EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

June 9, 2011

Are Canucks really paper lions?

BOSTON — A few days ago they roared like lions. They also bit, mocked and, for all we know, had begun chilling the Champagne.

The Vancouver Canucks, the unequivocal best hockey team in the world from the last week of October through the first few days of June, won a pair nail-biters 2,500 miles away and they appeared to be having fun in the midst of their seven-month winning streak.

Probably too much fun.

Being we are the most provinicial metropolitan area in the world and watch little hockey outside of our little comfort zone from Montreal to, say Pittsburgh, we took people on their word about the Canucks and their dominance.

We were told they can win 6-5 and 1-0. Pick your poison, as they say.

Well, we saw 1-0 in the opener, when Vancover's Raffi Torres scored with 18 seconds remaining in the game. They were right, we surmised. A few days later, it was 3-2 in overtime, this time a fluky goal by Alexandre Burrows just 11 seconds into overtime.

Here we are just a days after that "insurmountable" 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Finals and the Canucks, to put it bluntly, stink. I mean really, really stink.

Their power play is 1-for-21. And their No. 1 goalie has given up 12 goals in four periods.

By the last few minutes of last night's 4-0 win by the Boston Bruins, on the heels of an 8-1 drubbing two evenings earlier, the skate was on the other foot when it came to mocking.

First it was Bruins forward Brad Marchand ducking as Daniel Sedin, making his first attempt at a check in the series, approached him along the boards only to be upended on his keister. After that, Bruins goalie Tim Thomas initiated a fight with Vancouver's Alexandre Burrows in front of his goal.

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