|06.15.11 at 1:38 pm ET|
VANCOUVER — Both the Canucks and Bruins players have provided enough drama for the Stanley Cup finals without the press exaggerating their words the way the players have exaggerated plays to get penalties.
Yet the media up here pulled a bit of a Maxim Lapierre this week when they turned Daniel Sedin saying he was confident his team would take Game 7 into a guaranteed victory.
“We’re 3-3 and we won all three games at home and we have the fourth game at home,” Sedin, who used the words “will win,” told the Vancouver Sun. “So we have the seventh game at home and we’ll take that. We are confident.”
The Canucks’ alternate captain wasn’t pleased with the idea that he guaranteed victory, and said Wednesday that expressing confidence at home is different from providing a guarantee.
“I didn’t do that,” he said. “I said if we bring our best game, I like our chances. You can never guarantee anything in life, but I can guarantee you that we’re going to bring the best tonight. That’s been good enough in 99 percent of the games this year, and I hope it’s going to be enough tonight.”
Said coach Alain Vigneault: “Well, what did you expect him to say? We’re in this to win. Daniel is one of our leaders on our group and believes in the group. He expressed it. I think it’s a normal thing to do at this time.”
Asked where he was when he found out that he’d guaranteed a Game 7 victory, Sedin could only laugh at the path his words have taken.
“That’s media making a big deal out of it. If we play our best, I like our chances. If guys want to take that as a guarantee’¦” Daniel said, finishing the sentence with a puzzled shrug and a laugh.
|06.15.11 at 1:18 pm ET|
With the Stanley Cup finals clincher getting closer, here are a few statistics worth noting about Game 7:
— The home team is 12-3 all-time in Game 7s in the Stanley Cup finals.
— Canadian teams are 4-0 all-time at home in Game 7s during the Stanley Cup finals.
— The Canucks have won six straight games at home. They had two streaks of six straight wins at home during the regular season but never got to seven straight.
— No team has ever won three Game 7s in the same playoff year.
— The Bruins have never won a Game 7 on the road in any playoff series. They are 0-4, with the last loss coming against the Canadiens in 2008.
|06.15.11 at 11:59 am ET|
The city of Vancouver is preparing for Game 7 and the mass of people that will take to its streets. Almost 100,000 people are expected to pack the streets both during and following the game. The Vancouver police have a plan in place similar to the Olympics to maintain crowd control, called “meet and greet.”
“We’re a part of the crowd and we’re part of the event,” police spokesman Lindsey Houghton said. “It’s way more fun, a much better experience, the night goes by quick and at the end of the day everybody’s got stories to tell.”
Police are not expecting anything close to the riots that followed the Canucks’ Game 7 loss in 1994. Houghton said there has been a change in the party culture. “It’s a different atmosphere around here,” he said.
City liquor stores have been requested to close early, and police from other cites have been called in for reinforcement.
|06.15.11 at 11:15 am ET|
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review notes that only three road teams in any North American professional sport have won a Game 7 over the past four decades. Those teams all have come from Pittsburgh.
The Pirates have two Game 7 wins on road. In 1971 they defeated the Orioles, 2-1, in Baltimore. In 1979 the Pirates also faced the Orioles in the World Series. The Pirates also won that series in seven games, with the seventh game being played in Baltimore. The Pirates won by a score of 4-1.
Most recently, the Penguins won Game 7 on the road to capture the 2009 Stanley Cup. They defeated the Red Wings, 2-1. That series went exactly the same way the Bruins-Canucks series has gone so far, with the home team winning every game, until Game 7 when the Penguins finally won on the opposing team’s ice.
|06.15.11 at 11:04 am ET|
Former NHL referee Kerry Fraser joined the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to offer his thoughts from a referee’s viewpoint on the Stanley Cup finals. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
‘This is not a typical series, certainly not a typical Stanley Cup final,” Fraser said. “We’ve seen such crazy, bizarre things go on, and the officials have certainly been under a lot of scrutiny. There has been some inconsistencies for sure, from my perspective. They need to make sure they are well prepared and call that first penalty that happens, otherwise they’re going to be batting uphill all night.’
Fraser was asked about Game 7s and if the referees don’t call as many penalties as in other games.
‘It’s got to be imagined,” he said of that perception. “The players will dictate what the officials do and how they respond. That being said, the officials have to respond appropriately. I found in most Game 7s, the players just want to play. All the stuff that happened in the previous six games is over, it’s forgotten, now it’s do or die. … This is the kind of game where one call, one penalty can make a huge difference in the outcome of the game.”
When asked about the Johnny Boychuk hit that knocked out Mason Raymond for the rest of the series, Fraser said he didn’t feel like it was deserving of a suspension. “The Vancouver fans are furious,” Fraser said. “That was a normal, acceptable kind of play. Twenty seconds in, Johnny fork-hooked the legs of Raymond. It should have been a two-minute hooking or interference penalty. That was it. Once he turned him and their momentum carried him into the boards, it was an awkward position, that’s all it was. There was no suspension deserved.”
|06.15.11 at 10:08 am ET|
The Green Men duo ‘ Force and Sully ‘ made it through Game 6 at TD Garden without any incident.
“The Bruins were up 4-0 after 10 minutes, they were just so focused on the fact that they were going to go to Game 7, they were kind of leaving us alone,” Force said. “There was no threats of violence, no beer throwing.”
The duo was amused at the fact that every time a Canucks fan exited the building Bruins fans gave them a standing ovation.
“We really thought the Canucks were going to take it home, and when you’re out of the game only 10 minutes in, it’s really deflating to know you’re going to have to sit there and watch these guys get pummeled for another two hours,” Force said.
|06.15.11 at 9:04 am ET|
According to The Globe and Mail of Toronto, ticket prices on the secondary market for Game 7 have been falling dramatically since the Bruins dispatched the Canucks in Game 6, although the prices remain at record high levels.
Vancouver ticket broker Mario Livich said his business has been swamped by concerned Canucks fans. “These are people who don’t believe the Canucks are going to win the game, and then they’ll feel like dummies for not selling their tickets and making a lot of money,” Livich said. “If people believe, they’ll pay anything. But the way the Canucks bungled into Game 7 has really affected the market.”
On Tuesday, ticket prices ranged from $2,500 to more than $6,000.
British Columbia Premier Christy Clark will attend the game with her son, Hamish, after receiving tickets from the Canucks (and filing a disclosure statement to avoid breaking any rules). Clark predicted a four-game sweep by the Canucks before the series began, and she also predicted a 3-2 victory for Vancouver in Game 6. She did not offer a Game 7 prediction after noting, “I’ve been wrong in every case so far.”
Meanwhile, a man responding to a Craigslist offer of two tickets for $4,00 reportedly was robbed at gunpoint after entering a vehicle to make the exchange.