VANCOUVER – Rogers Arena has been a British Columbian version of hell for the Bruins. It’s where their scoring goes to die, and where they’ve suffered their last three losses. Now, all they can hope is that they get to play there again.
With the Canucks taking Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals in 1-0 fashion thanks to a goal from fan not-so-favorite Maxim Lapierre, the only way the Bruins will be able to win the Stanley Cup is if they do so at Rogers.
It’s now been five straight road games without a win for the Bruins, but if they can find a way to make their way back to Vancouver, the win they would seek would mean far more than any of the others. But for now, the story remains that they can’t get it done outside of Boston.
“I don't know how to explain it,” Lucic said. “Especially in a series where you don't have home ice advantage, you've got to find a way to win at least one game on the road if you want to come out on top. For some reason in the last give games we haven't been able to do that, but you can't focus on it too much on it right now.
“The focus is we're going home to play a game where we have been pretty good as of late, and we've got to look at this as an opportunity and in a positive manner.
As far as Boston is concerned, Rogers Arena is a haunted house, and now the Bruins would do anything for one last run through it. Here are four other things learned Friday in Vancouver:
WHERE DID ALL THE SCORING GO?
It was a few minutes into the second period when it started to settle in for anyone observing Friday’s game. It was going to be another one-goal game in Vancouver, and given the way the previous two had turned out in Rogers Arena, that wasn’t a great sign for the Bruins.
All of that traffic and the quality scoring chances the Bruins got in Games 3 and 4? That didn’t make its way out west as the Canucks once again tightened things up to paint a picture far more reminiscent of Games 1 and 2.
“They talked about having a tighter gap, especially in the neutral zone. They did do that,” Lucic said. “At times, we weren't moving our feet and we were standing still, where in Boston, a reason why were able to be good in the neutral zone was because we were able to create speed. We've got to find a way to create that speed again.”
Roberto Luongo had far too easy a night in getting his fourth shutout of the postseason. If the Bruins want to see him on the bench again, as he was in the third period of Game 4, they’ll need to create more than they have in Vancouver.
“I think it was more us than them tonight,” Patrice Bergeron said. “We've got to make sure that we're staying in it and getting right back at it in Boston.”
GREGORY CAMPELL OR NO GREGORY CAMPBELL, POWER PLAY FAR FROM SPECIAL
Claude Julien told Gregory Campell Friday morning that he would be putting him on the one of the team’s power play units, explaining to the fourth-line center that his net-front presence could help the team on the man advantage.
In three first-period power plays, there was plenty of Campbell (2:17), but there was barely any evidence of why they put him out there due to the team’s inability to get set up. The Canucks repeatedly cleared the puck with ease through the first two, and though the B’s got better looks on their third man advantage of the night, no positive steps taken were enough to counter how limited the B’s were on the man advantage Friday.
“He just said that they want net presence,” Campbell recalled of his talk with the coach. “Unfortunately, we didn’t really get anything set up.”
The B’s had three opportunities to get on the board via a power play goal in the first to seize momentum on the road, but couldn’t. The power play’s struggles remained a black eye for the Bruins throughout the night, as they couldn’t even set up, let alone convert chances into goals.
“Tonight was certainly not a good night for our power play,” Julien said. “It wasn't a good night for our whole team, as far as creating good, quality scoring chances. “We had some, but the thing we need to do a lot better is get to that front of the net. “We had guys there, but on the side. We need to be a little more aggressive in that area than we were tonight. That's so huge for our hockey club and we need that.”
BURROWS, LAPIERRE NOT APPEALING TO REFS
Take your pick regarding which of the Canucks' dives this series has been the worst, as there have been plenty of candidates. To no one's surprise, Lapierre and Alexandre Burrows sent in a couple more submissions Friday night. After making limited contact with Zdeno Chara's stick, Lapierre suddenly acted as though he was faking a stomach ulcer. Canucks fans were enraged by the lack of a call on the play, but the refs weren't buying it.
Burrows was given the gate for a dive in the second period on a play in which Lucic went off for tripping. As the night went on, the despicable attempts at drawing penalties persisted, and by the third period the refs didn’t even seem to be looking Burrows’ way.
That’s the good news. It seems the officials have finally picked up on the fact that the Canadiens wouldn’t be caught dead playing the way some of the Canucks have.
LUCIC PUTS UP ANOTHER GOOSE EGG
If you were shocked by Milan Lucic’s zero-shot performance on Friday, maybe you shouldn’t have been. Game 5 was actually the fourth time this postseason in which the B’s first-line left wing has failed to register a shot on goal.
Yet when such a performance comes in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals, it should be a concern, even if it isn’t a surprise. Michael Ryder and Brad Marchand also failed to get pucks on Luongo, but Lucic is a guy who seemed to be a player capable of elevating his play in the postseason. After all, when the Bruins’ season was on the line in Game 7 against the Flyers last year, Lucic potted a pair of goals. Now, his nine points in 23 games can be pointed at by fans looking for postseason disappointments.
“Especially for myself, it's not good enough to come out of a game like this with no shots on goal,” Lucic said. “You've got to find a way to play big in big games. There's no excuses. For myself and as a line we need to find a way to be better going into the next game.”