|Aaron Rome speaks (to some), ‘definitely’ disagrees with suspension||06.12.11 at 9:51 pm ET|
The Boston media didn’t hear it, but Aaron Rome spoke Sunday at TD Garden, meeting with the media for the first time since being suspended four games for the hit that ended Nathan Horton’s season.
As Vancouver press conferences wrapped up and writers took to their computers, Rome made his way to the Canucks’ locker room, where plenty of non-Bruins media were waiting to talk to the defenseman. For one reason or another, Boston writers weren’t made aware of it, but oh well.
‘It’s tough,’ Rome said. ‘You start the finals and you’re excited about having the chance of a lifetime. It’s just an unfortunate incident where it’s just an unfortunate decision where it’s a split-second decision. However you view the hit, whether you think it was dirty or not, there’s no intent to hurt anybody.
“I’ve been on the tough end of hits like that. If I could go back I’d wish he didn’t get hurt but I don’t think that it would change my decision on the play.”
Added Rome: ‘It’s emotional. You can’t put it into words. You work hard all season and all playoffs and for a guy like myself who’s in and out of the lineup, getting a chance to play every day and working your bag off to be out there. It’s disappointing.’
Rome reached out to Horton, who he said has yet to text him back.
‘It’s an emotional time and he’s not going to be able to play in the series, too,” Rome said. “I understand, being on that side of hits, where you’re pissed off about it. He wants to be out there, like anybody.’
The defenseman expressed frustration with the fact that the league didn’t take his clean track record into consideration when making its decision, and while the league was generous with not saying it had anything to do with Rule 48, Rome felt it wasn’t dirty in any way.
‘That’s the type of hit where a guy is vulnerable,’ said Rome. ‘I saw him coming but there’s nothing you can do. My hit, they say, was late. It’s arbitrary. What is late? That’s a decision they made and I’ll have to respect it, but I definitely don’t agree with it.
‘If it’s a half second earlier or a quarter second earlier maybe I’m not in this situation. But the game happens fast. I’ve got to play on the edge and I guess that time it was a little bit over the edge.’
By the looks of what Rome said, it sounds more like he’s making himself out to be a victim, while it sounds like the fluff questions he faced came with whatever kind of ice cream he wanted. Maybe that’s reading too far into it, but it’s hard to tell when you aren’t there.
|Alexandre Burrows has little to say about diving||06.12.11 at 2:22 pm ET|
Alexandre Burrows has been viewed as a villain in the Stanley Cup finals ever since he bit the finger of Patrice Bergeron in Game 1, and since then, he’s added to it by reinforcing his reputation as a “diver” — one who embellishes plays in an effort to draw penalties.
Burrows was penalized for diving as he tried to sell a slew foot from Milan Lucic late in the first period of Friday’s Game 5. In the third period, he took a cross-check that went uncalled, a potential sign that refs may be done participating in the game of did-he-or-didn’t-he when it comes to him diving.
Asked about his embellishing Sunday, Burrows had little to say.
“I don’t read you guys, so I could care less,” he said.
Asked whether he thinks he’s alone in trying to sell penalties or whether the Bruins do it as well (as they have at points), Burrows was just as quiet.
“I have nothing to say about that,” said Burrows.
Burrows chose not to comment directly on whether he feels referees are now ignoring him.
“The refs have a tough job to do already. It’s the Stanley Cup final,” Burrows said. “It’s not easy to make calls, and obviously my focus is if they call it, great. If they don’t call it, that’s their decision. I am supporting their decision. I’m going to forget about it and get ready for my next shift.”
|Gregory Campbell can’t imagine former teammate Roberto Luongo being malicious||06.12.11 at 1:32 pm ET|
With all that’s been made of the way Roberto Luongo has spoken about Tim Thomas, the biggest question is why Luongo’s doing it. Is he playfully joking around (as he was — no matter what you hear anywhere else — when he made his pre-series comments about Thomas playing the way he did when he was five years old), or is he intentionally taking jabs at the man who seems a shoo-in to win the Vezina and a safe bet to win the Conn Smythe?
Luongo’s recent comments came as a surprise here to this scribe, as he spent the day before media gushing with praise for Thomas. The talk of him pumping Thomas’ tires is correct, but why then, would he make the punk move of saying he would have saved Maxim Lapierre’s game-winner?
He can’t plead ignorance or claim it as a misunderstanding, as he’s as well-spoken and well-intentioned a guy a media member will deal with. What he says, he means, and it’s hard to imagine Luongo “accidentally” dissing another player when it seems that clear — and especially amongst all the talk of Thomas’ positioning.
One man in the Bruins’ locker room has some perspective when it comes to Luongo’s intentions, and though he claims to have not heard Luongo’s comments, Gregory Campbell said Sunday he can’t imagine his former teammate in Florida talking a mess with any malicious intent.
“I don’t know him as that type of person. I played with him for a year. I’m sure he has a lot of pressure on him as well, and he’s had to face a lot of critics in these playoffs, especially the last couple of games of late. Knowing him, I don’t think that’s his personality, but to be honest, I don’t really care. I don’t think Timmy cares either. It’s not going to affect our hockey club one way or the other.”
Campbell and Luongo played together in the 2005-06 season with the Panthers and briefly the year before, when Campbell played two games.
|Tim Thomas: ‘I didn’t realize it was my job to pump [Roberto Luongo's] tires’||06.12.11 at 1:11 pm ET|
Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas finally got in on the fun Sunday, providing the media with the closest thing he’ll give to partcipation in a war of of words with Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo. Thomas has allowed a minuscule six goals in five games of the Stanley Cup finals, yet its been Luongo’s opinion of his style that has made the most headlines. After saying he would have saved the Maxim Lapierre shot that won the game for the Canucks in Game 5, Luongo noted Saturday that he has praised Thomas without hearing anything back.
