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Canucks are blue over Tim Thomas’ positioning, but Bruins aren’t concerned 06.02.11 at 8:02 pm ET
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VANCOUVER — Biting aside, one hot-button issue to emerge from Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals was where Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas set up shop. The Vezina favorite drew a questionable tripping call on Alexandre Burrows in the second period of Wednesday’s game, which caused Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault to question Thomas’ positioning outside of the crease.

Following the game, Vigneault said one big difference between Thomas and Roberto Luongo, both of whom entered the series with nearly identical postseason numbers, is that his guy stays put.

“Our goaltender always plays in the blue, stays in his ice. Their goaltender is always out of the blue and comes into other people’s ice,” Vigneault said after Game 1. “We’re going to need a little bit of clarification there, especially when he’s initiating contact with our team. I’m sure we’ll be able to figure it out.”

If Vigneault needs clarification, he can simply go to Rule 69.4, which applies to contact outside the crease. Here is the part of that rule that would pertain to Wednesday’s play:

“A goalkeeper is not ‘fair game’ just because he is outside the goal crease. The appropriate penalty should be assessed in every case where an attacking player makes unnecessary contact with the goalkeeper. However, incidental contact will be permitted when the goalkeeper is in the act of playing the puck outside his goal crease provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such unnecessary contact.”

Thomas defended his ground Thursday when the subject was brought up during the Bruins’ media availability.

“Basically I have the right to go anywhere there’s open ice,” Thomas said. “If I’m set, I have a right to that ice. If I’m out of the paint and I’m set, I also have the right to get right-of-way to get back to the crease. That’s the way I understand it.”

That’s just what Thomas felt he was doing on the penalty taken by Burrows. As for the notion that the Canucks could need clarification on what he can and can’t do, Thomas pointed to how rare it is that he has drawn such a penalty. If the Canucks are worried about it happening often, they may be reading too far into things.

“I don’t think I’ve drawn that many penalties this playoffs,” Thomas said Thursday at the University of British Columbia. “Yesterday on the one on [Burrows], I went to make the first stop, then the puck was going off to the side. I was retreating back to the center of my net, felt resistance behind my leg, and I was actually just going with it. I was going to basically flip around, flip my body around, to be able to at least have a chance to stop that rebound that went to the side of the net.

“I didn’t know if it was my guy or their guy or who [tripped me]. I was backing up and there was something behind my leg. It sort of put me off balance.”

Bruins coach Claude Julien didn’t see reason for concern either and figured Luongo could do the same thing if he wanted.

“If he gets a chance to challenge, he challenges,” Julien said of Thomas. “The rule is pretty clear. You’re entitled to your ice. If he steps out and he’s got that ice, he’s entitled to it. That’s what he’s done through the whole process.

“Now, we all know that goaltenders are to be protected. If you’re going to say he’s out of his crease, he’s fair game, that should be the same thing behind the net. ‘€¦ If he’s entitled to his ice, and he’s got it, then afterwards I don’t think people are entitled to run over those guys. If Luongo comes out of his net, he’s got his ice, it’s his, it belongs to him. The rule to me is pretty clear so I don’t see any issues there.”

Maybe Vigneault and the Bruins will have to agree to disagree, and though Thomas may have gone down a little easily on the play, the ruling seems clear enough.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Alain Vigneault, Alexandre Burrows, Claude Julien
Chris Kelly a common spectator for hockey bites 06.02.11 at 6:38 pm ET
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VANCOUVER — Bruins center Chris Kelly said Thursday that there isn’t a place for actions like Alexandre Burrows’ bite on Patrice Bergeron in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals, saying “I don’t’ think biting’s part of the game.” Yet in Kelly’s case, he has seen multiple times now that it can be part of the game.

Kelly, who was acquired in February from the Senators for a second-round draft pick, was playing for Ottawa when teammate Jarkko Ruutuu got tried dining on the thumb of Sabres’ winger Andrew Peters. For a relatively quiet guy, Kelly has a sense of humor, so his perspective on how his team dealt with having a teammate bite a player was sharp.

“I didn’t think Ruutes bit him. I don’t know,” Kelly said with a laugh. “I’m always going to stick up for teammates. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Maybe Kelly didn’t know, but the league did. They suspended Ruutu for two games for the incident, which occurred on January 6, 2009. Unlike Ruutu, Burrows was not suspended for his bite.

It’s far from an epidemic, but Kelly has seen two bites in the last three seasons. Still, he’s not about to start worrying the next time he face-washes an opponent.

“I don’t think too many guys go and bite people,” Kelly said. “I don’t think you need to worry about it.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Alexandre Burrows, Patrice Bergeron, Stanley Cup Finals
Patrice Bergeron shows cut finger, Bruins trying to move on from Alexandre Burrows bite 06.02.11 at 6:20 pm ET
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VANCOUVER — Speaking Thursday at the University of British Columbia, Bruins center Patrice Bergeron and coach Claude Julien offered no disagreement with the league’s decision to not suspend Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows for biting Bergeron in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals Wednesday.

“As far as I’m concerned, the league has made a decision on it, and we move on,” Julien said. “I think what’s more important for us is to prepare for the next game more than put all our attention on something that’s already been ruled on. We’re not the type of team that whines and cries about things like that. We just move on, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Bergeron expressed the same line of thinking.

“Like I said last night, it’s the league’s decision,” Bergeron said. “I let them make the call and make the decision. It’s there’s, so I have nothing else to say about it, I guess.”

After speaking with the press, Bergeron showed some media members his right index finger, which was bruised and had two cuts on the front, and one on the back.

Burrows told Bergeron at the time of the incident, which occurred at the end of the first period, that he had no choice but to bite him because Bergeron’s fingers were in his mouth, something the B’s center laughed off Thursday.

“We were both face-washing each other, and I didn’t mean to put my finger in his mouth,” he said. “Why would I do that?”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Alexandre Burrows, Claude Julien, Patrice Bergeron
Dan Hamhuis day-to-day 06.02.11 at 4:32 pm ET
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VANCOUVER — One day after Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis left Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals in the second period due to injury, Vancouver coach said Thursday at the University of British Columbia that the defenseman is “day-to-day.”

Hamhuis hip-checked Bruins left wing Milan Lucic and was cross-checked immediately following the play by B’s center David Krejci. He headed down the tunnel and did not return to the game. The former 12th overall pick has averaged 24:50 of ice time this postseason, which is third on the Canucks.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Dan Hamhuis, David Krejci, Milan Lucic
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,
No suspension for Vancouver’s Alex Burrows in biting incident 06.02.11 at 2:57 pm ET
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The NHL has decided not to suspend Vancouver forward Alex Burrows after he apparently bit Boston’s Patrice Bergeron in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals.

“After reviewing the incident, including speaking with the on-ice officials, I can find no conclusive evidence that Alex Burrows intentionally bit the finger of Patrice Bergeron,” said NHL vice president Mike Murphy.

Burrows has denied biting Bergeron, to which the Bruins’ forward said, “Oh yeah, he did. He cut me a little bit on my finger, but I’m not going to complain about it. I’ll let the league do their job, but he sure did [bite me].”

Read More: Alex Burorws, Patrice Bergeron,
Who Is Alexandre Burrows and why did he bite Patrice Bergeron? 06.02.11 at 9:01 am ET
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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 Stéphane 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 ‘€œverbal assassination’€ and had ‘€œno journalistic balance.’€

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Read More: Alexandre Burrows, Patrice Bergeron,
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