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The Bruins have another foe to contend with in Vancouver: The Green Men 06.04.11 at 6:50 pm ET
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'Sully' and 'Force' have left quite an impression on the Bruins and NHL. (AP)

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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Read More: Brad Marchand, Bruins, Canucks, Green Men
Poll: Who wins Stanley Cup finals? 06.01.11 at 1:13 pm ET
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How do you see the Bruins-Canucks Stanley Cup finals series playing out?

  • Bruins in six games (52%, 104 Votes)
  • Bruins in seven games (23%, 46 Votes)
  • Canucks in six games (8%, 16 Votes)
  • Canucks in five games (7%, 13 Votes)
  • Canucks in seven games (3%, 6 Votes)
  • Bruins sweep (3%, 5 Votes)
  • I'm from Tampa; are the Lightning in the finals? (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Bruins in five games (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Canucks sweep (0%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 200

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Read More: Bruins, Canucks, Stanley Cup Finals,
Recap of Bruins’ Stanley Cup appearances since 1972 at 10:16 am ET
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The Bruins will begin their first Stanley Cup finals since 1990 Wednesday in Vancouver. Their last appearance was in 1990. Their last title came in 1972.

The Bruins have been in five Stanley Cup finals since ’72, and WEEI looks back at all of them.

1974: Bruins vs. Flyers

The Bruins finished the 1973-74 regular season first in the East Division, with Phil Esposito, Bobby Orr, Ken Hodge and Wayne Cashman finishing 1-2-3-4 in scoring in the NHL. They were heavily favored against the Flyers, although the Flyers finished first in the West, just a point behind the Bruins.

The Bruins won Game 1 by a 3-2 count, with both Orr and Cashman scoring a goal and recording an assist. In Game 2, the B’s led 2-0 after one period thanks to goals by Cashman and Esposito, but three third-period Flyers goals – two by center Bobby Clarke – cost the Bruins the game and home-ice advantage.

The Flyers took Games 3 and 4 at the Spectrum, holding the Bruins scoreless after the first period of both Games 3 and 4.

The Bruins protected home ice with a 5-1 Game 5 victory thanks to two goals from Orr, but in Game 6, Rick MacLeish scored his 13th goal of the postseason for a 1-0 win and the title. Goalie Bernie Parent was named MVP of the playoffs.

1977: Bruins vs. Canadiens

Although the third-seeded Bruins had won the Adams Division during the regular season, they were no match for the top-seeded, defending champion Canadiens in the 1977 finals. The Canadiens outscored the Bruins 16-6 in the four-game sweep.

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Read More: Bobby Orr, Bruins, Canucks, Phil Esposito
No lead is safe as Tampa rallies to tie series 05.21.11 at 4:24 pm ET
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TAMPA — A three-goal lead wasn’t enough for the Bruins Saturday, and once again Simon Gagne made them pay.

The Lightning forward sent a wrist shot past both Tomas Kaberle and Tim Thomas at 6:54 of the third period, capping a run of four unanswered goals from Tampa Bay at St. Pete Times Forum. Martin St. Louis added an empty-netter in the final minute to make it a 5-3 Lightning win and even the Eastern Conference finals at two games apiece.

The Bruins jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period with a pair of goals from Patrice Bergeron and one from Michael Ryder to bring Mike Smith to the Lightning’s net in favor of starter Dwayne Roloson. The B’s saw their lead erased in the second period after two goals from Teddy Purcell and one from Sean Bergenheim.

Bergenheim now has nine goals this postseason after scoring 14 in the regular season.

Both the Bruins and Lightning went 0-for-2 on the power play, though Bergeron’s second goal was of shorthanded variety.

The teams will head to Boston for Game 5 of the series Monday before returning to Tampa for Wednesday’s Game 6.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

- The second period couldn’t have ended soon enough. The Lightning completely took control in the period. It could have been worse when the generally steady Andrew Ference nearly saw that happen late in the second when he misplayed a puck in front of Thomas’ net.

- Tomas Kaberle deserved credit for his improved play in Games 2 and 3, but he was soft behind the net on Bergenheim’s game-tying hole. Bergenheim had very little difficulty outmuscling the 33-year-old blueliner to gain possession before beating Thomas. This is the second time a lapse from Kaberle behind his own net has led to a goal in this series.

