|Game 6 countdown, 4 p.m.: What are the hockey experts saying?||06.13.11 at 4:01 pm ET|
With Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals getting closer and closer here is a look at what a few of the hockey experts are saying:
TSN’s Bob McKenzie writes that is has been a ‘bizarre’ Stanley Cup finals. McKenzie has been surprised with just how unruly things have gotten and also writes how he spoke to a referee and he too was surprised at how on edge the players have been. He also writes about how special teams have played a key role in the series and the challenge the Canucks face playing in Boston.
Jeff Klein, of the New York Times, examines just how close the Canucks are to claiming their first Stanley Cup in 41 years of existence. He writes the celebration would rival the celebration that followed the 2010 Winter Olympics gold-medal game held in Vancouver.
Helene Elliott of the LA Times writes how even though the Bruins have dominated the majority of the statistical categories throughout the series it is the Canucks who are one win away from winning the Stanley Cup.
|Game 6 countdown, 3 p.m.: A Canucks player’s view on the series||06.13.11 at 3:01 pm ET|
Marblehead, Mass native, Boston College grad and Canucks backup goaltender Cory Schneider has been running a series long blog, Cory’s Story, on NHL.com. He posts almost on a daily basis and writes about his experiences during the series and gives insights on what it’s like playing in a Stanley Cup final.
A few highlights from the blog include:
– Schneider plans on spending $4,000 on tickets for Game 6. He wants his family to be there and tickets are going for about $500 each in the loge section of the TD Garden. He says that he gets free tickets for home games, but is on his own for road games.
– Writing about the Vancouver locker room after the win in Game 5 he wrote, “Guys were obviously excited in the room, but I also think it was kind of unfinished business. We haven’t won anything, but we’ve put ourselves in a position to win and I think we’re a little more excited and optimistic to head back to Boston and try to get it done.”
– He discusses his role as a backup goaltender during the playoffs, a time where he sees very limited action. “Practice is a time when I can help the guys get better when they want to stay out for extra work. In that sense, that’s my role right now, finding a way to help the guys get better. It’s tough because you have to be ready at any moment. At the same time, you’re into it and as caught up as the players are. Sometimes even more.”
|Game 6 countdown, 2 p.m.: Other cities have issues with Vancouver||06.13.11 at 2:02 pm ET|
Boston is not the only city that has an issue with the way the Canucks play the game.
Chicago Tribune writer Steve Rosenbloom wrote an article about the Blackhawks being familiar with the Canucks style of play because they acted the same way when they faced the Canucks in Round 1 of this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs. He notes a few dirty hits that the Canucks laid on the Blackhawks and the league did nothing in response to them.
The Province, a newspaper in British Columbia, recently ran a story about how most of Canada is pulling for the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup because most of Canada hates Vancouver. It says the hate comes from Canadians being jealous of Vancouver because it is a beautiful city and it hosted the Winter Olympics.
The Globe and Mail, a Toronto newspaper, had a story saying that the Canucks have become the NHL’s most hated team. The story examines the way the Canucks have reached the Stanley Cup finals and the way they have played the series. It also includes a quote from Oilers defenseman Ryan Whitney, who said, “This team is so easy to hate, it is unbelievable. … I’d say that 90 percent of the guys in the league want nothing to do with seeing them win.’
|Ray Bourque on D&C: Physical play and will the key for Bruins||06.09.11 at 9:47 am ET|
Former Bruins defenseman Ray Bourque joined Dennis & Callahan Thursday morning following the Bruins 4-0 win in Game 4 to discuss the game and the remainder of the series with the Canucks. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
‘I saw the Bruins come out with a different will in Game 3, from the opening shift when [Mark] Recchi went out ran over two guys, they were trying to be so much more physical than they were in Vancouver,” Bourque said. “I see a different will from the Bruins, and obviously that hit on [Nathan] Horton fueled things even more for the guys to rally around and make them more determined and hungry and want to win it for him. They just kept coming and coming to Vancouver in terms of physical play ‘¦ As both games wore on you could see the Bruins were wearing down Vancouver and how they were playing physically and it was fun to watch.’
Bourque discussed how goaltending has been such a major difference in the series.
“As you look at both teams their backbone is their goaltending and they rely on their goaltending so much, and Tim Thomas has been so much better than [Roberto] Luongo. I think that is wearing on Vancouver, as they are saying, ‘what are we going to get tonight from this guy?’ He’s been struggling.’
Although Luongo has in fact struggled, Bourque does not expect a Cancucks goalie change for Game 5.
‘I think you have to go with the guy that has gotten you there and is a Vezina trophy finalist, with Thomas, and you hope he gets back home and feels comfortable and plays his game,” he said. “I think you can’t go away from him, his track record in regular season is so strong … he’s got to the finals so you have to ride him out.”
|Who Is Alexandre Burrows and why did he bite Patrice Bergeron?||06.02.11 at 9:01 am ET|
In Wednesday nights Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows appeared to bite Bruins center Patrice Bergeron at the end of the first period. Burrows is no stranger to controversy on the ice.
