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Canucks’ Cory Schneider on M&M: Bruins ‘a tough matchup’ in Stanley Cup finals 05.30.11 at 1:00 pm ET
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Former Boston College standout and current Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider joined the Mut & Merloni show Monday morning to talk about the upcoming Stanley Cup finals. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Schneider said that although the Canucks didn’t learn all that much about the Bruins from their 3-1 loss in February, what he’s noticed most from watching the playoffs is Boston’s depth.

“They have three deep lines, and offensively even their fourth line is effective in what they do,” Schneider said. “On any given night for them a different guy can step up and be the difference.”

Schneider also said the Canucks would need to keep track of Milan Lucic and Patrice Bergeron in particular. He called Lucic a “big guy who can disrupt a lot of plays and go to the net and create problems.” He compared Bergeron with Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler: a multi-talented player who contributes on offense, defense, faceoffs and special teams.

“He [Bergeron] can really burn you if you’re not paying attention,” Schneider said.

Schneider also complimented Zdeno Chara’s defense, calling him a “No. 1 guy”.

“He’s got such a long reach that it doesn’t matter who you put out against him, he’s going to try and find a way to shut them down,” Schneider said. He added that the Canucks’ Swedish twins, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, might be able to beat Chara.

“You probably haven’t seen anything like them when they’re playing down low,” Schneider said. “They’re cycling the puck and they make these soft passes to each other, you have no idea how they made it. It’s pretty incredible to watch. That will be a great matchup.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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Are the Bruins this year’s Blackhawks? The Blackhawks can see the signs 03.30.11 at 10:54 am ET
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After a game like Tuesday’s, there is most certainly a temptation to look ahead to how far this Bruins team could be going in the Stanley Cup playoffs. It’s especially tempting when you consider the Bruins dismantled the team that won the Cup last June.

But Tim Thomas isn’t biting, not even after stopping all 32 shots in a 3-0 win over the Blackhawks.

“Haven’t thought about it at all, to be honest with you,” Thomas said after his career-best ninth shutout this season and 26th career. “I’m just focusing on each game-to-game, and even during the game just trying to play the same way for the whole 60 minutes no matter what the situation. We’re pretty good about not think about that kind of stuff lately, so I’d prefer not to start now, if you don’t mind.

“This was a good challenge for us. Chicago is a good team, I know they’re battling for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. But that’s a good thing because you know they’re going to bring their ‘A’ game, because those points mean a lot to them. It was a big test, and we responded very well. They’re a very fast team and we had our legs going right from the beginning of the game and were able to match them stride for stride.”

If the Bruins are headed for a deep run this spring, Thomas will be a good reason. He turned away every scoring chance in the first period, discouraging the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks so much that even their coach felt his team — battling for its playoff life — was discouraged.

“They were the harder working team tonight,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “They play hard. First 10 minutes, we are on our heels. We got back in the game and we didn’t do much after they scored first.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2010 Stanley Cup Champs, Boston Bruins, Brian Campbell, Chicago Blackhawks Print  |  Email   | Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
Boynton: The road to the Cup began in Boston 06.10.10 at 10:31 am ET
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PHILADELPHIA — Nick Boynton dreamed of a moment like Wednesday night since he was three. And finally, on the ice of the Wachovia Center, the 31-year-old Blackhawks defenseman was finally able to hoist the Stanley Cup over his shoulders.

There was a time when Boynton thought those dreams would be realized in Boston. After all, he was taken by the Bruins as a defenseman in the 1999 NHL Draft and there were those who thought he would be able to help replace the legendary Ray Bourque as a defenseman who could move the puck and kick-start the Bruins offense.

Originally drafted by the Washington Capitals in the 1997 NHL Draft, Boynton was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes just before his first camp with the Bruins but the disease did not keep him from pursuing his life-long dream.

His best season was 2003–04 with Boston, when he had six goals and 24 assists. During the NHL lockout season of 2004–05, Boynton played for the Nottingham Panthers in the British Elite Ice Hockey League.

“It’s hard to describe,” Boynton said. “But this is what I’ve dreamed about since I was a little kid. It’s the greatest thing ever.”

He played one more season for Boston before being dealt to Phoenix for fellow defenseman Paul Mara. Since then, he’s bounced around, going to Florida, Anaheim and finally stopping in Chicago after being traded there this March.

What a break for him. He winds up with a ring out of it.

“I’ve been very fortunate in my career, starting with the Bruins,” Boynton said. “I love Boston and have so many friends back there. I’m a lucky guy. I head back to Boston every summer and I miss it. Those were my younger years and made me who I am today so I love it there.

“It was everything you expect and more. It’s been 31 years. Since I was three years old, I’ve been dreaming about this. It’s been a long time.”

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Kane: ‘Pretty surreal… for sure’ at 9:22 am ET
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PHILADELPHIA — What if a team won the Stanley Cup and no one noticed? Not even most of the players on the team that just made history.

No, that’s no cruel joke or a shot at the NHL. That’s what happened Wednesday night at the Wachovia Center when Patrick Kane’s simple shot – a lesson in why you always put the puck on the net – got past Philadelphia’s Michael Leighton just over four minutes into overtime to give Chicago a 4-3 win and its first Stanley Cup title since 1961.

