|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|
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.
“It is common sense,” said Vancouver Police Constable Lindsey Houghton. “If 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 “liquor 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.
VANCOUVER — As the minutes tick down and get closer and closer to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, there is no bigger question mark between either of the teams than Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo.
This series, he’s had an easy time at Rogers Arena, picking up a couple of shutouts in games in which the Bruins’ offense didn’t show up. He’s also shot his mouth off, and when he’s tried to make it better, it’s gotten worse. Then there are the 15 goals he’s allowed in three starts (less than two games’ worth of play given that he was yanked twice) in Boston.
As a result of Luongo’s up-and-down (but overall messy) series, local boy and Canucks backup Cory Schneider has also been popular. He’s gotten to play twice in Boston, and he’s done so well. Yet the former Boston College goaltender and first-round pick seems sure that he’ll stay on the bench the entire game Wednesday.
“Lou is more ready than anybody. He’s had to take the most flak, he’s had to sit there and listen to people mock him and insult him and point fingers at him,” Schneider said. “It’s not easy to do. I don’t care how much you get paid or if you’re a pro athlete or what. No one likes that stuff. It fuels him, it drives him. it makes him want to be better. We’ve seen it before in gold medal games and Game 7′s, he’s answered the bell in big moments. We expect nothing less from him because he’s our guy.”
Schneider received cheers in Games 4 and 6 when he skated to the net in relief. Of course, the love thrown at Schneider in Boston is both a combination of the fact that he’s a native and the fact that when he’s in, Luongo’s out.
“They’re a rowdy crowd and they feed off that stuff,” Schneider said of the folks at the Garden. “They kind of pander to the crowd and get them more riled up every time they show him on the bench. They kind of get whipped into a frenzy about it, but we’re not in Boston right now, so who cares? We’re in Vancouver right now. Lu’s been phenomenal here, and our crowd is great as well. We’re going to hope that they’re going to get on [Boston's] guys and their players and make it easier for us.”
Tonight will see the culmination of a series between two stylistically different goaltenders who have found ways to dominate in their own ways. Both Tim Thomas and Luongo are Vezina finalists, with Thomas set to receive the award at the end of the month. The B’s goaltender also figures to win the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP.
Schneider has been able to observe both goaltenders, as he played at BC while Thomas was tending goal for the B’s. Though he doesn’t know Thomas, Schneider admires the uphill climb he has overcome as a ninth-round pick who has spent time playing in Europe.
“Clearly the path [Thomas] has taken has been one of obstacles and difficulty that he’s overcome and has managed to find a way,” Schneider said. “That kind of seems to be the theme of his game, is that he finds a way. He’s a competitor and a battler, and we’re going to need everything we have tonight to get a few past him and get a win.”
Having said that, Schneider doesn’t feel Luongo, the fourth overall pick in 1997, should be blamed for traveling an easier road.
“I don’t think you can hold it against him that he was a high draft pick or has a great pedigree. He worked hard for that, he earned that right,” Schneider said. “He’s been a competitor and a warrior from the day I’ve met him. He’s one of the most competitive guys I’ve seen. He hates to lose. He hates giving up goals, he hates all that stuff. People might see it as arrogance, but I see it as confidence in himself, as a belief that he shouldn’t be beaten ever. I think you have to have that mindset as a goalie that if you’re not 100 percent confident in yourself, you’re not really in the right position.”
|Game 7 countdown, 2 p.m.: Vancouver writer claims ‘Bruins can virtually do anything to any Vancouver player’ after whistle||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||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.
|Daniel Sedin guarantees he didn’t guarantee anything||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.
According to The Globe and Mail of Toronto, ticket prices on the secondary market for Game 7 have been falling dramatically since the Bruins dispatched the Canucks in Game 6, although the prices remain at record high levels.
Vancouver ticket broker Mario Livich said his business has been swamped by concerned Canucks fans. “These are people who don’t believe the Canucks are going to win the game, and then they’ll feel like dummies for not selling their tickets and making a lot of money,” Livich said. “If people believe, they’ll pay anything. But the way the Canucks bungled into Game 7 has really affected the market.”
On Tuesday, ticket prices ranged from $2,500 to more than $6,000.
British Columbia Premier Christy Clark will attend the game with her son, Hamish, after receiving tickets from the Canucks (and filing a disclosure statement to avoid breaking any rules). Clark predicted a four-game sweep by the Canucks before the series began, and she also predicted a 3-2 victory for Vancouver in Game 6. She did not offer a Game 7 prediction after noting, “I’ve been wrong in every case so far.”
Meanwhile, a man responding to a Craigslist offer of two tickets for $4,00 reportedly was robbed at gunpoint after entering a vehicle to make the exchange.
|Poll: Who will win Bruins-Canucks Game 7?||at 7:36 am ET|
What will happen in Wednesday night's Stanley Cup finals Game 7?
- Bruins win close game in regulation (49%, 221 Votes)
- Bruins rout Canucks (23%, 103 Votes)
- I don't know, but if Alex Burrows scores the game-winner, I might smash my TV (10%, 44 Votes)
- Canucks win close game in regulation (8%, 35 Votes)
- Bruins win in overtime (7%, 34 Votes)
- Canucks rout Bruins (2%, 9 Votes)
- Canucks win in overtime (1%, 8 Votes)
Total Voters: 454
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