That's all she wrote
"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud."
The Boston Bruins are Stanley Cup Champions for the first time in 39 years. The Vancouver Canucks remain cupless for a 41st straight year, after the Bruins won Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final 4-0.
The Canucks blew a 2-0 series lead. They blew a 3-2 series lead. At the end of the day, however, you really got the sense that the best team won the cup. When Boston won games, they were resounding victories. When the Canucks won games, they were squeakers often decided in the third period or later.
Perhaps it was the hit on Nathan Horton in Game 3 that inspired the Bruins. Perhaps it was the fact that Roberto Luongo couldn't stop a beach ball in the TD Garden. Or perhaps it was the most important fact; when it came to crunch time, the Bruins best players came to the forefront. The Canucks best players were nowhere to be found.
"The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;"
Game 7 loomed on Vancouver. The air was nothing if not electric, with crowds of people gathering at different locations to cheer their beloved Canucks on to a victory. It started well, with the Canucks winning puck battles, out shooting their opponent, and getting quality scoring chances. The first period ended, however, with the Canucks down one nothing due to a Patrice Bergeron goal.
"That ain't my style," said Casey. "Strike one," the umpire said."
In the second period, the Bruins came out flying, and the Canucks couldn't match them at all. Brad Marchand scored to make it 2-0, and then Patrice Bergeron scored his second of the game, the back breaker, shorthanded to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead.
"But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, "Strike two."
In the third, the Canucks never came with the push back that was expected. The Sedins remained stagnant. Luongo remained nervous in net. Ryan Kesler was flying, but couldn't hit the net. Alex Burrows was invisible. The writing was clearly on the wall.
When Brad Marchand scored his second of the night into an empty net in the third period, an entire province felt their hockey team gulp it's last breath of air. The dream was over, the cup lost. It would be the super slovak Zdeno Chara to hoist the cup, not the sullen swede Henrik Sedin.
When the chips were down, the best players on the Canucks disappeared. It's a tough pill to swallow, but perhaps this can be a stepping stone to a Stanley Cup victory in the future. For now however, it's a long offseason filled with disappointment and second guesses.
"And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville - mighty Casey has struck out."