If the first period of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals is any indication, people should set aside their worries about these two teams won’t bring fireworks. Both the Boston Bruins (17 shots) and Vancouver Canucks (12 shots) produced plenty of scoring chances, yet neither team could solve the two Vezina Trophy candidates through the first 20 minutes.
Boston 0, Vancouver 0; end of first period
The Bruins finished the first frame 1-for-29 on road power plays, although they did manage nine shots on a four minute double-minor penalty early in the first period. The Canucks created some nice chances on their three man advantages as well, but again, no one could put a goal past Tim Thomas or Roberto Luongo.
As many people have already pointed out, one advantage that really stood out in the opening 20 minutes was Vancouver’s speed. The Tampa Bay Lightning frequently left the Bruins defense in the dust in their seven game series and the Canucks possess speed up and down their lineup (not to mention an exceptional transition game).
The period expired with a bit of a melee that will leave the Bruins with a two minute power play to begin the second period. Alexander Burrows received a double-minor penalty for roughing during a skirmish with Patrice Bergeron, who received a single roughing penalty. Keith Jones pointed out that Burrows also bit Bergeron’s hand during the fracas, so it’s quite possible that Burrows might face a fine and/or suspension for that boneheaded move.
Thomas and Luongo were brilliant in the first period, but we’ll see if one (or both) can keep up their great play in two more periods. Stick with PHT for periodic updates for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals and watch all the action on NBC right now.