This 7 game final for the CUP was the strangest CUP FINALS I have EVER experienced in over 30 years of watching! It was like watching a completely different teams when on the road (Boston) and when at home, it was odd.
In the regular season we scored the most goals and had the least goals against. We also had the best PP and our PK was in the top 3 of the whole league. In the finals for the cup (not counting the 7th game) we had scored a total of 8 goals - 5 at home and 3 on the road, and we gave up 19 - 2 at home and 17 on the road. It was like Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.
It is not just the skaters and the scores that was the Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde but also Roberto had 2 shutouts in the 3 games at home (not counting the 7th game) and only allowed 2 goals in those 3 games. In Boston Roberto allowed 17 goals. It is truly the strangest series ever!
As the series went along I could see the effect of "Tim Thomas" on the players. Tim Thomas is a good goalie, but he is not the Wayne Gretzky of Goalies. I could see how Tim Thomas got into the heads of the whole team, specially after that body-check he gave Henrik. That body-check by Thomas set it in the minds of the whole Canuck team that Thomas was NOT GOING TO BE DENIED. What I mean by the whole team is that this fear of Thomas was even in the minds of the Coaching staff as well as the players.
The 7th Game;
With the 7th game this mind game was all set. Roberto was overly concerned too. If the skaters cannot score on Thomas, Roberto cannot win the game for us, 0-0 does not produce a winner. Someone has to score and if the Canucks cannot score on Thomas where does that leaves Roberto.
Boston did not beat us for the CUP, Thomas beat us. The biggest lesson we have to learn from this is how important the mind game is in these playoffs. How our determination needs to be stronger than the opposition. Not allowing a single player to get into our heads...