|Game 7 countdown, 6 p.m.: Wednesday’s game-winner could come from unlikely hero||06.15.11 at 5:47 pm ET|
With a series-high six points apiece, Michael Ryder, Mark Recchi and David Krejci have lead the way offensively for Boston, and the Bruins will certainly be counting on their big guns with the title on the line. However, Stanley Cup Game 7 history has shown that big plays often come from unexpected places. Here’s just a pair of examples.
The last time the Stanley Cup finals saw a Game 7 was in 2009, when the Penguins shocked the Red Wings in Detroit for their first title in 17 years. Marc-Andre Fleury stole the show in net, but it wasn’t Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin providing the offense. Instead, Maxime Talbot, a grinder who never had more than 13 goals in a season, scored twice for the Penguins in the 2-1 victory.
Back in 2003, the Devils relied on former benchwarmer Michael Rupp for all three points in their 3-0 title-clinching win over the Ducks. The forward had been a healthy scratch since March, and didn’t hit the ice until Game 4 of the finals when Joe Nieuwendyk went down with an injury. Rupp had one assist through his first three games, but erupted for a goal and two assists in the decisive Game 7.
So who might play that role for the Bruins? Rookie Tyler Seguin has been relatively quiet with just one assist after breaking out in the Eastern Conference finals against the Lightning, while Adam McQuaid, Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton have stayed off the score sheet through the last six games.
A goal from Patrice Bergeron or Zdeno Chara wouldn’t qualify as unlikely, although neither player has lit the lamp this series.
|Game 7 countdown, 4 p.m.: Andrew Ference, Raffi Torres looking for Game 7 redemption||06.15.11 at 3:57 pm ET|
The Bruins and Canucks have had six games to get accustomed to one another, but little can prepare a player for his first crack at Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. In fact, it’s only happened 15 times.
But both Boston and Vancouver have one player who’s been there before, although Andrew Ference and Raffi Torres came up empty-handed.
In 2004, Ference’s Flames took the Lightning to seven games but dropped the deciding matchup on the road, 2-1.
“In your whole career, you’re not going to get too many shots to do it,” Ference said. “Just to get in the final is a treat … I had all the motivation last time as well, sometimes it shakes out the right way for you and sometimes it doesn’t. Everybody knows the stakes but big games are still the same and the pressure remains as well.”
Torres chance came in 2006 with the Oilers, who made an unprecedented run to the finals as an eighth seed. He assisted on Edmonton’s only goal in Game 7, a 3-1 loss to the Hurricanes in North Carolina.
Torres likes his chances much better this year.
“[In Vancouver], we’ve played the right way,” he said. “We put ourselves in a great position all year long to play this way. We feel confident, we’re happy to be home, and it’s going to be good.”
|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.”
Ferraro also had an interesting take on Roberto Luongo‘s critique of Tim Thomas‘ goaltending style.
“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.”
|Jeremy Roenick on The Big Show: Vancouver is now the villian||06.07.11 at 6:25 pm ET|
A day after the Bruins’ convincing victory in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals, former NHL pro and current Versus analyst Jeremy Roenick was a guest on The Big Show to discuss the changing momentum in the series.
“I truly believe that [the Bruins] can, and they will tie this thing up 2-2 by the end of [Wednesday] night,” Roenick said. “A message was sent by the Boston Bruins by Denis Seidenberg, by Milan Lucic, by some of the guys that needed to make a statement last night: if you guys want to play like this, we are all in.”
Roenick also shared his thoughts on the perception of the Bruins’ opponents. “The Vancouver Canucks are now the villain in the United States. They are the villain because of the way they played, because of [Alex] Burrows, because of [Aaron] Rome.” Burrows bit Patrice Bergeron‘s finger in Game 1, and Rome was given a five game suspension Tuesday after his hit on Nathan Horton in Game 3.
|The Bruins have another foe to contend with in Vancouver: The Green Men||06.04.11 at 6:50 pm ET|
After a series-opening game of fights, bites and a last-second goal, it’s clear the Bruins will have their hands full in the Stanley Cup finals. As if dealing with one of the NHL’s most talented rosters wasn’t enough, players like Brad Marchand are finding that Vancouver’s advantage even extends into the stands.
We’re speaking, of course, about the Green Men.
If you haven’t heard about these goons already, here’s the short version: a pair of Canucks fans dress up in full neon green spandex body suits for every home game, transforming themselves into faceless green blobs in the crowd. Their purpose? Revving up the arena, dancing like madmen, and most of all, heckling opponents in the penalty box from their front row seats. Here’s just a small sample of their work.
The NHL has banned “Force” and “Sully” from banging on the penalty box glass and performing their signature handstands, but the masked marauders still managed to get under Marchand’s skin during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals.
In an interview with The Big Show, Green Man Adam Forsythe accused the 23-year-old forward of foul play while serving a penalty Wednesday night.
“We were sprayed with some water by [Marchand],” Forsythe claimed. “We were giving it to him a little bit, and yeah, he just sprayed water right through the glass.” You can listen to the full interview on The Big Show audio on demand page.
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