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Jeremy Roenick on The Big Show: Vancouver is now the villian

06.07.11 at 6:25 pm ET
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A day after the Bruins’ convincing victory in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals, former NHL pro and current Versus analyst Jeremy Roenick was a guest on The Big Show to discuss the changing momentum in the series.

“I truly believe that [the Bruins] can, and they will tie this thing up 2-2 by the end of [Wednesday] night,” Roenick said. “A message was sent by the Boston Bruins by Denis Seidenberg, by Milan Lucic, by some of the guys that needed to make a statement last night: if you guys want to play like this, we are all in.”

Roenick also shared his thoughts on the perception of the Bruins’ opponents. “The Vancouver Canucks are now the villain in the United States. They are the villain because of the way they played, because of [Alex] Burrows, because of [Aaron] Rome.” Burrows bit Patrice Bergeron‘s finger in Game 1, and Rome was given a five game suspension Tuesday after his hit on Nathan Horton in Game 3.

The following is a transcript of the interview. To listen to the interview, visit The Big Show audio on demand page.

Does last night change this series around?

It has the capability of. I think the beat down last night can work in a couple different ways. Number one, it can give the Bruins a lot of confidence, it can rattle [Roberto] Luongo, it can give the Boston Bruins that motivation that they need to pick their game up to the level that they can play at. One of their best players goes down, a very controversial hit, and I think it’s up to the Boston Bruins now to decide whether they want to come together as a team.

They want to play for now, you know, “let’s win one for the Gipper” sort of mentality. I loved the way that they played in the second and third period last night. I was really nervous after the first period because when Horton got hit last night, the Boston Bruins did not respond the way that I thought they would. They came out, they had a brutal five minute power play, and after the power play the Boston Bruins did not have one shot on net for the rest of the period and that worried me.

And I don’t know what happened but something happened between periods. Whether a player got up and said something or [Claude] Julien got up and said something. But something happened in that locker room that changed the mentality of the Boston Bruins, and they came out flying in the second period and it might have changed the whole course of the series. Now, they’re playing against a team that’s better than them, more talented than them, and has a better record than them, but Boston has gotten here on sheer will. Now they need to go and be…how willing are they going to be to play for one of their best players being out in terms of changing this whole series. But I think it’s a good start. But you lose 8-1, it’s the same as losing 2-1. It’s just how you use that for the next game.

How did you see this series in the beginning and how do you see it now? Has there been a change from an analysis standpoint after last night’s game?

I don’t think there’s too much of a change but like I said the Vancouver Canucks are much more talented than the Boston Bruins. It doesn’t take too much of a rocket scientist to figure that out.

Well why do you say that? Because I guess I’m not a rocket scientist.

Why? What are you talking about? Last year they had the MVP of the National Hockey League in Henrik Sedin. This year they’re going to have the MVP of the National Hockey League in Daniel Sedin. They have probably the best American player in the world right now in Ryan Kesler and they also have a goaltender that’s on the Vezina Trophy ballot. They have a defensive core that is tough, physical, strong and is scoring points.

Their secondary scoring is so strong with [Jannik] Hansen, with Kessler. Some of their top three lines that continue to roll over. You talk about the Boston Bruins, they have no superstars with the exception of [Zdeno] Chara and [Tim] Thomas. You can’t put [David] Krejci on the superstar level, you can’t put Bergeron on the superstar level, but you can put Sedin, both Sedins and you can put Kessler on that level. There’s no question the talent is much deeper on the Vancouver Canucks. And you look at the way that they play and there’s a lot of teams that call them a very soft team the way they play. The Boston Bruins are a hard-nosed, energetic team-oriented team that win on will and determination. I’m not taking away from the Boston Bruins on talent. They don’t have the superstars that Vancouver has, period.

Can you take us inside the Blackhawks’ locker room [when Roenick went on playoff runs in the early 1990s] and tell us if there were moments that might have been series changers or at least game changers?

I had the captain of the team Dirk Graham stand up in the locker room and tell the team that he was gonna put in the best game that any of us had ever seen him play. Ever. And he said, “If any of you [expletive] want to follow me…” You better have the bleep button on …”He said if any of you [expletive] want to follow me, then follow me, but if you don’t then get the hell out of the way. And he went out and scored a hat trick in the first period. Dirk Graham. And this is a guy who’s not a goal scorer. So it’s moments like that that define leadership and define championship mentality. Now I would love it to hear that my buddy Mark Recchi stood up in the locker room and said, “Are you guys kidding me? One of our best players goes down and that’s the response that we give on a five minute power play and then we don’t score a goal afterward? I mean that is totally unacceptable.”

Something happened. That was an abysmal five minute power play. I think you’re right.

I will tell you this, I will tell you something else. This is a good thing that Shawn Thornton was in the lineup last night because he’s a very vocal guy and something happened in that locker room and maybe it was Shawn Thornton that said something, but the fact that he was in the lineup with that physical presence and that mental edge, and maybe his visible presence. Maybe he’s the one that stood up and said we need to play this for [Horton] and if something happened I would have liked to have understood who said something. You guys gotta give me a second. I’m going to hit an approach shot, you guys got to talk amongst yourselves.

I’m impressed with Roenick here, he can multitask. Play golf and do a round of media interviews at the same time.

Alright I’m back. I’m one-under through 11 holes. Listen, I’m the best multitasker in the world. I can do it all. Not everybody likes what I say or what I do, but that’s too bad.

Based on the style the Bruins played, can they come back and play it again in Game 4? Will the officials allow them to play it?

That’s a great question about the referees. Are the referees going to allow the Boston Bruins play the style that made them successful yesterday? I totally disagree with Claude Julien. He made a comment after the game that he didn’t want to see any of the stupid stuff that happened and not to be like that. Claude Julien’s a great coach. He’s a good man and you need to send messages.

Will the officials allow them to play that type of game?

No. No they will not. They are going to keep this very, very tightly officiated from now on. I’m sure the league is going to clean it up and let them play hockey and stay away from the crap. And it’s going to be up to both of these teams to see who can be the most disciplined in their messages in order to win the series.

In the wake of Rome taking Horton down, you felt that there we’re going to be more injuries in this series. Can you elaborate on that?

Yes. I think so. I think there’s a lot of bad blood right now in this series. I think these teams are playing for a Stanley Cup and it’s gotten ugly. I think there’ll be injuries, not major injuries but I think someone’s going to be going out because of something stupid. I don’t know who’s going to be doing it, but I think this series has turned ugly as of yesterday.

Alright are you in the bunker or are you up on the green yet?

No I got a ten-foot birdie put so I got to go.

Read More: Bruins, Canucks, Jeremy Roenick, Stanley Cup
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