|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.”
“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.”
|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|
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.
|Nathan Horton obviously not playing Game 7||06.15.11 at 2:00 pm ET|
VANCOUVER — In the “how is this news?” moment of the day, here’s a good one.
Bruins coach Claude Julien didn’t even let a reporter finish his question Wednesday in Vancouver when the topic of Nathan Horton potentially playing in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals was brought up. The coach said there was no way Horton would be playing, a statement so obvious that the fact it became a story up here speaks volumes to how badly the media up here gets carried away. After all, Horton was diagnosed with a severe concussion just over a week ago and was ruled out for the rest of the playoffs.
“Let me cut your question short,” Julien said. “Absolutely no. It’s ridiculous. So let’s put an end to that.”
A television station in Vancouver turned Julien’s quote from Tuesday about Horton wishing he could play into a report that “Horton was trying to convince the Bruins to let him play in Game 7.”
So no, Horton is obviously not playing. It’s astonishing that even had to be said.
|Marty Turco on M&M: If Canucks don’t win, ‘backlash will be felt for a long time’||06.15.11 at 1:52 pm ET|
Turco has been a guest analyst for NHL Network since his team was eliminated by the Canucks in the opening round. Chicago, the defending Stanley Cup champion, fell behind 3-0 in the series before rallying to force a Game 7 that Vancouver won 2-1.
Turco made it clear that he doesn’t like the Canucks’ brash style.
“That’s where it really got me, was when we were in Chicago and they’re up in the game, and they’re running their mouths, and they are real cocky,” he said. “Never mind that my team beat them the two previous years, knocked them out. You think they’d learn their lesson and just go about their business, but that wasn’t the case. It was quite interesting to watch us come back and know that we had them. We know that they’re playing differently.
“It was eerily similar in this [Bruins] series. I didn’t see them as cocky as they were going up 3-0 against their arch nemesis, but certainly they faltered. You can’t blame [Roberto] Luongo, you can’t blame just one person. You’ve got to blame everybody, from top to bottom. They just weren’t able to show up on the road.”
Asked about the Bruins’ strategy to get to Luongo, Turco said: “The game plan is always the same: Score often, score early. That would certainly be their best asset. Just continue to put pressure on him, take shots. Sometimes, pucks hit goalies that might not be 100 percent confident early in the game. That’s what they need sometimes. I think he’ll actually play really well. I think it’s going to be another tight game here in Vancouver. I know Bruins Nation would love another blowout. ‘¦ I think it will be a pretty good one.
“They just need to continue to get in front of the net. I don’t think they were doing that early in the series, and certainly on the road. ‘¦ They’re going to have to fight to get in front of the net. We saw those goals, some tip-ins, some screens. Those types of goals are harder to come by, but you just have to follow through and work to get there.”
|Daniel Sedin guarantees he didn’t guarantee anything||06.15.11 at 1:38 pm ET|
VANCOUVER — Both the Canucks and Bruins players have provided enough drama for the Stanley Cup finals without the press exaggerating their words the way the players have exaggerated plays to get penalties.
Yet the media up here pulled a bit of a Maxim Lapierre this week when they turned Daniel Sedin saying he was confident his team would take Game 7 into a guaranteed victory.
“We’re 3-3 and we won all three games at home and we have the fourth game at home,” Sedin, who used the words “will win,” told the Vancouver Sun. “So we have the seventh game at home and we’ll take that. We are confident.”
The Canucks’ alternate captain wasn’t pleased with the idea that he guaranteed victory, and said Wednesday that expressing confidence at home is different from providing a guarantee.
“I didn’t do that,” he said. “I said if we bring our best game, I like our chances. You can never guarantee anything in life, but I can guarantee you that we’re going to bring the best tonight. That’s been good enough in 99 percent of the games this year, and I hope it’s going to be enough tonight.”
Said coach Alain Vigneault: “Well, what did you expect him to say? We’re in this to win. Daniel is one of our leaders on our group and believes in the group. He expressed it. I think it’s a normal thing to do at this time.”
Asked where he was when he found out that he’d guaranteed a Game 7 victory, Sedin could only laugh at the path his words have taken.
“That’s media making a big deal out of it. If we play our best, I like our chances. If guys want to take that as a guarantee’¦” Daniel said, finishing the sentence with a puzzled shrug and a laugh.
|Game 7 countdown, 1 p.m.: Inside the numbers||06.15.11 at 1:18 pm ET|
With the Stanley Cup finals clincher getting closer, here are a few statistics worth noting about Game 7:
— The home team is 12-3 all-time in Game 7s in the Stanley Cup finals.
— Canadian teams are 4-0 all-time at home in Game 7s during the Stanley Cup finals.
— The Canucks have won six straight games at home. They had two streaks of six straight wins at home during the regular season but never got to seven straight.
— No team has ever won three Game 7s in the same playoff year.
— The Bruins have never won a Game 7 on the road in any playoff series. They are 0-4, with the last loss coming against the Canadiens in 2008.
|Game 7 countdown, noon: Vancouver police ‘part of the crowd’||06.15.11 at 11:59 am ET|
The city of Vancouver is preparing for Game 7 and the mass of people that will take to its streets. Almost 100,000 people are expected to pack the streets both during and following the game. The Vancouver police have a plan in place similar to the Olympics to maintain crowd control, called “meet and greet.”
“We’re a part of the crowd and we’re part of the event,” police spokesman Lindsey Houghton said. “It’s way more fun, a much better experience, the night goes by quick and at the end of the day everybody’s got stories to tell.”
Police are not expecting anything close to the riots that followed the Canucks’ Game 7 loss in 1994. Houghton said there has been a change in the party culture. “It’s a different atmosphere around here,” he said.
City liquor stores have been requested to close early, and police from other cites have been called in for reinforcement.