road team to record a shutout in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
- It must feel pretty good to go out on top like Mark Recchi. We all knew it was coming, but Mark made it official tonight.
- Recchi was the second man to lift The Cup after captain Zdeno Chara. From there, he handed it on to Patrice Bergeron, who gave it to Tim Thomas. I think they got it right: give it to the captains and then give it to the guy that got you here.
- Tyler Seguin got to lift The Cup at age 19. I hope he appreciates how special this moment is.
- Everyone will look back at the hit on Nathan Horton as a major turning point in this series. Don't poke a bear in hibernation and not expect to wake him up.
- Nathan Horton snuck some "dirty water" from Boston into Rogers Arena to create some home ice.
- Nathan Horton and the Black Aces got dressed in their gear and joined their teammates on the ice to celebrate.
- This is one of those moments where you will always remember where you were. I was in a hotel room in Huntsville, Alabama during a thunder storm cursing at my TV as the cable intermittently cut out throughout the game.
- Patrice Bergeron finished +4 tonight. On the flip side, the Sedin brothers were on the ice for all 4 goals.
- Riots erupted in Vancouver after the Canucks' loss. I guess, when your team conducts themselves on the ice like Habs-wannabes, why shouldn't you act like Habs fans?
- I had Canucks in 6. I have never been happier to be wrong.
- OK, go shave you scruffy bastards!
- As always, go check out the awesome work that our buddies over at Nucks Misconduct do.
"I'm so happy to be part of the team that brought The Cup back to Boston."
Claude Julien on Tim Thomas:
"Tim Thomas in these playoffs just totally dominated. That's the sign of a great goaltender. He was on top of his game from start to finish, and especially in this final round. He was outstanding every game. I know everybody expected him to have an average game at some point. Never came. He was in the zone, focused, never let anything rattle him and never questioned his style of play. What's happened to him right now is so deserving and so proud of him and obviously the rest of the team."
Claude Julien on his critics:
"As a coach you're going to be subject to criticism, but the most important thing is what's going on inside that dressing room. There wasn't a guy that didn't believe in what we were doing. So it's easy to stay the course, and you got to stay the course. Today you're rewarded for it. Had I worried about that other stuff, I probably wouldn't be standing here today. "
Tim Thomas on if he is done proving himself:
"Winning the Stanley Cup is huge. It's the biggest accomplishment of my career thus far. But everybody knows in this game that you have to continuously prove yourself. I'm sure if I were to, for example, start out the season bad next year that I probably, with the Cup, would have bought myself a little bit of leeway, but it won't last forever unless I turn my game around. "
Tim Thomas' message to Bruins fans:
"You've been waiting a long time, but you got it. You wanted it, you got it. We're bringing it home. "
Tim Thomas on winning the Conn Smythe Trophy:
"It's quite an honor. The Stanley Cup is the biggest one. That's the one that you're shooting for. Conn Smythe is completely an honor. I just sat down here and started to read some of the names on it and it's an honor to be mentioned in the same Maple leaf. Patrick, Ron Hextall, Ken Dryden, those are the three goalies that I can see on this side facing me, it's amazing. "
Patrice Bergeron on the team's future:
"The future looks bright with all the guys that we have, but to be honest with you, I'm worrying about the celebration right now. "
Congratulation to the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins! WOOOOOOO!