|06.02.11 at 9:01 am ET|
In Wednesday nights Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows appeared to bite Bruins center Patrice Bergeron at the end of the first period. Burrows is no stranger to controversy on the ice.
This was Burrows’ sixth season in the NHL, he has played all six with the Canucks. Before that he played two years in the Quebec Major Hockey League and then seven years between the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) and the American Hockey League (AHL).
In January of 2010, he was involved a situation with NHL referee StÃ©phane Auger. Auger called two penalties on Burrows in the third period of a 2-2 game with the Predators, one for diving and the other for interference. The Canucks lost the game and with three seconds left he went up to Auger and protested the calls and was assessed an unsportsmanlike minor and a ten-minute misconduct.
Following the game Burrows told reporters that Auger has a personal vendetta against him. “It was personal. It started in warm-up, before the anthem,” Burrows said of Auger’s penalty calling. “[Auger] came over to me and he said I made him look bad in Nashville on the [Jerred] Smithson hit and he said he was going to get me back tonight.”
He was referring to a game a month prior when Predators Smithson hit him and was given a game misconduct by Auger. Following the game the penalty was rescinded because the league felt that Burrows embellished the hit.
Burrows was fined $2,500 for publically criticizing Auger. Later that week CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada aired an 11-minute long segment about Burrow’s past transgressions. The segment was said to be biased against Burrows and his parents went as far as writing a letter to CBC complaining about the segment saying it was a ‘verbal assassination’ and had ‘no journalistic balance.’
|06.02.11 at 12:05 am ET|
VANCOUVER — Wearing an adhesive bandage on his left index finger, Bruins center Patrice Bergeron confirmed following the team’s Game 1 loss to the Canucks in the Stanley Cup finals that Vancouver winger Alexandre Burrows bit him at the end of the first period.
“Oh yeah, he did,” said Bergeron. “He cut me a little bit on my finger, but I’m not going to complain about it. I’ll let the league do their job, but he sure did [bite me].”
Bergeron and Burrows were each given roughing penalties for their tussle at the end of the period, though Bergeron’s was a minor and Burrows’ was a double-minor. Bergeron wanted further action to be taken against Burrows, though the refs did not see the play. Bergeron was uncharacteristically irate following the play.
“They didn’t see it, but we were speaking French and I [asked Burrows] why did he do that,” Bergeron said. “That lineseman speaks French, and he said that [Burrows’] explanation was that he put my finger in his mouth and he had to do it.”
[Note: To clarify, Bergeron said that it was Burrows, not the linesman, who said Burrows had no choice but to bite him. He later corrected his phrasing.]
The 25-year-old Bergeron noted that he did not want to start a “war of words,” but did note that he would never stoop to Burrows’ level.
Said Bergeron: “I don’t mind the rough play and the little scrums at the end, as long as it’s just pushing and shoving and all of that, but biting? I mean, come on.”
It is likely the league will review the incident, and, like Jarkko Ruutu in 2009, Burrows could be suspended. If he is, it would be a big loss, given that Burrows plays on Vancouver’s first line with Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin.
“Before we’ve seen some suspensions from guys,” Bergeron said. “Ruutu did that and he got suspended, so we’ll see.”
Burrows denied the bite.
‘He had his finger in my mouth but I don’t think I bit him,” he said. “You saw it, he put his hand up and he put his hand in my face and his finger got in my mouth, so that’s what happened.’
|06.01.11 at 10:57 pm ET|
Prior to the goal, Thomas had not allowed a goal since a Martin St. Louis tally in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. Roberto Luongo had a shutout for the Canucks.
Game 2 will be played Saturday at Rogers Arena before the teams travel to Boston for Games 3 and 4.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– The Bruins were given a big opportunity when Daniel Sedin cut Chara with a high stick behind the net and was handed a double-minor. The B’s looked very good on the power play throughout the four minutes, getting eight shots on goal, but couldn’t put one in. When Sedin got out of the box, the Canucks had a 3-on-2. Aside from the 5-on-3, the power play was generally atrocious. Chara had an opportunity on a rebound in front of Luongo, though Dan Hamhuis lifted his stick before he could touch it.
