The game is over, and ecstatic Boston fans leave the stadium with glowing eyes and waving flags. In a display of stilling joy the priceless Stanley Cup is hastily passed from one grateful Bruins player to the next. Canuck fans are filed out too, but with eerily dejected gazes and slumping shoulders.
Where did the difference lay? Both teams were passionate, and both represented the heart of their home cities. Could it be in the quality of the coaches, or the amount of funding for better service? No, it seemed that the heart of the Canucks loss lay in their endurance; their heart. After two goals all viewers who were watching the game at this small Nanaimo residence could feel the disheartened threat of loss on the shoulders of the players. It was at this time that the Bruins had opportunity to gain strong confidence and fall back on their defence, and what defence it was!
Tim Thomas, the Boston Bruins’ goaltender won Conn Smythe Trophy; an award given for the most “valuable” player in the playoffs. He won this primarily for his 37 saves, and 96.75% stop rate.
When asked, Michael Jensen (a new found Canucks fan) said “they seemed to be good at a lot of things…but easily taken back when confronted”. In this sense, the first goal can be a game decider in itself, because it shows who the aggressive, dominating team is. Tonight that was Boston, and it remained apparent until the very end of the 4-0 game. Mark Quiambo, another fan said that “[this] game really provided insight into what the Canucks can do for the next season. I mean, even though this wasn’t really a failure, it is grounds for improvement, right?” He spoke the truth, because even though the Canucks didn’t come out the best, they still put out their own best effort.
The challenge for next year is raising that bar, and focus training on the weakest points. It is this self-improvement that is the challenge, because it is now up to all the players, whether it be Christian Ehrhoff or Roberto Luongo, to identify what they did well and what they need to do better next time. That will be the deciding factor for next season, and maybe then it will be Vancouver’s turn. It may not, depending on if they are willing to work for that growth.
As fans we will have to wait and see, and maybe take a page out of Boston’s book, for the strong and self-disciplined will rule the ice-or their life. We must accept that every year the most deserving team wins, and this year it was the Boston Bruins. Congratulations to them right now, and good luck to Vancouver in the future! All we can do is train, and hope that our team brings it back home.
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