So far, the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks have played 40 minutes of score-less hockey and managed to register 13 penalties and 28 penalty minutes combined in that time. I mentioned that the two teams didn’t need the normal “feeling out process” during the first period, but it’s also tough to tell where each squad stands thanks to their shared steady stream to the penalty box.
No one should doubt either goalie, though. Roberto Luongo already has 26 saves while Tim Thomas put aside 20 shots as neither team has been able to solve either netminder through the first two periods.
Boston 0, Vancouver 0; end of second period
As many expected, Zdeno Chara has been a big difference maker so far. He already registered 20 minutes of ice time, helping to shut down an explosive Vancouver power play (a Game 2-leading 6:17 of shorthanded time on ice so far) and wearing many hats in general. Bruins coach Claude Julien tried him in front of the net on the power play while Chara even beat Ryan Kesler for a faceoff. Many people cannot help but wonder: is there anything Big Z cannot do?
(Apparently, he can even get high-sticked … twice, to be exact, in Game 1 so far.)
It looks like Keith Ballard isn’t the only Vancouver Canucks defenseman who can land a brutal (but legal) hip check. Dan Hamhuis delivered a nice one on Milan Lucic, but he might end up regretting that hit because of David Krejci’s cross-checking retaliation. Edit: Upon further viewings of the situation, it seems more likely that Lucic’s fall hurt Hamhuis while Krejci didn’t actually seem to cross-check Hamhuis.
Hamhuis left the ice after that cross-check and hasn’t been back on Vancouver’s bench yet. Losing Hamhuis would be a major blow to the oft-injured Canucks defense since the 2011 free agent acquisition is one of their shutdown blueliners.
This has been an intense, entertaining and sloppy Game 1 so far. Out of context, a 0-0 game might seem boring, but this one has been brimming with physicality, scoring chances and a bit of controversy. You never know in a playoff year as wacky as this one, but it’s quite possible that the first goal might just win this game.
Who will blink first (or the most)? We’ll find out in the third period and possibly overtime.