Said Luongo Saturday: ‘I’ve been pumping his tires ever since the series started. I haven’t heard any one nice thing he’s had to say about me, so that’s the way it is.’
Thomas responded to Luongo’s comments Sunday after the team’s practice, saying that he as a goaltender respects other netminders, though he had some fun with the way he went about it.
“I guess I didn’t realize it was my job to pump his tires,” Thomas said with a grin. “I guess I have to apologize for that.
“I still think I’m the goaltender on the union side and I stick with all the other goalies. In being one and knowing what it takes to perform at this level and with this amount of pressure, I understand to a certain extent what every other goaltender is going through.”
|Bruins hold one last practice||06.12.11 at 11:40 am ET|
Assuming the B’s would not skate on Tuesday should they win Game 6, the Bruins held what it is most likely their last practice of the season Sunday at TD Garden. All parties were present, with Jordan Caron the fourth man on the second line with Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi. Rich Peverley skated with the first line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic.
All eight defensemen were there as well, including Steven Kampfer and Shane Hnidy.
|Luongo: Lapierre’s goal ‘an easy save for me’||06.11.11 at 5:58 am ET|
VANCOUVER — Some made a big deal of Roberto Luongo taking a shot at Tim Thomas before the series, even though Loungo never did so. Yet after Friday’s Game 5, Luongo may indeed have taken a bit of a dig at his fellow Vezina finalist.
One goal was allowed between both goaltenders, with Maxim Lapierre taking a puck that had bounced off the end boards after a Kevin Bieksa shot and beating Thomas. Asked whether he could make the save, Luongo went back to the series-long trend of talking about whether or not Thomas plays correctly postitionionally.
“It’s not hard if you’re playing in the paint,” Luongo said of the difficulty of the play. “It’s an easy save for me, but if you’re wandering out and aggressive like he does, that’s going to happen. He might make some saves that I won’t, but in a case like that, we want to take advantage of a bounce like that and make sure we’re in a good position to bury those.”
Luongo picked up his fourth shutout of the postseason Friday.
|Maxim Lapierre, Canucks take Game 5||06.10.11 at 10:53 pm ET|
VANCOUVER — The Bruins have had plenty of reasons not to like Maxim Lapierre, and he provided another Friday as his game-winning goal in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals brought the Canucks one win away from winning the it all.
After a Kevin Bieksa shot in the third period went wide and bounced back to the side of Thomas Thomas’ net, Lapierre fired it on net, with the B’s goaltender rolling into the net with the puck to make it 1-0, the game’s final score.
Roberto Luongo picked up his second shutout of the series, and fourth of the playoffs.
The teams will head to Boston for Monday’s Game 6. If necessary, Game 7 will be played in Vancouver on Wednesday.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- All of the offensive firepower from Games 3 and 4 did not accompany the Bruins back to Vancouver. The B’s now have just two goals in three games at Rogers Arena in this series.
On the few solid opportunities that the B’s had, either Luongo would come up big or luck would play a factor. Brad Marchand was robbed by the Vancouver in front after a nice pass from Mark Recchi in the second period, and Chris Kelly hit the cross bar in the first.
- The B’s had three power plays in the first period, and the solid opportunities were rare. The B’s best chance on the man advantage came with Andrew Alberts in the box, and Patrice Bergeron tipping a Dennis Seidenberg slap shot. Luongo stopped that, and came up even bigger on the rebound. Manny Malhotra began that Bruins’ power play by getting stopped by Thomas on a shorthanded breakaway bid. On the night, the B’s were
Gregory Campbell saw time on each of the Bruins’ first three power plays, totaling 2:17 on the man advantage in the first period.
- The Bruins can’t expect to win a game without Milan Lucic or Michael Ryder getting a shot on goal. Neither were able to put a puck on Luongo the entire night. Lucic was also pit-pocketed at the Bruins’ blue line with about a minute left in the game.
- Alexandre Burrows was nice again on his worst behavior. In addition to taking a whack at Tim Thomas‘ glove well after the play was dead in the second period, he ramped up his diving game to new heights. He was called for a dive on a Milan Lucic trip before the face-off in the second period, and by the time the third period rolled around, it seemed the officials paid no mind to any contact made with Burrows and his subsequent reactions.
- Not the best time to take a tripping penalty for Rich Peverley. The Bruins’ offensive utility man went off with 7:51 remaining in a game the B’s were trailing by a goal.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Once again, the B’s were able to stop the Canucks on the power play. Vancouver fans weren’t happy with how few penalties were called on the Bruins, and the Canucks couldn’t capitalize on either of their three power plays. Vancouver is now 1-for-25 on the man advantage in the finals.
- Tanner Glass probably isn’t going to be sleeping well after he had as golden an opportunity as he’ll ever get in the second period, though the win probably softens the blow. Glass took a pass right on Thomas’ door step and had about one whole second and an entire open net to work with, but he couldn’t get a handle on it. The play fell apart for the Canucks, and so too did a great shot at leading 1-0 midway through the game. Glass did not play in the first three games of the series, so if the Canucks hadn’t eventually gotten on the score board, thetalk of Jeff Tambellini getting g in there for Game 6 would have started up.
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