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Game 7 countdown, 5 p.m.: Compilation of Game 7 predictions 06.15.11 at 5:15 pm ET
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Vancouver left winger Daniel Sedin already gave his Stanley Cup finals Game 7 prediction, in the form of a guaranteed victory in an interview with the Vancouver Sun. He has since said he wasn’t guaranteeing anything. Now, with the decisive contest just a few hours away, predictions are popping up across the web left and right.

Despite numerous statistics that appear to give Vancouver the edge at home, the picks are split fairly evenly. Below is a list of various predictions for Wednesday’s Stanley Cup finals Game 7.

WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan (audio):

Gerry Callahan: Bruins 3-2 in overtime

John Dennis: Bruins 2-1

Jon Meterparel: Bruins 4-1

Yahoo! Sports’ PuckDaddy blog (audio):

Greg Wyshynski: Canucks

Wyshynski initially had Vancouver winning the series in six games, and he’s still leaning toward the Canucks. “I’m sticking with Vancouver,” he said during an appearance on Mut & Merloni Wednesday morning. “I think this is one of those series where the home team holds serve throughout the entire thing. They’re a different team when they play out there.”

SI.com (audio):

Daren Eliot: Canucks

Sportsnet Radio The Fan 590 (audio):

Damian Cox: Bruins

ESPN.com

Scott Burnside: Bruins 5-2

ESPN Radio (audio):

Barry Melrose: Vancouver in a low scoring contest

NHL.com staff

Bob Condor: Canucks 2-0

Dave Lozo: Canucks 3-2

Corey Masisak: Canucks 3-2

Shawn Roarke: Bruins 3-1

Dan Rosen: Bruins 2-1

Rosen: “The prevailing opinion is that Tim Thomas has already won the Conn Smythe Trophy. He’ll lock it up with another stellar performance in Game 7. The Canucks strike first, but Boston answers quickly and hometown boy Milan Lucic wins it with a goal in the third period. Thomas shuts the door on the Canucks’ hopes for their first Stanley Cup by making another 30-plus saves to set the record for most saves in a Stanley Cup Final. He will finish the Final allowing only 9 goals in seven games. All that gets left to the imagination is what Lucic will do with the Cup when he brings it back to Vancouver for his day of glory this summer?”

And finally, the younger vote:

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Game 7 countdown, 3 p.m.: No alcohol to be sold by Vancouver bars after 4 p.m. 06.15.11 at 2:59 pm ET
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The Vancouver police expect about 100,000 energized hockey fans to be in the city for Game 7. As they did during the 2010 Olympics and on Monday, when 35,000 Canucks fans gathered to watch Game 6 in Boston, the police have announced that alcohol sales will not be allowed after 4 p.m by anyone in the downtown core of Vancouver, according to Time.com.

‘€œIt is common sense,’€ said Vancouver Police Constable Lindsey Houghton. ‘€œIf you don’t put liquor in peoples’ hands, the potential for liquor-related violence is less.’€

The Vancouver Police Department and the South Coast BC Transportation Authority Police issued close to 3,000 ‘€œliquor pour-outs’€ on the day of Game 5. Postgame riots have been well documented in professional sports. After the Red Sox defeated the Yankees in Game 7 of the 2004 American League championship series, 21-year old Victoria Snelgrove was killed in the celebration.

Read More: Alcohol Ban, Lindsey Houghton, Stanley Cup Finals,
Game 7 countdown, 2 p.m.: Vancouver writer claims ‘Bruins can virtually do anything to any Vancouver player’ after whistle 06.15.11 at 2:08 pm ET
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This series has been filled with a level of controversy saved for only the best. The Alexandre Burrows biting incident, Aaron Rome‘s knockout hit on Nathan Horton, and Roberto Luongo‘s Game 5 postgame comments immediately come to the minds of Bruins fans. But what do Vancouver fans have to complain about?

The referees have been blatantly favoring the Boston squad, according to Tony Gallagher of The Province, a newspaper in British Columbia.

“Stated simply, the Bruins can virtually do anything to any Vancouver player with total impunity until after the game is won,” Gallagher wrote. “At that point, they then get their fair share of penalties. Further, they can do anything to any Vancouver player after the whistle while it’s still a game and nothing is called unless there is a flagrant retaliation by the Vancouver player. At that point both infractions are called. Boston of course gets lots of penalties late, with the game decided, to make it look like they might even be getting shafted in total calls. But that’s a familiar NHL pattern.”

