|Game 6 countdown, 1 p.m.: Haverhill teenager says late grandfather helping Bruins win||06.13.11 at 1:15 pm ET|
The Eagle-Tribune reported Monday that a Haverhill teenager’s grandfather becoming a Bruins fan right before his passing has paid dividends for the team in the postseason.
“At my grandpa’s wake I placed a ticket stub from the Dallas Stars game that I attended in February with my dad, my mom and one of my cousins,” 16-year-old Nicky Mangano said. “And since then the Bruins have been doing really well. They came back from 2-0 to win the series in seven games, they swept the Flyers in four, then Tampa in seven, and now they came back to tie Vancouver 2-2.”
Mangano said his grandfather, James Cassidy, started following the Bruins so the two could talk about something to take Mangano’s mind off his grandfather’s failing health. Cassidy, a Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics fan, died on April 14 at age 85.
At Cassidy’s wake, family members placed Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots caps in his casket.
“I was thinking that he didn’t have all the sports, so I added the Bruins ticket stub,” Mangano said.
“On the morning of the funeral, when we were saying our last goodbyes, Nicky tucked in his ticket stub,” said Nicky’s mother, Deborah Mangano. “We all said maybe that will bring the Bruins some good luck.”
Mangano watches the Bruins wearing a Patrice Bergeron jersey. His father Nick wears Bobby Orr‘s.
“Every time the Bruins win I look up and say, ‘Thanks, grandpa,’ ” Nicky said.
|Tony Amonte on M&M: Roberto Luongo ‘pumps his own tires enough’||06.13.11 at 12:55 pm ET|
CSNNE Bruins analyst Tony Amonte spoke with the Mut & Merloni show Monday morning. To hear the interview, go the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
Amonte said the key to the Bruins winning Game 6 Monday night is to “ride [Zdeno] Chara and [Dennis] Seidenberg.”
“I think that’s what they’ve done at home is been able to ride those two defensemen, their top D pair,” Amonte said. “They don’t get scored on much, and they help you out, create a lot of offense for the Bruins.”
Amonte said that a key to the offense is getting Tyler Seguin more minutes, especially on the power play.
“Seguin’s a guy that could break the game open,” he said.
“You have to play the odds. You have to put a guy out there you know is going to score a little bit more than another guy.”
While Gregory Campbell is good on faceoffs and penalty kills, Amonte said he lacks the puck control necessary to play in front of the net on power plays.
“If you can’t get control of the puck and you can’t get it set up, you’re never going to see a net-front guy,” Amonte said, adding: “That second unit just never had the ability to get the puck, settle it down, and establish a net-front presence.”
|Game 6 countdown, 11 a.m.: Johnny Canuck video makes rounds||06.13.11 at 11:01 am ET|
The cinematic YouTube tale of “Johnny Canuck” is trending in Canada, and a Huffington Post article Monday morning is sure to boost its U.S. popularity leading up to Monday’s Game 6.
The video tells the history of Johnny Canuck, a Canadian mountain man who has suffered at the hands of rangers, islanders and years of incompetence, only to rise above everyone to face off against the bruins (played by an actual bear) for the chance to win it all.
The video, originally published Thursday, was directed by and stars Adam MacKay-Smith, the force behind British Columbia-based entertainment company Sugar High Entertainment.
|Doc Emrick on D&C: ‘I think [Bruins] will win this one tonight’||06.13.11 at 10:57 am ET|
Stanley Cup finals play-by-play announcer Doc Emrick checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to offer his thoughts on Game 6. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Emrick picked the Bruins to win Monday night.
“I think the more desperate team stands to win,” Emrick said, adding: “The memory of Boston games here against Vancouver is a pretty strong and emphatic one. These were not close games. All three of the ones in Vancouver were one-goal games. So, I fully expect, I would not be shocked to look back at Vancouver for a Game 7.”
Emrick added that Game 7s are a “dice roll.”
“Pawtucket could beat the BoSox in a Game 7,” he said. “You get a couple of breaks, and all of a sudden you’re in there and you’re winning a game. The Bruins have been the underdogs the whole series, and there’s nothing says they can’t win a Game 7. I think they will win this one tonight, but there’s nothing that says they can’t take a seventh.”
Emrick said that plays like Alex Burrows‘ bite and Aaron Rome’s illegal hit, regardless of how dirty they might have really been, have been useful in generating fan support for the Bruins.
“You don’t have to stretch too far to find villains in this one compared to others,” Emrick said. “I think the nature of the fouls and the grievances are the thing that make it unique compared to others. We haven’t had this many penalty minutes in a finals series in over 20 years.”
|Andy Brickley on D&C: ‘I don’t like the way [Canucks] play the game’||06.13.11 at 9:42 am ET|
NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley called in to the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to talk about the Stanley Cup finals and Game 6. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Brickley said that despite Vancouver’s home-ice domination during the Stanley Cup finals, the Canucks certainly aren’t going to sit back Monday night and wait to play Game 7 back home.
