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Patrice Bergeron not happy with Alexandre Burrows’ bite

06.02.11 at 12:05 am ET
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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.

‘€œHe 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.’€

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Stanley Cup Finals,

Canucks steal Game 1 late

06.01.11 at 10:57 pm ET
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Raffi Torres tapped a puck past Tim Thomas with 18.5 seconds left in regulation to give the host Canucks a 1-0 win over the Bruins Wednesday night in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals.

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.

Predictably, the Zdeno CharaDennis Seidenberg pairing was in charge of the Sedin brothers’ top line with Alexandre Burrows. Daniel had eight shots to Henrik’s zero.

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.

Manny Malhotra out for Game 1

06.01.11 at 8:01 pm ET
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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.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Manny Malhotra, Stanley Cup Finals,

Bruins-Canucks live blog: Scoreless in third

06.01.11 at 7:21 pm ET
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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.

Bruin-Canucks Game 1 Live Blog

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Stanley Cup Finals,

Stage is set for Stanley Cup finals

06.01.11 at 6:50 pm ET
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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.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Stanley Cup Finals,

With environmental hero in the stands and Stanley Cup at stake, Vancouver best of both worlds for Andrew Ference

06.01.11 at 5:09 pm ET
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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.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Andrew Ference, Stanley Cup Finals,

Stanley Cup finals predictions

06.01.11 at 5:03 pm ET
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It’s no secret that the Bruins enter the Stanley Cup finals as slight underdogs. Predictions from members of both local and national media back that up. WEEI’s John Dennis and Gerry Callahan, three of five ESPN Boston staff members, and three of six Boston Globe staff members are picking Vancouver to take home the cup. Staff at ESPN, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Yahoo also selected the Canucks to go the distance. To the surprise of no one, only one of 13 Vancouver Sun employees has Boston winning. And now even machines are picking Boston to come up short.

Here is a full list of Stanley Cup finals predictions:

Boston media:

WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Show: Callahan (5) and Dennis (6) went with the Canucks.

Boston Globe staff: Kevin Paul Dupont (6), Chris Gasper (6)  and Fluto Shinzawa (7) picked the Bruins, while Jim Hoban (5), Dan Shaughnessy (5) and Bob Ryan (7) went with the Canucks.

What they’re saying: Spike in babies named Zdeno [Chara] in Children’s hospital next March.” — Fluto Shinzawa

ESPN Boston staff: James Murphy (6) and Joe McDonald (7) picked the Bruins, while Andrew Brooks (5), Brendan Hall (6) and Adam Jones (5) went with the Canucks.

What they’re saying: “This is probably one of the best possible matchups hockey fans could have asked for in the Stanley Cup finals. Both the Bruins and Canucks bring a little bit of everything: grit, physicality, speed, size, skill, defense and of course goaltending. That’s why I see this series going at least six games, but I believe the Bruins will prevent the series from going back to Vancouver and hoist their first Stanley Cup since 1972 on TD Garden ice.” — James Murphy

Vancouver media:

Vancouver Sun staff (1/12): Yvonne Zacharias (7) picked the Bruins, while Mike Beamish (4), Matthew Black (5), Scott Brown (5), Cam Cole (6), Bruce Constantineau (6), Iain MacIntyre (5), Harrison Mooney (6), Elliott Pap (7), Daniel Wagner (6), Bev Wake (6), Ian Walker (5) and Brad Ziemer (5).

What they’re saying:The Canucks needed seven games to de-claw Blackhawks, put the treads to Preds in six, harpooned the Sharks in five. We see a trend developing. Boston might a have chance if the B’€™s were still playing on the small ice pad of Boston Garden. Unfortunately, they blew up the Gah-den real good some time ago. [Roberto] Luongo, [Ryan] Kesler, [Henrik and Daniel] Sedin, Conn Smythe Trophy winner [Kevin] Bieksa and the potential emotional return of [Manny] Malhotra will turn the Beantowners into bean paste. Broom time, Boston. Canucks in four.” –Mike Beamish

Canadian National media:

The Canadian Press: Chris Johnston (7) picked the Bruins, while Bill Beacon (6) went with the Canucks.

What they’re saying:Goaltending is a saw-off between two veterans who can be either airtight or leaky from one game to the next. Both have good, gritty third and fourth lines. But the Canucks also have home ice advantage. Boston is better than some give them credit for, but not enough to stop Vancouver from becoming the first Canadian team to win since 1993.” — Bill Beacon

American National media:

ESPN staff: Scott Burnside (6) and Steve Levy (6) picked the Bruins, while John Buccigross (7), Linda Cohn (6), Pierre LeBrun (7), and Barry Melrose (6) went with the Canucks.

The Hockey News: THN went with the Canucks in six games.

What they’re saying: “When we were forecasting our Cup winner while doing our annual THN Yearbook last summer, we chose the Canucks, then changed our minds to the Bruins the next day, then went back to the Canucks the day after that. Indecisive? Yes. Geniuses? Yes again. Vancouver in six.” — THN staff

Sports Illustrated: Darren Eliot went with the Canucks in six games.

What they’re saying: “Outside of Kesler, Bieksa has been the next most vital player for Vancouver. He is a physical blueline presence who has come up with his best when his team has needed it most. Bieksa is a gamer and I say that with the utmost admiration. His big goals, big hits and leadership air that have stood out thus far all have to be in place against the Bruins. If Bieksa continues with his fine postseason, the Canucks have a better than even chance of winning the first Stanley Cup in franchise history.” — Darren Eliot

USA Today: Kevin Allen went with the Canucks in seven games.

What they’re saying: Unless the Bruins can magically transform their power play into a scoring machine, it will be the Canucks in six games.” — Kevin Allen

Yahoo sports: Ross McKeon (6) picked the Bruins, while Nicholas J. Cotsonika (6), Puck Daddy (6), Sam McCaig (5), Matt Romig (6) and  Greg Wyshynski (6) went with the Canucks.

What they’re saying: The Bruins will play them tight, but the Canucks’ depth, special teams and, let’s face it, hockey voodoo will prevail – sending the Bruins to their sixth loss in the Finals since the 1972 Cup; winning the first Cup in Vancouver’s franchise history; and the first for Canada since 1993.” — Greg Wyshynski

Other:

Marc Crawford (Via The Province): The former Vancouver coach picked the Canucks.

Brian Leetch (via SI): The longtime Rangers captain picked the Canucks in six games.

Anonymous Scouts (Via The Province): One scout picked the Bruins in seven games while the other two picked the Canucks, both in seven games.

Read More: Boston Bruins, Stanley Cup Finals, Vancouver Canucks,

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