Gallagher went on to cite Game 6 hits from Johnny Boychuk and Patrice Bergeron, as well as  a scuffle that included Brad Marchand, whom he called “the little Bruin,” landing six consecutive punches on Canucks left winger Daniel Sedin.

Read More: Referees, Stanley Cup Finals, Tony Gallagher,
Bobby Orr on The Big Show: Claude Julien ‘wouldn’t like me’ as a player 06.10.11 at 6:52 pm ET
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Bruins legend Bobby Orr joined The Big Show show Friday afternoon to talk about the Stanley Cup finals. To hear the interview, go to The Big Show audio on demand page.

Orr has enjoyed staying close with the city of Boston since retiring and being a small part of this championship run.

“There are a lot of guys that are responsible for making hockey what it is in Boston,” Orr said. “I’€™m happy to be part of that. To be there the other night, the atmosphere was incredible. To see how this team has come along, how they’€™ve put it together. All season long they’€™ve had their bumps, but they’€™ve always answered the bell.

“The fourth game, in my mind, they just dominated every part of the game. They didn’€™t make a mistake. They were so solid. I thought they were even better in the fourth game than the third game. I think guys like [Milan] Lucic and [Zdeno] Chara played their very best games in the fourth game. I was so happy to be part of it, to watch this team. It’€™s been a thrill.”

Orr said that he’s not surprised the Bruins are two games from winning the Cup.

“They’€™ve shown so much character,” Orr said. “It’€™s wonderful to watch. And if you look, they’€™re getting something from everybody. Horton gets hurt, [Rich] Peverley steps in. [Michael] Ryder gets one the other night. Tim Thomas has been a star all year. [Brad] Marchand, this kid is incredible. This kid has played so so well. They’€™re getting production from everybody. Am I surprised? No, I’€™m not surprised.”

Orr joked that coach Claude Julien wouldn’t appreciate his offensive-minded playing style as he doesn’t fit the coach’s reserved game plan.

“Coach wouldn’€™t like me,” Orr said. “I don’€™t think he would like me taking off all the time. I was lucky.  I played with a team that let me do my thing. I was owned by them when I was 14. If they have wanted me to change my style [they would have]. That’€™s the way I was most effective.”

Chara might play the same position as Orr, but he is as different a defenseman as they come. Orr spoke about Chara’s defensive abilities, as well as his length.

“Moving guys out of the way,” Orr said. “His reach. Nobody’€™s going to beat him on a one-on-one. He can keep it so far away from them. You’€™re not going to get close enough to him to get around him.”

Added Orr: “What you have to do is pick up his stick. ‘€¦ I have a difficult time lifting it.”

Regarding Nathan Horton, who suffered a severe concussion in Game 3, Orr said that he is progressing.

“He’€™s doing fine,” Orr said. “Obviously he has headaches. ‘€¦ Hopefully he’€™ll play and all the rest, but longterm health is what we’€™re concerned with now.”

Vancouver’s Aaron Rome delivered the illegal hit on Horton. Orr said those types of actions need to stop in the NHL.

“Certainly it was a late hit,” Orr said. “It was a high hit. It was an illegal hit. Those are the kind of hits we must get rid of. ‘€¦ They must get rid of those high hits. I don’€™t understand why the players can’€™t body check. … Any hits to the head, accidental or not, have to be a penalty.”

Read More: Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins, Stanley Cup Finals, The Big Show
Ray Ferraro on M&M: Roberto Luongo is ‘the Bob Stanley of Vancouver’ 06.10.11 at 5:08 pm ET
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Former NHL player and current Vancouver radio host Ray Ferraro joined the Mut & Merloni show Friday afternoon to talk about the Stanley Cup finals. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Ferraro was a guest before Game 3 of the finals and has seen the Canucks fan base get much more worried since Boston knotted the series at 2-2.