Without question, the ending to the 2010 Stanley Cup will go down as one of the most bizarre and surreal endings to a championship in recent memory.

Let the man who scored explain why.

“Well, I shot it, I saw it go right through his legs and it was sticking right under the pad in the net so I don’t think anyone saw the puck in the net,” Kane said. “I just booked it to the other end. I knew it was in right away and tried to sell the celebration a little bit and everyone came down.

“I think some guys were still iffy to see if the puck was in the net. I saw the coaches pointing at the puck and just jumping around. It’s pretty surreal right now, for sure.”

[Click here to hear Kane explain his Cup-winning goal and the ensuing celebration.]

[Click here to hear a stunned Leighton explain what he saw from his point of view.]

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2nd Period Stanley Cup Summary: Flyers-Hawks Gm6 06.09.10 at 10:02 pm ET
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PHILADELPHIA — After falling behind for the first time in the game, the Blackhawks showed the kind of determination that makes Stanley Cup champions. As a result, they took a 3-2 after 40 minutes and stand one period away from their first Stanley Cup title since 1961.

The Flyers broke a 1-1 tie when Ville Leino skated into the high slot after Duncan Keith fell down. Danny Briere skated down the right wing with Leino, who fed Briere for a wrist shot that beat Antti Niemi for his team-leading 12th goal of the playoffs.

But Chicago has outskated the Flyers from the get-go and that continued even when they were behind. The Hawks used the open ice of a 4-on-4 to get Patrick Sharp a shot from the low right circle and he didn’t miss, beating Michael Leighton 5-hole at 9:58 of the second period to tie the game.

Then Andrew Ladd redirected a Niklas Hjalmarsson slap shot from the left point to beat Leighton and the Wachovia Center fell quiet with 2:17 left in period.

The Hawks are 1-for-5 on the power play while the Flyers are 1-for-4 on the man-advantage.

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1st Period Stanley Cup summary: Flyers-Hawks Gm 6 at 9:00 pm ET
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PHILADELPHIA — The Blackhawks played the opening 20 minutes like they wanted to end a 39-year championship drought.

The Chicagoans outshot the Flyers, 17-3, in the first 19 minutes and registered the first goal of the game on a very questionable high sticking call on Flyers defenseman and emotional leader Chris Pronger.

With Blair Betts on the ice with a broken stick, the Hawks took advantage of what essentially was a 5-on-3 when Dustin Byfuglien stuffed a shot past Michael Leighton at 16:49.

But it was evident the officials had some remorse for helping set up Chicago’s first goal as the Hawks were whistled for two penalties in the final three minutes of the period.

First, Brent Seabrook was called for elbowing with 3:01 left in the first. Then, just as the Hawks killed off that penalty, Brent Sopel was called for an interference penalty near his own blue line. Sensing the desperation, Danny Briere shot a puck from the left circle toward Scott Hartnell, who was just getting to his skates after getting shaken up. Hartnell collected the loose puck and put a backhander past Antti Niemi with just 26.5 seconds left in the period to tie the game.

The Flyers used the momentum to fire the last four shots of the period, getting outshot, 17-7, for the period.

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Bruins bracing themselves 05.04.10 at 2:40 pm ET
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Not everyone in black and gold had bad things to say about the physical play of the Flyers on Monday night in Boston’s 3-2 win.

Defenseman Johnny Boychuk – who put the Bruins on top with a first-period goal – was drilled on a clean, hard hit by Philly’s Scott Hartnell midway through the ‘eventful’ second period, just seconds after Boston captain Zdeno Chara took a run at Hartnell behind the Flyers net.

The result was Boychuk going airborne and landing hard on the ice. Boychuk wasn’t hurt except for his ego momentarily and acknowledged that he expects to see more of that kind of play when the series shifts to Philadelphia Wednesday night for Game 3.

“It wasn’t too wide-open There were some timely goals each team scored and some good hits, like the one on me. It was a great hit.”

Boychuk also believes the Bruins can learn something from Game 5 in Buffalo when they were playing a desperate Sabres team looking to stay alive. They were blown out, 4-1, and had to come back to Boston to seal the deal.

“We were in Buffalo and they took it to us,” Boychuk said. “We’re going to have to learn from that. Hopefully, we can overcome their intensity when we go to Philly.”

There will be some 20,000 fans not cheering on the Bruins on Wednesday and Boychuk and the Bruins are more than bracing themselves for what to expect.

“It’s a good barn play in and it’s tough barn to play in,” Boychuk said. “They’re going to come out hard and we have to match their intensity.”

Chara agreed with Boychuk’s assessment and won’t be shocked when the black and orange sweaters are out in force at the Wachovia Center.

“The further you go, it’s going to get tougher and tougher and the games are going to be harder and harder,” Chara said. “It’s just normal. That’s just the playoffs. It’s Philly and they like to play that kind of style and obviously, we like to play physical. It’s just two teams meeting each other with similar physical styles of play.”

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