I can barely hold my head up as I type this. The reason? Lack of sleep due to an epic 5 hour long marathon that was Game 1 in the Stanley Cup finals series between the Vancouver Canucks and the Dallas Stars here in Vancouver last night. I know I have been posting pretty much only hockey related stuff of late, but let’s face it – they live and breath the sport here like a religion (just like Melbournians and their AFL back at home), and when in Rome…
Anyway back to last night’s game. Straight up I have to thank Bosh and Andrea for their fantastic hospitality once again. They sure do know how to host a game. Thanks guys. Everyone rocked up for the 7:00pm puck drop (which actually occurred at 7:11pm following the National Anthems etc), and if we were to believe all of the pre-game commentary, with the highly rated keeping pair of Luie (Roberto Luongo) and Marty Turco sitting in the goals, we weren’t going to see a lot of scoring. Nothing could be further from the truth. By the end of three periods of regulation time the scores were locked at 4-4 in a game that was lacking physical match-ups but certainly not intensity.
For the purpose of the Aussies reading this back home, during the regular season games that end in a tie go to a period of extra time followed by the always entertaining shoot-out if required. Not so during finals. Oh no. These combatants duke it out for another period of 20 minutes (the same as a normal period of hockey) under the “sudden death” rule where the next goal wins.
To cut a long story short, the Canucks/Stars game last night went to a fourth period of overtime (the equivalent of a whole second game plus one extra period). It looked like the Stars might have had the edge up until the end of the second period of extra time, but Luongo who must surely be in the running for this year’s League MVP was rock solid, and gave the likes of Jeff Cowan and the Sedin twins the chance to shift it up another gear ultimately concluding with this magical moment at 12:32am local time – after five hours and 21 minutes of elapsed viewing time.
Some quick stats:
- The game which involved four periods of extra time was the 6th longest NHL playoff game in history.
- Roberto Luongo’s superhuman 76 stops was the most shots faced by a goaltender in a Stanley Cup playoff game (since 1956).
I’m exhausted just typing this out. I can only imagine how the boys felt this morning after last night.
Bring on game two tomorrow night!!!