“It’€™s a cloudy, gray day here in Vancouver,” Ferraro said. “While everybody seems to want to to believe, they’€™ve clearly seen that a team that they’€™d only seen one time in the regular season is a hell of a lot better than they thought. And you guys know, you see somebody in a short sample and you make this instant evaluation. They’€™re not fast enough. They’€™re not going to be able to hit our players.”

Added Ferraro: “They found out the game can change in a hurry. And you don’€™t get to be one of the final two teams by not being very good. I guess the way I would sum what I’€™ve seen this is that just like in life there are different ways to do the same thing. The Bruins go about it one way and the Canucks go about it a different way. And one way’€™s not better than the other, it’€™s just different. And here we sit tied 2-2.”

Former Bruin and current TV analyst Mike Milbury recently joked about Henrik and Daniel Sedin, calling them “Thelma and Louise.” When asked if he thought the identical twins needed to become tougher, Ferraro said it’s not going to happen.

“They can’€™t. You can’€™t change who you are,” he said. “The Sedins aren’€™t going to physically challenge anybody. I think one of their biggest problems is that they’€™ve gotten involved in a little bit of the extracurricular stuff. Boston’€™s pushing them around and they’€™re trying to push back. There’€™s no point in it. There’€™s no point for the Sedins. The push back has to be being stronger on the puck, winning a puck battle and when you get a power play, hurt the Bruins that way. They’€™re not going to hurt them physically. Mike calling them ‘Thelma and Louise’ of course it sounds great and it’€™s great TV, but ask him if he was coaching if he’€™d want the  back-to-back Art Ross Trophy winners on his team. I hope he’€™d say yes. If not, he’€™d be, well, on TV.”

Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo has taken a lot of heat for allowing a dozen goals in the last two games. Ferraro said he is not the only one to blame. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Bruins, Mut & Merloni, Ray Ferraro, Stanley Cup Finals
Barry Melrose on M&M: ‘Boston has to win this game to have a chance of winning this series’ 06.08.11 at 2:45 pm ET
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ESPN hockey analyst Barry Melrose joined the Mut & Merloni show Wednesday afternoon to talk about the Stanley Cup finals and Wednesday night’s Game 4. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

When asked if he would be sitting with the Green Men at the game, Melrose joked: “I stay away from the Green Men. I can’€™t even believe they got into the country. I’€™m a little embarrassed about letting those guys in.”

He added: “We keep al-Qaida out, but we let these two guys in? What’€™s that all about?”

Melrose said that the finger-taunting in Game 3 has helped made this series an exciting one. However, it may come back to bite Boston in Game 4.

“I think [Alexandre] Burrows should’€™ve been suspended,” Melrose said. “I said that from Day 1. I think that if he would’€™ve been suspended that would’€™ve put away the finger crap. But I like the finger stuff. I thought it was funny. I had some fun with it. It’€™s interesting. Five years from now when we’€™re talking about this series, what are we going to talk about? We’€™re going to be talking about that stuff with the fingers and [Milan] Lucic and Burrows and stuff like that. I have no problem with that. It’€™s interesting. But, the NHL doesn’€™t want it.

“Obviously, the referees are going to crack down tonight. They’€™re going to be reffing very close to their vest. I think that favors Vancouver. Boston’€™s got to be aggressive. They’€™ve got to be physical. And the referees are going to be told to call everything, so we might see a lot of penalties tonight.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Alex Burrows, Barry Melrose, Boston Bruins, Mark Recchi
Stanley Cup finals Game 1 gets highest rating in 12 years 06.02.11 at 4:06 pm ET
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Wednesday’s night’s Bruins-Canucks Stanley Cup finals Game 1 received the highest preliminary rating of any Cup finals opener since 1999. The game, which aired on NBC, earned a 3.2 overnight rating and 6 percent share. Ratings are calculated based on the percentage of all households with televisions that have the program on. Shares are calculated based on the percentage of all households with TVs on at the time of the program.

This year’s ratings were 14 percent higher than last year’s Flyers-Blackhawks matchup and the highest since the Sabres-Stars matchup earned a 3.7 rating a dozen years ago. Sports Media Watch also reported that the Bruins had a 25.5 rating in Boston beating last year’s Game 1 of the NBA finals between the Celtics and Lakers that drew a 19.1 rating.

Read More: Boston Bruins, Television Ratings, Vancouver Canucks,
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