With Roberto Luongo sitting on the bench, the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Boston Bruins 4-3 in a rematch of the Stanley Cup final rivals. Back-up goaltender Cory Schneider played a strong game as Bruin fans chanted "WE WANT LUONGO" all night. The game did not disappoint Canuck fans who set their alarm clocks to get up for the early morning start. There were over 100 minutes in penalties in what has become among the most heated rivalries in the NHL. The Canucks power play scored 4 goals, including one by fan favourite Alex Burrows.
After Luongo's meltdown in last year's final that inspired riots and looting in the streets of Vancouver, it was the right move by the coach to put him on the bench. Infact if it were me, I'd have sent him right to their next destination and just kept Roberto away from Boston altogether. He sat on the bench and watched his back-up do something he could not do 6 months ago (win in Boston), while the fans repeatedly mocked him with chants all night. Given his fragile psyche, there was no good reason to have him in the building where he could get his feelings hurt. He's been playing very well in December and January (as he always does) and you don't want to risk derailing that in a city where he is prone to meltdowns.
Brad Marchand taking out Sami Salo at the knees was a malicious play worthy of a suspension. Boston coach Claude Julien should also get a game for his ridiculous statement after the game that he teaches his players to defend themselves so they don't get hurt like Marc Savard. Seriously??? Launching himself like a torpedo into Salo's knees is self defense? Both players were skating for a loose puck and Marchand ignored the puck and turned into an unsuspecting player with a submarine hit. And for that the coach is invoking the memory of Marc Savard? That's insane.