– Too many penalties in the game, and a special teams-dominated game is a game the Bruins usually lose. Twelve penalties were called through the first two periods, though it seems the refs let them play. Not all the penalties seemed justified, as Thomas really took a dive to get a tripping call on Burrows in the second.
– As good as Thomas was, Luongo was just as good. Luongo had a heavier workload, seeing more shots than Thomas saw from the Canucks on the night.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Some discipline from the league could end up working in the Bruins’ favor. At the end of the first period, a scrum ensued following a save from Thomas. With Chara tangled up with Hamhuis, Patrice Bergeron found himself going back and forth with Burrows. Suddenly, Bergeron became enraged in a way rarely displayed by the level-headed center. Minutes later, word emerged that Burrows had bitten Bergeron’s finger. Both players were given roughing penalties, though Burrows’ was a double-minor. Bergeron skated the refs afterward to show him his finger.
– As bad as Boston’s power play looked at times, the penalty kill was terrific. The B’s were able to neutralize six Vancouver power plays through the first two periods, and held the Canucks without a shot on goal for the two minutes that followed a David Krejci cross-check on Hamhuis.
– Thomas turned in a great showing for the B’s, most notably stopping Jannik Hansen on a breakaway five minutes into the third period and coming up big on a Canucks’ 2-on-1 with about eight and a half minutes left. Thomas really lucked out when Alexander Edler fired off a wrist shot that beat Thomas but went off the cross-bar. It looked like it had gone in to the naked eye at full-speed, but replays showed that it didn’t.
|06.01.11 at 8:01 pm ET|
VANCOUVER — Canucks forward Manny Malhotra did not take the ice for warmups and is officially out for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals. Malhotra, who has not played since getting hit in the eye with a puck against the Avalanche on March 16, did not practice on Tuesday with the team due to an eye appointment. He had skated in previous days after being cleared for contact on Saturday.
The third-line center had 11 goals and 19 assists for 30 points in the regular season.
|06.01.11 at 7:21 pm ET|
VANCOUVER — Join DJ Bean and others live from Vancouver for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Bruins are in the finals since the first time since 1990, when they were defeated by the Oilers in five games.
|06.01.11 at 6:50 pm ET|
VANCOUVER — We’re just a little over an hour away from Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals between the Bruins and Canucks here at Rogers Arena, and the building is all ready. Each of the 18,860 seats has been draped with a white Canucks towel. Here are a few pictures and further proof that there is something worse than my writing.
|06.01.11 at 5:09 pm ET|
VANCOUVER — When players are on the ice, they have to focus on nothing but what’s on the ice. Yet for Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, he’ll have a pretty big name in the stands Wednesday watching him in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals.
“My best friend lives in Vancouver. My parents will be at the games. Dr. Suzuki is coming tonight with my parents,” Ference said when listing who will be at the game. “My sister is flying out, it’s close for them, and we have people coming down to Boston as well. I think it’s a lot more fun to cheer for the Bruins down there than it is here.”
That Dr. Suzuki he mentioned is Dr. David Suzuki, who is a well-known Canadian environmentalist and hails from Vancouver. Years ago in an interview, Ference said that if he could meet one person, it would be Suzuki. Since then, the two have teamed to create the NHL’s carbon-neutral program and have remained friends.
So it must be pretty cool for Ference, known just as well for his environmental interests as he is for a certain on-ice gesture this postseason, to have Suzuki sitting with his parents as he tries to win the Stanley Cup.
“He’s been to a couple [of my games], and he’s excited. He loves hockey,” Ference said Wednesday. “But I told him not to cheer for us, because he would probably get notched down a couple places in Canadien folklore. I said it’s alright if he cheers for the Canucks, but he might be a neutral party tonight.”
While playing in Vancouver is neat for someone from western Canada, the 32-year-old just considers himself lucky to be playing for the Cup at all. The last time he played in the finals was in 2004, when his Flames fell to the Lightning in seven games.
“I feel really fortunate. It’s my second going to the finals, and both times with the Canadian content. It’s a special thing, and for a Canadian team to be matched up with an Original 6, that’s a really cool opportunity as a player,” he said. “For two great cities with good hockey history to be involved is awesome. The finals is special no matter what, but there’s a couple of little extra sprinkles on top with this matchup.”