“They want to end this thing tonight, because anything can happen in Game 7,” Brickley said. “And you don’t know how you are going to come out of Game 6 in terms of your health.”
The Bruins, meanwhile, must counter with the determination to prevent the Canucks from celebrating on their ice.
“Not in our building, not in our house, not at the Garden,” Brickley said. “They do not win a Stanley Cup on here on our ice in front of our fans.”
Brickley said that Roberto Luongo’s trash-talking Tim Thomas was a case of “a guy that’s a little bit immature when it comes to dealing with the media.”
“I think there’s a hint of jealousy in what he’s saying about Tim Thomas,” Brickley said.
|Media roundup: National opinion starts to turn against Canucks||06.10.11 at 12:10 pm ET|
With the Stanley Cup finals down to a best-of-three series, two countries’ worth of media can’t help but comment on the series.
The Toronto Star’s Dan Robson hasn’t enjoyed the pettiness and immaturity by both the Canucks and the Bruins, calling them “fifth-grade versions of themselves.”
Wrote Robson: “The Bruins and Canucks have gone classless-tit for gutless-tat all series long.”
ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun, meanwhile, has focused on the games themselves, seeing Vancouver’s road losses to the Bruins by a combined score of 12-1 reflect numerous issues with the Canucks, ranging from poor goalie play to a lack of team confidence.
“They head home with their confidence shaken, their goalie perhaps rattled and their passionate fan base unquestionably believing 40 years of misery will continue with one more giant heartbreak headed their way,” LeBrun wrote Thursday.
Gord McIntyre, a writer for Vancouver-based newspaper the Province, wrote Friday that the media and much of the NHL wants to see the Canucks lose, that they have become the villains of the NHL. His article cited such examples as Versus commentator Mike Milbury calling Daniel and Henrik Sedin “Thelma and Louise,” a Chicago reporter seeing a picture of Cher and saying “Luongo,” and Blackhawks center Dave Bolland saying the team played “sort of like a little girl.”
Helene Elliot of the Chicago Tribune wrote Thursday that the Bruins’ success is based on Tim Thomas’ success, and Thomas’ success is based on his “feistiness.” Jackie MacMullan of ESPN.com wrote a similar article Thursday, but added that the Canucks don’t respect Thomas’ aggression and talent. MacMullan quoted Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa as calling Thomas “leaky,” and wrote that, according to the Canucks, simply shooting more will expose Thomas’ weaknesses.
|Gord Kluzak on D&C: Zdeno Chara in front of net ‘a waste of energy and time’||06.06.11 at 11:04 am ET|
NESN Bruins analyst and former defenseman Gord Kluzak called in to the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning to discuss the Stanley Cup finals. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Kluzak said that the Bruins could have won either of the first two games had they played slightly better.
“I think they have had breakdowns at times that have really hurt,” Kluzak said. “I think if they get back to what they can do – and the model is Game 7 vs. Tampa Bay — this thing is very winnable. I’m much more optimistic than I hear you guys were this morning.
“I don’t think Vancouver is as good as advertised. I’ve never been overly impressed with the Sedins. I think [Ryan] Kessler may be hurt, the way that [Johnny] Boychuk hit happened early on in Game 2. I didn’t think Kessler was the same player, and I think if you’re the Bruins you’re trying to be as physical as you can with him because he is the key, in my opinion. I think this is still very winnable. The Bruins obviously have to play near-perfect hockey, but I think they can do that.”
Kluzak said two specific adjustments the Bruins should make is getting Zdeno Chara away from the net on the power play and including Rich Peverley on the Patrice Bergeron-Brad Marchand line.
“Chara up front in the power play is just a waste of energy and time,” Kluzak said. “Look at the way Milan [Lucic] scored his goal. It was a rebound in front. Well, that’s what the power play is all about. That’s why you need him out there, and it doesn’t help you to have the guy that you rely on the most in your own zone up front of the net on the power play when you have a guy that’s probably better at it and would be more suited to it.”
Kluzak said he thought that Peverley’s speed “would open the ice up a little bit more for Bergeron.”
Kluzak said he did not think fatigue is an issue for Chara. “This is a guy who rides 110 miles on a bike through the mountains every summer day,” Kluzak said. “This guy is the best-conditioned athlete I think I’ve ever seen.”
Despite Shawn Thornton‘s physicality, Kluzak said more playing time for the enforcer is not the answer for the Bruins.
“The guy you would have to take out of the lineup is [Daniel] Paille, and Paille is an outstanding penalty-killer,” Kluzak said. “He’s executed that, and I think you really need that skill set. You don’t want to use your better offensive players in that penalty-killing situation.”
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