|06.13.11 at 11:59 am ET|
Even if the Bruins lose Game 6 Monday night, there is speculation that Tim Thomas will win the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP. At Canada’s Sportsnet website, Ian Mendes writes that he’s hearing from fellow media members Thomas is the favorite, but he makes a case for Thomas’ counterpart, Roberto Luongo. The premise of his argument is that Luongo had bad games in Boston when the Canucks were going to lose anyhow, so ignore those games and focus instead on how well he’s played in the rest of the playoffs.
‘¦ The Toronto Star has five questions for Game 6, including the question: Which Bruin will step up and replace the clutch scoring of Nathan Horton? The last question, which will not sit well with Bruins fans, is: If the Canucks win, who will be the first players to handle the Stanley Cup?
‘¦ Following a relatively tame series against the Lightning, the Bruins have had no shortage of villains step forward for the Canucks. In the National Post, Sean Fitz-Gerald recaps and analyzes the controversy from the finals.
|06.13.11 at 11:01 am ET|
The cinematic YouTube tale of “Johnny Canuck” is trending in Canada, and a Huffington Post article Monday morning is sure to boost its U.S. popularity leading up to Monday’s Game 6.
The video tells the history of Johnny Canuck, a Canadian mountain man who has suffered at the hands of rangers, islanders and years of incompetence, only to rise above everyone to face off against the bruins (played by an actual bear) for the chance to win it all.
The video, originally published Thursday, was directed by and stars Adam MacKay-Smith, the force behind British Columbia-based entertainment company Sugar High Entertainment.
|06.13.11 at 10:57 am ET|
Stanley Cup finals play-by-play announcer Doc Emrick checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to offer his thoughts on Game 6. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Emrick picked the Bruins to win Monday night.
‘I think the more desperate team stands to win,’ Emrick said, adding: “The memory of Boston games here against Vancouver is a pretty strong and emphatic one. These were not close games. All three of the ones in Vancouver were one-goal games. So, I fully expect, I would not be shocked to look back at Vancouver for a Game 7.’
Emrick added that Game 7s are a ‘dice roll.’
‘Pawtucket could beat the BoSox in a Game 7,’ he said. ‘You get a couple of breaks, and all of a sudden you’re in there and you’re winning a game. The Bruins have been the underdogs the whole series, and there’s nothing says they can’t win a Game 7. I think they will win this one tonight, but there’s nothing that says they can’t take a seventh.’
Emrick said that plays like Alex Burrows‘ bite and Aaron Rome‘s illegal hit, regardless of how dirty they might have really been, have been useful in generating fan support for the Bruins.
‘You don’t have to stretch too far to find villains in this one compared to others,’ Emrick said. ‘I think the nature of the fouls and the grievances are the thing that make it unique compared to others. We haven’t had this many penalty minutes in a finals series in over 20 years.’
|06.13.11 at 9:42 am ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley called in to the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to talk about the Stanley Cup finals and Game 6. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Brickley said that despite Vancouver’s home-ice domination during the Stanley Cup finals, the Canucks certainly aren’t going to sit back Monday night and wait to play Game 7 back home.
‘They want to end this thing tonight, because anything can happen in Game 7,’ Brickley said. ‘And you don’t know how you are going to come out of Game 6 in terms of your health.’
The Bruins, meanwhile, must counter with the determination to prevent the Canucks from celebrating on their ice.
‘Not in our building, not in our house, not at the Garden,’ Brickley said. ‘They do not win a Stanley Cup on here on our ice in front of our fans.’
‘I think there’s a hint of jealousy in what he’s saying about Tim Thomas,’ Brickley said.
|06.13.11 at 9:34 am ET|
Pederson said he was surprised at the Bruins’ inability to match the Canucks’ intensity in Game 5 Friday night.
“Momentum has been funny this series,” Pederson said. “The Bruins had momentum going out to Vancouver and I thought let Vancouver off the hook. They didn’t make [Roberto] Luongo‘s life very difficult. They had four power plays, and all they needed was just even one to get some momentum. Vancouver, to me, was the far more desperate hockey club, outhitting and taking the play to the Bruins.”
Asked about Luongo’s comments regarding Tim Thomas, Pederson said Luongo may have been affected by all the pressure he faced going back to Vancouver and felt a little smug after posting a shutout following two routs in Boston.
“Tim Thomas has played spectacular this entire series, every game,” Pederson said. “Win, lose or draw, I think Tim Thomas is going to be your Conn Smythe winner anyway. To me, it was more of [Luongo] was just relieved they had won the game.”
Pederson talked about the Bruins’ matchups ‘ specifically how they try to get defensemen Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg on the ice against the Canucks’ first line ‘ and how it’s affected the attack.
“I think they work so hard at trying to get that, I think sometimes it takes away from your offense,” Pederson said. “If they’re able to win tonight, which I expect, then I would think maybe they may try to change things up a little bit [for Game 7] and maybe split Chara and Seidenberg so that one of two of those are on the ice every time.”
Pederson picked Milan Lucic as the key to the Bruins’ offensive success.
“I think that’s going to be the key for the Bruins, is attacking, five-man attack, get the forechecking game going and get the Garden crowd into this thing early on,” he said. “We said it all season long, obviously Thomas is the key in goal, but to me, the key person up front is Milan Lucic. He’s the key that sets the pace for this hockey club. He’s the guy that gets that puck dumped softly into the corner, making the defenseman turn around, and that’s defenseman knows ‘ he can hear him coming ‘ he knows it’s going to be a big hit. And as soon as that big hit happens, the Garden crowd goes crazy, momentum happens and the Bruins can get a team on the run.”
|06.13.11 at 7:52 am ET|
The man who goes by the name of Force, half of the Green Men duo, joined the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning as he prepared to head to the airport in Vancouver for his flight to Boston for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals.
