VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It may be too early to plan out the parade route but the Canucks are now just three wins away from bringing the Stanley Cup to Vancouver for the very first time.
The Canucks beat the Boston Bruins 1-0 last night, thanks to a last minute goal. But who would have thought Raffi Torres would be the hero?
“I’m not sure many Canucks fans would, but they’re going to take it, and Raffi will too!” says News1130 Sports Director Ann Schmaltz. “That goal is his third of the post-season and ironically, it was his only shot of the game last night. He made it count.”
It was a heads-up play by Ryan Kesler, who recognized the Bruins were completing a line change. He fired the puck cross-ice to Jannik Hanson, who said afterward that he could hear Raffi yelling that he was right behind him.
Hanson dished it over to Torres, who fired it past the out-of-position Tim Thomas and the Canucks walked away with the victory.
Roberto Luongo’s shutout
Torres was the hero with the only goal of the game, but the guy at the other end of the ice was also huge for the Canucks. “[Luongo] really is answering his critics throughout these playoffs,” says Schmaltz.
He had a 36-save performance in his third shutout of the post-season. All of his shutouts have come in series-openers. But Luongo had no room for error last night because at the opposite end of the ice, Tim Thomas was also putting on a clinic; he was rock-solid until the final 20 seconds when he allowed the only goal of the night.
“Roberto said he knew it was going to be a goaltender’s battle when the puck was dropped for the first time,” explains Schmaltz. “Fans are seeing two of the top goalies in the league — it’s going to be like this throughout the series. But what a memory for Roberto: Perfect in his first Stanley Cup Final game.”
Hamhuis day-to-day after Game 1 injury
The Canucks win may have come at a cost. Defenceman Dan Hamhuis didn’t look good leaving the game after injuring himself while hipchecking big Bruins winger Milan Lucic four minutes into the second period. Hamhuis didn’t return to the game, and he is now listed as day-to-day.
Schmaltz walked by Hamhuis as she was leaving the rink last night. “He was walking a bit slow but without a limp. So, let’s hope that when he’s re-evaluated this morning it’s nothing too serious because it would be a huge loss for this team if he goes out for the series.”
Burrows chomps down on Bergeron?
The Canuck most of the Boston Bruins wanted to talk about was Alex Burrows, who gave them something to “chew on.” Apparently, Burrows bit one of Patrice Bergeron‘s fingers when the two were caught up in a bit of a scrum at the end of the first period.
“They both were guilty of facewashing each other,” explains Schmaltz. “In one replay of the incident, you can see one of Pergeron’s fingers go into Burrows’ mouth and there is a chomping down motion from Alex. Bergeron claims he was cut open.”
After the game, when Burrows was asked what happened, he said ‘I know a finger was in my mouth, but I don’t think I bit him.’
“That was really all that we could throw at him in terms of questions because the Canucks’ PR staff ushered Alex out of there – not surprisingly; they don’t want him saying anything more to the media in case he faces some supplementary discipline.”
Ratings in the States
Maybe there are more hockey fans in the US than we thought.
Game one of the Stanley Cup Final on NBC got a 3.2 rating in the US. That’s the highest rating in 12 years for a Stanley Cup game.
Only So You Think You Can Dance had more viewers.