Ray Ferraro on M&M: Vancouver fans aren’t thrilled with Roberto Luongo
|06.15.11 at 2:38 pm ET|
Former NHL player and current Vancouver sports radio host Ray Ferraro joined Mut & Merloni Wednesday to preview Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals and give some perspective from the Canucks fan base. To hear the interview, check out the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
Ferraro said that despite another Boston blowout in Game 6, Vancouver fans aren’t too worried about their chances Wednesday.
“I was really surprised, they’re actually very confident. I don’t know if they even watched Game 6,” he said. “I guess they put their faith in the fact that it’s almost been like two completely different books for this series. … For the life of me, I can’t figure out why it’s been such. Vancouver’s been so bad in Boston and Boston hasn’t been able to punch through here in Vancouver, so I guess that’s what it’s all about, Game 7, you play all year to get home-ice advantage and the fans here, they’re pretty happy that it’s in Vancouver.”
“I think [Vancouver fans] were, almost to a person, disappointed with Luongo’s comments after Game 5,” he said. “Where it really went sideways was the next day at the airport. He had the chance to kind of soften the blow a little bit and say, ‘You know, it’s not really what I was trying to say, this is what I was trying to say …’ But he didn’t do it, so that’s one thing. And then you come out and you last eight minutes in Game 6, you know, you get torched.
“I don’t think the fans here are really thrilled with that. I do know there’s no player I can think of on either team that gets scrutinized more in their hometown than Luongo. I can’t think of a Bruin player who would be under as much heat as Luongo is here. And not just in this series. Almost since the day he’s been there.”
Asked about his experiences in Game 7s, Ferraro said it really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“I mean, I scored the Stanley Cup winner many times in my driveway. I’m telling you, it was in overtime every time,” he said. “And when I got to a Game 7, everybody told me to treat it like every other day. No chance. I slept like a rock on most game days for about 90 minutes. I didn’t sleep a wink in any of the Game 7s that I played.
“You cannot wait to get started, but the trick is to not look at the end prize, and this is going to sound maybe a little goofy, but don’t look at the Stanley Cup that’s sitting there. You already know it’s there. Your focus has to be so detailed and so immediate to focus on your first shift, and when that first shift is finished, then you focus on the second shift. Because if you’re worried about the end prize, the Stanley Cup, and things go sideways early for you, I’m telling you, you lose energy and it will really come back to you because the game goes really quickly.”
Ferraro also tried to solve the series’ million dollar question: Why are the Canucks so much better at home?
“Vancouver’s nowhere near as aggressive with the puck as they are at home when they’re in Boston, so as a result they’ve turned the puck over and now it’s like Boston is running downhill into Vancouver’s zone and the Canucks have just had no answer for that. When the Bruins get moving, they’ve been tough for Vancouver to handle.
“While I see the Bruins aren’t as good a skating team as Vancouver, they’re better than any of these fans have seen in any level of hockey that they’ve played. What I’m saying is they’re not going to win a track meet of NHL players, but if you give them a short ice, if you give them the puck over at the Boston blue line, and the puck gets out wide to [Brad] Marchand, I think he’s shown that he can go as quick as anybody. And now the game goes downhill a little bit.
“So, there’s three things that have happened in the series: The home team’s won every game, the team that scored first has won every game, and the team that’s had the most hits has won every game. So, for the Bruins out here it is paramount that they lay the body on Vancouver, that they find a way to be as consistent on the body in Vancouver as they have been in Boston.”
While Boston fans have grown resentful of many Canucks, Ferraro could not deny that Vancouver fans feel the same way about several Bruins, including Marchand.
“I thought [Marchand would become public enemy No. 1] after Game 1. It took him until Game 3,” Ferraro said. “If you’re an opponent to him, what a colossal pain in the [expletive] he would be to play against. If he’s on your team, are you kidding me, would you love that guy? Of course you would. Johnny Boychuk‘s not picking up many fans these days. I thought [Boychuck’s hit in Game 6] should have been a penalty, nowhere near a suspension. That’s the oddest play I’ve ever seen. I feel sick to my stomach that Mason Raymond is injured like he is, but I’ve never seen it. So, Boychuck’s not too popular around here. Tim Thomas isn’t popular, but the people are begrudgingly admiring the brilliant plays that he’s had.”
As for his prediction, Ferraro is going with the Bruins, though his track record doesn’t bode well for Boston fans.
“I’ve been wrong five out of the last six games, and I did predict Boston tonight in a 3-1 empty-netter.”