This was Burrows’ sixth season in the NHL, he has played all six with the Canucks. Before that he played two years in the Quebec Major Hockey League and then seven years between the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) and the American Hockey League (AHL).
In January of 2010, he was involved a situation with NHL referee StÃ©phane Auger. Auger called two penalties on Burrows in the third period of a 2-2 game with the Predators, one for diving and the other for interference. The Canucks lost the game and with three seconds left he went up to Auger and protested the calls and was assessed an unsportsmanlike minor and a ten-minute misconduct.
Following the game Burrows told reporters that Auger has a personal vendetta against him. “It was personal. It started in warm-up, before the anthem,” Burrows said of Auger’s penalty calling. “[Auger] came over to me and he said I made him look bad in Nashville on the [Jerred] Smithson hit and he said he was going to get me back tonight.”
He was referring to a game a month prior when Predators Smithson hit him and was given a game misconduct by Auger. Following the game the penalty was rescinded because the league felt that Burrows embellished the hit.
Burrows was fined $2,500 for publically criticizing Auger. Later that week CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada aired an 11-minute long segment about Burrow’s past transgressions. The segment was said to be biased against Burrows and his parents went as far as writing a letter to CBC complaining about the segment saying it was a ‘verbal assassination’ and had ‘no journalistic balance.’
|Five questions for Bruins national anthem singer Rene Rancourt||06.01.11 at 1:48 pm ET|
Bruins national anthem singer Rene Rancourt was on hand at Fenway Park Wednesday afternoon to sing the national anthem prior to the Red Sox-White Sox game. WEEI.com caught up with Rancourt before he took to the field.
What do you think of the Bruins’ chances vs. the Canucks?
I try not to think too much because I get nervous when I think.
How do you feel about singing the national anthem at the Stanley Cup finals?
It is a great honor. I have been waiting many years. I’ve been like a bride waiting at the alter for all these years. I have to pinch myself and make sure this is really going on.
Do you do anything special for road games?
I like to listen to other singers. I like competition. It spurs you on to be better.
Who else in the league is good?
I don’t know, I don’t know names. I don’t get that involved.
Who is your favorite player on the Bruins?
I haven’t thought of that. ‘¦ Tim Thomas, because we’re both old men.
|Mike Emrick on M&M: ‘Weird things can happen in a seventh game’||05.26.11 at 1:15 pm ET|
NBC and Versus play-by-play man Mike “Doc” Emrick joined the Mut & Merloni show on Thursday to discuss the Lightning-Bruins series and preview Friday night’s Game 7 at TD Garden.
“The whole series has been [unusual], nothing [predictable] about what we’ll get tomorrow based on what we’ve seen so far,” Emrick said. “We know they are both good defensive teams, but try proving it.”
Emrick noted that Games 7’s are entirely unpredictable.
“Weird things that can happen in a seventh game we remember more because they were seventh games and not Games 4, 5 or 6’s,” he said. “Anybody can beat anybody in a Game 7. You get the right penalty call at the right time, you get a fluky bounce. ‘¦. If you care who wins you go, ‘Shoot, this is torture.'”
To hear the entire interview, visit the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
Here are more highlights from the interview:
On the Bruins’ struggles on the power play: “It’s a very unusual squad because its only happened a couple of times in history. It’s never happened before that a team didn’t get one power play goal and won a series, which they did in seven games against Montreal.
“The power play did strike late [in Game 6] and that certainly helped, but overall it was as flawed on the night as Tampa Bay’s was strong. Special teams made a big difference in this game, and they tend to make a big difference in games, but when you have a Bruins team that has got this far without much of a power play you have to say, ‘Well the ultimate seventh game might it not mean anything.'”
On the Bruins adjustments, including Zdeno Chara to the front of the net on the power play: “I think that confused [Dwayne Roloson], [Chara] had a deflection once, he got tangled with him once. Some of the things they were doing didn’t work but [Claude Julien] is more of a status quo coach than [Guy] Boucher is, but the thing is they have both had success they way that they do.”
On the Tampa Bay power play: We talked earlier in the series about how [David] Krejci, [Milan] Lucic and [Nathan] Horton had a lot of pressure because they weren’t producing well it was that same thing with the star power for Tampa Bay because [Vinny] Lecavalier and [Steve] Stamkos haven’t aligned in recent games. They came to the floor last night.
“It may have been not so much the Bruins penalty kill, but the fact there was heat on these guys, the ultimate heat on these guys, that if they don’t perform last night they aren’t performing anymore till October. They rose to the occasion.”
On Tyler Seguin’s ice time: “I am not sure what kind of difference he would have made. You have to remember that the game he had the four points in and tied a record, it wound up being a wacky wide open game that set up perfect for him.
“People say Seguin should get more time, and I understand that, but who will you take it away from? Maybe people would have people hand-picked to take time away from, but I can’t think of anyone. I know you mentioned [Mark] Recchi and thought he was out there too much, but there’s savvy and skill for a seventh game in particular that Mark Recchi has.”
On his Game 7 prediction: “This is going to be low scoring, and something bizarre will happen later on, but if I wake up two mornings from now and pick up the paper and realize the score was 7-6 I won’t be shocked.”
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