- A poor showing by the Bruins’ first line, and it was capped with the Gagne goal. Milan Lucic’s turnover set up the play, and Lucic was the only member of his line with a shot on goal through the first 50 minutes of the game. The Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton trio has been gigantic for the B’s in the postseason many a time, but Saturday was not one of them. Julien played with the lines a bit as the game went on, but it came with no success. Horton redirected a shot from Ference past Smith with 1:50 left while playing on a reconfigured line with Rich Peverley.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

- If Patrice Bergeron’s return to the Bruins’ lineup on Thursday didn’t make enough noise, he made his importance the B’s known even more with a two first-period goals. The 25-year-old picked Steven Stamkos’ pocket at the blue line with the Lightning on the power play with about two minutes remaining in the first and took it the length of the ice for what would be his second goal of the game and Roloson’ final play. Bergeron now has four goals and 10 assists for 14 points in 13 games this postseason.

- Guy Boucher called Tim Thomas an “enigma” prior to the series, noting that no team could crack the B’s netminder, but in reality, his own goaltender had been even better. Roloson led all playoff goaltenders in goals against average and save percentage through two rounds, but the B’s have now chased Roloson in two of this series’ four games. One would think the B’s would win both of those games, but that’s another story…

- Ryder’s been just as big a part of his line’s success as Tyler Seguin and Chris Kelly have been, and he was rewarded on an odd goal that clearly fooled Roloson. The third-line winger tried a backhander on Roloson that went off the stick of Mike Lundin on its way up, and with Roloson cheating toward the far post, it beat the Lightning netminder in slow motion. Saturday marked the first time Ryder scored without having a two-goal game, as his first four goals this postseason game when he scored twice in Game 4 of the first round and twice in Game 2 vs. Tampa Bay.

Read More: Bruins, Game 4, Lightning,
Countdown to Game 7, 10 a.m.: Predictions of Bruins victory 04.27.11 at 10:22 am ET
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(Spoiler: In the 11 a.m. update, Dennis & Callahan producer and voice of the Bruins fan Steve Ciaccio will be having a live chat to help get his fellow diehards to face off.)

Predictions are starting to come for Wednesday night’s Game 7 between the Bruins and Canadiens.

At ESPN.com, senior writer E.J. Hradek predicts a Bruins victory. He notes that the B’s were 9-4-1 playing on back-to-back nights during the regular season, while the Canadiens were 6-7-3 (and 0-3-1 in their last four).

NESN Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy, during his interview on the Dennis & Callahan show, said the Bruins will win 5-2. WEEI’s morning show hosts predict redemption for Milan Lucic. Gerry Callahan has the Bruins winning 3-1, with the B’s scoring a power-play goal and empty-net tally — “both by Lucic.” John Dennis predicts a 5-2 “beatdown” for the B’s, with the David Krejci-Nathan Horton-Lucic line recording two goals. Midday co-host Lou Merloni is going with a 4-1 Boston win.

Make your prediction known by voting in our Game 7 poll.

Read More: Bruins, Canadiens,
Video: Inside the Bruins Locker Room, Game 5 04.24.11 at 1:00 am ET
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Read More: Brad Marchand, Bruins, Milan Lucic, Patrice Be
Reports: Ference fined $2,500 for gesture 04.22.11 at 11:04 am ET
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According to multiple reports, Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference has been fined $2,500 by the NHL for making an obscene gesture following his second-period goal in Thursday night’s OT win over the Canadiens.

No penalty was assessed at the time, and Ference denied making the gesture when asked by reporters after the game.

“Coach just showed me it, and it looks awful,” Ference said . “I just saw it and I can assure you that’s not part of my repertoire. I don’t know if my glove got caught up. I can assure you, that’s not part of who I am or what I ever have been. So it looks awful, I admit it, I completely apologize to how it looks. You guys have covered me long enough to know that that’s not part of my repertoire.

“I was putting my fist in the air,” Ference added. “I’m sorry, it does look awful. I just saw it.”

Read More: Andrew Ference, Bruins, Canadiens,
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