Force, who dresses up in a green spandex bodysuit to cheer on his team and taunt the opposition, said 90 percent of Bostonians treated the Green Men well during their previous visit (watch the video here), but the other 10 percent “made up for it” by antagonizing him and his partner, Sully. He expects a similar reaction Monday night.
Said Force: “I think win or lose, Bruins fans are going to intensify their hatred toward us. I fully expect it. ‘¦ They definitely made it known we are not welcome for Games 3 and 4, so I can only imagine it’s going to be worse tonight.”
Force and Sully are on a direct flight to Boston with about 50 other fans. Cautioned Force of his fellow Canucks backers: “I hope they are well aware that if they weren’t there for 3 and 4, they’re in for a hostile situation.”
Asked for a prediction on Game 6, Force did not voice any confidence.
“The Canucks are so hit-and-miss on the road and the Bruins have been so dominant in TD Garden,” he said. “To be honest, I think the Canucks will have a hard time winning tonight. ‘¦ I’m hoping the Canucks pull it out, but it’s going to be tough.”
|06.13.11 at 4:03 am ET|
The Bruins are playing in either their last game or second to last game Monday. Either way, it will be the finale at the Garden as the B’s look to fend off elimination and force a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, which would be played back in British Columbia. Here’s the preview of Monday’s contest.
SIX THINGS THE BRUINS NEED TO DO
– Make it about quality, not quantity: Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo has faced 30 or more shots in each of his shutouts in the finals, and both of those blankings have been cakewalks. The Bruins need to establish a physical presence, create traffic and get in front to beat the Vezina finalist.
– Don’t let the Cup make an appearance: Everyone knows the Stanley Cup will be in the house Monday night, but the Bruins’ worst nightmare has to be watching Alexandre Burrows, Luongo and the rest of the perceived bad guys skate around with it on their ice.
– Remember their Game 6 experience: It’s as cliche as it gets to say that the last win is the hardest in a series, but the Bruins should know. Both the Canadiens and Lightning didn’t let the Bruins storm into their home and eliminate them, so the B’s will need the same desperation that beat them in those games.
– Remind everyone of Games 3 and 4: The Bruins were able to make things very difficult for the Vancouver defense and Luongo in the two games here, but Vancouver tightened back up defensively back at Rogers Arena, while the B’s stiffened up offensively.
– Give Tyler Seguin time on the power play: It’s the one place he won’t be afraid of getting hit and can focus just on using his talent. The B’s went 0-for-4 on the man advantage Friday in Vancouver, with Seguin getting only 12 seconds on the power play.
– Use Zdeno Chara in front on the power play: It may not have yielded results the last time around, but it’s worth using from time to time. If the Bruins can’t even get set up as it is, can it get much worse?
– The Bruins have won nine of their last 10 home games dating back to Game 5 of the quarterfinals.
– Dennis Seidenberg‘s only goal this postseason came in Game 6 of the quarterfinals, and it was Boston’s only goal in the 2-1 Canadiens win.
– Though David Krejci leads the NHL with 22 postseason points, he’s only registered points in a loss twice. His hat trick in Game 6 of the conference finals made for three of the four points in games the Bruins have dropped this postseason.
– Despite missing two games due to a concussion, Patrice Bergeron leads all Bruins with 62 shots on goal this postseason.
– Henrik Sedin has gone five straight games without a point for the first time since the 2007 postseason. He had two such stretches in 12 games in those playoffs. The last time he went six games without a point was from Nov. 29-Dec. 20, 2003.
– Daniel Sedin has gone three straight games without a point three times this season, including once in the playoffs. He has not going four games without a point since Feb. 4-11 of the 2009-10 season.
SIX PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON
Milan Lucic: After not showing up in Game 5, Lucic has to have the best game of his life Monday. If something is ailing him, then it’s commendable that he’s played through it, but the B’s need their best players to be the best players on the ice. Not having Nathan Horton is bad enough, and the B’s not be able to survive with another zero-shot performance like Friday’s.
Brad Marchand: The rookie needs to be the royal pain he’s been all season, and he also needs to come out flying the way he did when he dominated Game 4. It had seemed he was on a roll with goals in two straight games, but apparently Rogers Arena is where any positive Bruins trend goes to die. Marchand has three shots on goal over his last three games, though two have gone in.
Tim Thomas: It’s hard to ask any more of Thomas, who it seems will be getting the Conn Smythe Trophy. He’s allowed six goals in the finals and could conceivably lose the series having allowed just seven goals in seven games.
Alexandre Burrows: The refs shouldn’t look at any plays involving this guy based on his diving. It seems the refs looked the other way with Burrows got cross-checked by the net.
Raffi Torres: The third-liner has three shots on goal this series, but one of them went in to seal Game 1 for the Canucks. He has two assists in the last three games.
Roberto Luongo: The mechanic himself did not have success the last time he was at the Garden, and he might need to show up big after letting up 12 goals in Games 3 and 4. If Luongo were to clinch the Cup for the Canucks with a shutout Monday, that would be quite remarkable given that it would be his third this postseason.