The Tim Thomas led Boston Bruins wrapped up their first Stanley Cup since when Dick Nixon was president with their 4-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks in game seven on Wednesday night at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
Tim Thomas was never in doubt as the Conn Smythe winner and has a chance to add the Vezina Trophy to the Smythe and Stanley next Wednesday night in Las Vegas. Thomas's game seven win was the exclamation point on one of the greatest seasons ever by a goalie. Thomas saved all 37 Canuck shots and only allowed eight goals in the seven game series.
Thomas set numerous playoff records as he became the first goalie to win three game sevens in a single post season. Prior to the final game, the home team had won the first six games in the series and the team that scored first won every game.
All the Bruins' scoring was provided with two pairs of goals by Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Boston held a 23-8 goal margin during the series.
As big a story as Tim Thomas was in the series, the total collapse of Vancouver at both ends of the ice was probably more surprising. Vancouver, who won the President's Trophy, was the heavy favorite all season and in the finals. During the regular season, the Canucks scored the most goals in the league while allowing the fewest goals. Their offense, defense, and top ranked power play was non-existent in the finals.
Roberto Luongo is also a Vezina finalist but was Jekel and Hyde in the finals. He had two shutouts and another game where he allowed a single goal, On the flip side, he gave up eight goals one, four goals three times and really looked stunned in the process.
Vancouver looked to be cruising to a quick series until Aaron Rome cold-cocked Nathan Horton with a late hit at the start of game three and that was the turning point in the series. The Canucks 1-0 win in game five was the last sign of life seen from Vancouver.
As Tim Thomas shook hands with Roberto Luongo in the final line, he finally "pumped his tires" telling him that he thought that he was a great goalie. Thomas is always one of the classiest guys you'll ever see.
The highlight of the evening was Boston Captain Zdeno Chara lifting the trophy high and handing it off to Mark Recchi who may be ready to retire after winning the cup one last time. Tim Thomas was the first to take a long skate with it and he deserved the honor.
Boston fans will be celebrating for days while the enthusiastic Vancouver fans are left to sit by the sea wall and look off into the distance wondering what happened in the last five games against the Bruins.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass