Morning Mashup: Don’t Poke The Bear


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Don’t poke the bear. Pretty simple message that one. It’s also one that the Vancouver Canucks choose to ignore in just the worst possible hour. With just 5:07 played in the first period Aaron Rome took a really late hit on Boston’s Nathan Horton. The hit sent Horton on the stretcher and into the hospital but it also set the Bruins in a frenzy.

Now, at the risk of sounding like a Don Cherry type of guy, I have to say my peace. The way Vancouver played and carried themselves during these playoffs is wrong and this is coming from a guy who defended Torres after the Seabrook hit.

Hockey isn’t clean and fluffy, we all know this and we probably wouldn’t like it being like that either. However, when you bite people, dish out late hits, dive (and really dive, at any given chance) and your goaltender looks like a sniper target every time he comes into contact with anything (be it air) you leave yourself open to criticism. It is detrimental to the game of hockey, to the integrity of any great sport and to the players themselves. It’s not just doing it, although that’s what the good people of Vancouver will likely remember if they win the Cup, but how you do it. And I don’t think they can be proud with the how.

Next topic on today’s list is – running up the score. Maybe it’s just a case of me being European on this one, but for the life of me I don’t understand why you wouldn’t score 8 if you can score 8. Even worse, why would a coach demand “pity” and want the other team to “ease up”? Is that really in the spirit of any sport? Fact is, if I’m the coach, you weren’t good enough and I’m not letting you off the hook. Losing is supposed to suck, more so if you play without heart. Last but not least, I think the Bruins had every right to to score as many as they wanted because this was, in fact, a statement. This was also one of the 3 highest winning margins in Stanley Cup history.

Finally, the game. Tim Thomas was brilliant, Roberto Luongo wasn’t. He may have been hung out to dry, but he also gave up some really questionable goals on bad rebounds, positioning etc. Mark Recchi continues to defy age. With yesterday’s two goals he moved up in the all time playoff scoring list. Brad Marchand is somewhat similar to PK Subban in the way he carries himself on the ice. Some think it’s a bad thing, others think of it as character. Fact is, however you choose to call it, it’s helping them be effective. Not being scared of anyone out there gives one the confidence to go out and score magnificent goals like the one Marchand scored yesterday night. In a shorthanded situation, he chipped the puck off the boards to himself, went passed the two Canucks and froze Luongo with a shoulder fake before putting it top shelf on a sweet delayed shot. Call it sass, pizzazz, arrogance I really don’t care because for the first time during these Finals it got me out of my seat. All about the goal (including the video) can be found HERE just in case you missed it.

The whole game was much better than the previous two, not to mention it increased the “dislike level” in the two dressing rooms which should make the following games more enjoyable and finally, worth watching.

NHL LINKS: has yesterday night’s Game 3 recap

Thomas helps get Bruins back in Stanley Cup final with big performance, THN has the story

Another (great) recap from The Hockey News

Coyotes sign goalie LaBarbera to 2-year deal, still hoping to lock up Bryzgalov

Sean Leahy of Puck Daddy has the story and video surrounding the Horton hit

True North offers Chicago’s assistant GM Kevin Cheveldayoff the role of Winnipeg’s GM

Canucks and Bruins reach boiling point, courtesy of CBC


Is Kadri in play heading into the draft? VLM thinks so


How did you see the Horton hit? Should Rome be suspended for it? What does this result do to the series?