Throwback to Game 3 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final… otherwise known as the game where everything changed for the Vancouver Canucks.
The Canucks had a 2-0 series lead over the Boston Bruins when the two teams headed to Boston for a pivotal Game 3. That’s when things really went off the rails for the Canucks.
Most hockey fans know the story. Aaron Rome woke up a sleeping giant when he delivered a hard open ice hit on Bruins forward Nathan Horton, taking him out of the series early in the game. Brad Marchand used Daniel Sedin as his own personal punching bag. Alex Burrows bit Patrice Bergeron’s fingers. It was a crazy, crazy, crazy hockey game that ended up with a lopsided score of 8-1 for the Bruins.
One play that mostly goes forgotten in that crazy game though was the outright TACKLING of Canucks captain Henrik Sedin by Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas.
Uh… is that legal?
Thomas, for what it’s worth, was not penalized on the play… but let’s be real, the Bruins got away with a LOT of unpenalized plays during this series.
Thomas though offered up a defence for his play:
“He was catching the puck. That happens a lot in practice off of rebounds and stuff like that, where the guy reaches up to catch the puck. I’ve learned from practice if you wait for him, he can put it down this way or he can put it down this way.
“I get scored on in practice if I sit back and try to react to where he sits the puck down with his hand. I had 1/100th of a second to make a decision of what I was going to do. That’s the way I decided to play it to try to keep the puck out of the net.”
The rest, as they say, is history. The Canucks and the Bruins would go on to make this series one of the best in modern day NHL history with the Bruins coming out on top in Game 7. Looking back though it’s hard not to think that the Bruins gained a serious mental advantage in Game 3 thanks to the likes of Thomas, Marchand and, in an indirect way, Horton.