Well, the 2010 Bruins are not off the hook.
Unlike last year’s Boston squad, this spring’s Vancouver Canucks allowed Chicago to rally back from 0-3 down in a best-of-seven series but then defended their home turf in Game 7 to the tune of a 2-1 win.
The top-seeded, Presidents’ Trophy-winning Canucks are on to the second round with their Stanley Cup aspirations still intact, mostly thanks to Alex Burrows. The power forward scored twice, including the game-winner in overtime with just 5:22 elapsed. For his efforts, Burrows is the TheBruinsBlog.net Star of the Night.
Burrows’ teammates bailed him out by killing his penalty earlier in the overtime. And then he relieved the tension of an entire team and city with his goal. Here’s how Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun described the post-goal celebration:
[He got hit] by every one of his 19 teammates, who piled on him and hugged him and whooped it up as though they’d won the damned Stanley Cup — and maybe, if that’s what happens six or seven weeks from now, it’s not going to feel any better than this for a team that looked as though it had blown Game 7 the same way it had blown a 3-0 series lead.
So what hit Burrows was the weight of his fellow strivers, and of his franchise, and of his city, all wrapping him up in a great big thank-you for salvaging — at the end of a whale of a hockey game — their good name.
Every Game 7 needs a hero. The Bruins didn’t find one last season. They’re hoping one shows up tonight. For Vancouver, Alex Burrows might’ve just penned his own chapter of a victorious folk story.
Honorable mention: Roberto Luongo (31-for-32 saves) of Vancouver; Jonathan Toews (GTG with 1:56 left) of Chicago; Carey Price (31-for-32 saves) of Montreal; Brian Boucher (26-for-28 saves), Daniel Briere (1-1-2) and Braydon Coburn (G, plus-2) of Philadelphia.
Last night’s scores
Montreal 2, Boston 1
Philadelphia 5, Buffalo 2
Vancouver 2, Chicago 1 (OT)
Montreal at Boston, 7
Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh, 8