Game one of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins was everything it was billed to be after five days of media build-up with no live hockey to discuss.
The game was evenly played for the first two periods but you could see Vancouver getting a bit of an edge in the third period. In almost storybook fashion, Ryan Kesler stole the puck at the blue line and got it to Jannik Hanson who sent it on to an open Raffi Torres who nailed the only goal of the game with 18.5 seconds left.
Make the jump for more random thoughts...
I was a little concerned about my prediction of Vancouver in five as Boston hung in the game better than I expected but I felt better by games end.
Both Roberto Luongo and Tim Thomas looked Vezina Trophy worthy. It was the first game one that ended 1-0 since 1984 when Grant Fuhr led the Oilers past Edmonton.
Luongo also shut out the Predators in game one of the Nashville series. It was the eight straight series that the Canucks has won game one.
The two teams don't appear to like each other and after the officials were really ticky-tack in the opening period, tempers flared at the end of the first 20 minutes. After 13 penalties in the first two periods, there were none in the third.
I doubt anything will happen from Alex Burrow's bite on Patrice Bergeron who stuck his glove in Burrow's mouth.
Dan Hamhuis looked like he forgot how to do his patented hip check on the play when he was injured. He is allegedly day-to-day.
Seventy shots in the opening game was probably more than was expected. Daniel Sedin's eight shots had to be frustrating for him. Sixty-one hits seems about right.
Seeing Zdeno Chara jump in the faceoff circle and battle for a win was different.
After all the discussion about the Canuck's power play and Boston's lack of one, it was a non factor in game one.
Torres' game winning goal was the latest since Mario Lemieux scored giving Pittsburgh a 5-4 win with 13 seconds left on May 26, 1992.
A lot of folks were calling the 1-0 game "boring." In Nashville, we call it a great game, especially when the Preds win.
Tell-tale stat: Teams winning Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final have gone on to win the championship in 55 of
71 seasons (77%) since the League introduced the best-of-seven format in 1939.
Alain Vigneault was much more forthcoming in the post game than he was when he was in Nashville. Also coined the term "mid-body" injury.
The 5 p.m. Pacific start did not appear to slow the enthusiasm of the Vancouver work-day crowd. I'm sure they will be full tilt on Saturday with all day to prepare.
NHL Network had great post-game coverage. I liked the expanded desk so Deb Placey could fit in. Kevin Weekes looked dapper as ever
Finally, here are the highlights...
Buddy Oakes for PredsontheGlass