|06.15.11 at 2:08 pm ET|
This series has been filled with a level of controversy saved for only the best. The Alexandre Burrows biting incident, Aaron Rome‘s knockout hit on Nathan Horton, and Roberto Luongo‘s Game 5 postgame comments immediately come to the minds of Bruins fans. But what do Vancouver fans have to complain about?
The referees have been blatantly favoring the Boston squad, according to Tony Gallagher of The Province, a newspaper in British Columbia.
“Stated simply, the Bruins can virtually do anything to any Vancouver player with total impunity until after the game is won,” Gallagher wrote. “At that point, they then get their fair share of penalties. Further, they can do anything to any Vancouver player after the whistle while it’s still a game and nothing is called unless there is a flagrant retaliation by the Vancouver player. At that point both infractions are called. Boston of course gets lots of penalties late, with the game decided, to make it look like they might even be getting shafted in total calls. But that’s a familiar NHL pattern.”
Gallagher went on to cite Game 6 hits from Johnny Boychuk and Patrice Bergeron, as well as a scuffle that included Brad Marchand, whom he called “the little Bruin,” landing six consecutive punches on Canucks left winger Daniel Sedin.
|06.15.11 at 2:00 pm ET|
VANCOUVER — In the “how is this news?” moment of the day, here’s a good one.
Bruins coach Claude Julien didn’t even let a reporter finish his question Wednesday in Vancouver when the topic of Nathan Horton potentially playing in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals was brought up. The coach said there was no way Horton would be playing, a statement so obvious that the fact it became a story up here speaks volumes to how badly the media up here gets carried away. After all, Horton was diagnosed with a severe concussion just over a week ago and was ruled out for the rest of the playoffs.
“Let me cut your question short,” Julien said. “Absolutely no. It’s ridiculous. So let’s put an end to that.”
A television station in Vancouver turned Julien’s quote from Tuesday about Horton wishing he could play into a report that “Horton was trying to convince the Bruins to let him play in Game 7.”
So no, Horton is obviously not playing. It’s astonishing that even had to be said.
|06.15.11 at 1:52 pm ET|
Turco has been a guest analyst for NHL Network since his team was eliminated by the Canucks in the opening round. Chicago, the defending Stanley Cup champion, fell behind 3-0 in the series before rallying to force a Game 7 that Vancouver won 2-1.
Turco made it clear that he doesn’t like the Canucks’ brash style.
“That’s where it really got me, was when we were in Chicago and they’re up in the game, and they’re running their mouths, and they are real cocky,” he said. “Never mind that my team beat them the two previous years, knocked them out. You think they’d learn their lesson and just go about their business, but that wasn’t the case. It was quite interesting to watch us come back and know that we had them. We know that they’re playing differently.
“It was eerily similar in this [Bruins] series. I didn’t see them as cocky as they were going up 3-0 against their arch nemesis, but certainly they faltered. You can’t blame [Roberto] Luongo, you can’t blame just one person. You’ve got to blame everybody, from top to bottom. They just weren’t able to show up on the road.”
Asked about the Bruins’ strategy to get to Luongo, Turco said: “The game plan is always the same: Score often, score early. That would certainly be their best asset. Just continue to put pressure on him, take shots. Sometimes, pucks hit goalies that might not be 100 percent confident early in the game. That’s what they need sometimes. I think he’ll actually play really well. I think it’s going to be another tight game here in Vancouver. I know Bruins Nation would love another blowout. ‘¦ I think it will be a pretty good one.
“They just need to continue to get in front of the net. I don’t think they were doing that early in the series, and certainly on the road. ‘¦ They’re going to have to fight to get in front of the net. We saw those goals, some tip-ins, some screens. Those types of goals are harder to come by, but you just have to follow through and work to get there.”
|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.