Late goal gives Canucks 1-0 win over Bruins

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Late goal gives Canucks 1-0 win over Bruins

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

VANCOUVER The Bruins were 18.5 seconds away from an overtime period with the Canucks when their chances of stealing Game 1 vanished.

Ryan Kesler beat Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk to the puck at the blue line and fed a pass across ice to Jannik Hansen. Hansen fed Raffi Torres streaking to the net, and Torres put an unstoppable shot past Tim Thomas -- who had to come out and protect the shooting angle against Hansen -- to give the Canucks a 1-0 victory Wednesday night.

Thomas made 33 saves, several of them spectacular, in a mano-a-mano battle with Canucks goalie Robert Luongo.

Both netminders were dazzling. In the third period, Luongo made a great concentration stop on Michael Ryder swooping in front the left wing on one end. Moments later, Thomas stoned Maxim Lapierre on a breakaway at the other end.

The statements were set early for both goalies as the Bruins and Canucks both had six power plays in the first two periods of play, and each team enjoyed plenty of scoring chances in the back-and-forth action. The game itself had little flow due to the penalties, but a couple of things were clear: The Canucks were more physical than their reputation that had preceded them, and the Bruins were a bit faster on their skates than perhaps Vancouver had anticipated.

The intensity and Stanley Cup Final frenzy spilled over multiple times on the ice with thunderous hits and hate-filled scrums between the two teams. That new-found vitriol was punctuated by a skirmish between Alexandre Burrows and Patrice Bergeron at the end of the first period that ended with Bostons even-tempered center losing his cool.

Replays of the incident at the end of the first period revealed that Burrows bit into Bergerons gloved right hand and his index finger, and it appeared that No. 37 showed the referees his bloodied finger after the two combatants were separated.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

A complete Bruins draft review with Kirk Luedeke

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A complete Bruins draft review with Kirk Luedeke

CSNNE.com Insider Joe Haggerty is joined by NHL Draft expert Kirk Luedeke to discuss the 2016 NHL Draft class of the Boston Bruins. How soon will first pick Charlie McAvoy be ready? Was Trent Federic a reach with pick #29?

Felger: Bruins have no choice but to overpay for defenseman

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Felger: Bruins have no choice but to overpay for defenseman

Yes, four first-round picks for Jacob Trouba is crazy.

Yes, two firsts and David Pastrnak for Kevin Shattenkirk is stupid.

And, of course, Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson is ridiculous. (Remember Bruins fans: As bad as it's been, it could be worse. Peter Chiarelli could still be here.)

No one is disputing that the asking price for good, young defensemen across the NHL has gone haywire. If you're acquiring one of those players, you are likely going to lose the deal, and that's no way to run a franchise.

But here's the question for the Bruins: What's the alternative? Do the Bruins want to try and win in the Patrice Bergeron window or not?

That's what it comes down to for the B's. Bergeron will turn 31 in three weeks, and while he may have plenty of seasons left, his time as one of the best two-way players in the NHL is certainly more finite. He will likely be out of that elite status by the time anyone currently in the B's system develops into the type of No. 1 defenseman the team so desperately needs -- if there's even anyone who fits that description in the first place.

In other words, if the B's want a top-pairing defenseman anytime soon, they're going to have to pay for it. Or overpay for it. Draft picks. Players. Offer sheets. Whatever. Something unappealing is going to have to go out the door.

If there's another way, I'd like to know what it is. There's virtually nothing to choose from in the unrestricted pool. And everyone on the current depth chart is either too old, too young or too crappy.

So four first-rounders and a $7 million annual cap hit for Trouba? That's an impossible price to wrap your head around, until you consider the alternatives.

Ideally, the B's are using that Jets offer sheet threat as a leverage play, an attempt to create options in hopes the Blues lower their ask on Shattenkirk, or the Ducks lower their price on Cam Fowler. Maybe the B's have been trying to work a trade with the Jets for Trouba himself and are just bringing a hammer to the table. Lower your demands or we'll offer sheet him. Perhaps that offer sheet isn't even a realistic consideration and is nothing more than noise.

I have no idea. The only thing I know is that the B's still stink on D.

The players they have drafted the last few years may not be any good, and if they are it will be a half-decade before they're capable of playing the kind of playoff minutes necessary to contend for a Cup. The Bruins keep saying they want to contend now, which is pretty much impossible given the personnel on the blue line.

So what do they want? To wait for the kids and blow the rest of Bergeron's prime? Or give up an exorbitant price in a deal they'll very likely lose?

I'd probably lean towards the later, but there's really no right answer. It's called Bruins.

Email Felger at mfelger@comcastsportsnet.com. Listen to Felger and Mazz daily from 2-6 p.m. The simulcast runs on CSN.

Kalman: Bruins have to wait for secondary market of defensemen

Kalman: Bruins have to wait for secondary market of defensemen

Matt Kalman provides his take on what the Boston Bruins should do in terms of potentially landing a top defenseman this offseason.