One of the things that I loathe about hockey journalists in general is that, despite being entrusted with the responsibility of preparing the first draft of history, they seem to generally have zero sense of history except to the extent that they can shoehorn something awkwardly into a piece of narrative. If you follow Terry Jones on Twitter, you’ll know that 80% of overtime games, he references Petr Klima and whoever’s been sitting on the bench that night.
With the Canucks having blown a 2-0 lead in the series along with various synapses in Nathan Horton’s brain, they return to Vancouver as a team in trouble. The Bruins are in their head. Boston’s hitting has started to wear them down. The Rome hit on Horton woke up Boston, who were otherwise ambivalent about winning. Roberto Luongo can’t win the big game again, despite nearly shutting down Chicago in a massively pressurized game in G7 of the first round and winning Olympic gold last year.
It’s probably worth mentioning at this point that teams that win the first two at home and then get hammered on the road have done OK in the rest of the series since expansion. Eight teams in that situation have lost games 3 and 4 by a combined 6 goals or more; 5 of them have gone on to win the series. In 1975, Buffalo went to Montreal, leading their series 2-0. They got spanked 7-0 and 8-2 to head back to Buffalo tied. The Sabres won the series in six games.
Does any of what went on in Boston matter in terms of understanding this series? It might if you’re trying to spin a story. If you’re trying to understand what it means in the context of who might win the series though, you’re probably best served paying attention to the people who are backing up their opinions with money. According to Betfair, they think that there’s a 61% chance that the Canucks win the series.