|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.”
Blackhawks goalie Marty Turco joined the Mut & Merloni show Wednesday afternoon to talk about Bruins-Canucks Game 7. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
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.”
Former NHL referee Kerry Fraser joined the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to offer his thoughts from a referee's viewpoint on the Stanley Cup finals. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
'This is not a typical series, certainly not a typical Stanley Cup final,” Fraser said. “We've seen such crazy, bizarre things go on, and the officials have certainly been under a lot of scrutiny. There has been some inconsistencies for sure, from my perspective. They need to make sure they are well prepared and call that first penalty that happens, otherwise they’re going to be batting uphill all night.'
Fraser was asked about Game 7s and if the referees don’t call as many penalties as in other games.
'It's got to be imagined,” he said of that perception. “The players will dictate what the officials do and how they respond. That being said, the officials have to respond appropriately. I found in most Game 7s, the players just want to play. All the stuff that happened in the previous six games is over, it’s forgotten, now it’s do or die. … This is the kind of game where one call, one penalty can make a huge difference in the outcome of the game.”
When asked about the Johnny Boychuk hit that knocked out Mason Raymond for the rest of the series, Fraser said he didn’t feel like it was deserving of a suspension. “The Vancouver fans are furious,” Fraser said. “That was a normal, acceptable kind of play. Twenty seconds in, Johnny fork-hooked the legs of Raymond. It should have been a two-minute hooking or interference penalty. That was it. Once he turned him and their momentum carried him into the boards, it was an awkward position, that’s all it was. There was no suspension deserved.”
|Not tired yet: B’s chase Roberto Luongo, force Game 7||06.13.11 at 11:07 pm ET|
By DJ Bean and Scott McLaughlin
The Bruins weren’t ready to see their season end or willing to watch the Canucks raise the Stanley Cup on their ice Monday and it showed, as they chased Roberto Luongo at the Garden again in a 5-2 win at TD Garden to force a Game 7 of the finals. The Cup winner will be determined at Rogers Arena in Vancouver Wednesday night.
Brad Marchand opened the scoring at 5:31 with his third goal in the last four games. With nine goals this postseason, he has set the postseason record for a Bruins rookie.
Milan Lucic followed with a goal of his own at 6:06, and an Andrew Ference power-play goal at 8:35 ended Luongo’s night early in favor of Cory Schneider. Luongo has now gotten the hook in two games this series, both of which were at the Garden.
Michael Ryder and David Krejci chipped in goals as well, with Krejci’s coming on the power play in the third period. The Canucks got contributions on the scoreboard from Henrik Sedin (his first point of the finals) and Maxim Lapierre. Tim Thomas has now allowed eight goals over six games this series.
Wednesday night will be the Bruins’ third Game 7 in four rounds this postseason,as they eliminated both the Canadiens and Lightning in seven games. The Canucks beat the Blackhawks in seven games, their only seven-game series this postseason.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- Luongo was bad once again, and it seemed that all it took was Marchand’s goal, an absolute rifle glove-side, so open up the floodgates. The Bruins certainly have a way of getting to the highly-scrutinized Canucks netminder in Boston, as he has now allowed 15 goals in less than two games’ worth of play at TD Garden this series. The problem when it comes to the play of Luongo vs. the Bruins, of course, is that he has not had such issues in Vancouver. He’s allowed just two goals over three games and has posted two shutouts.
- The Bruins talked a lot about getting more traffic in front of the net after being shut out in Game 5, and they certainly did that Monday night. Their third and fourth goals came as the direct result of having bodies in front. Mark Recchi set a perfect screen on Ference’s power-play goal that chased Luongo from the game. A minute later Ryder got in front of Schneider and tipped Tomas Kaberle‘s shot into the top corner. Needless to say, continuing to get traffic to the net will be a key for the Bruins in Game 7.
- A couple of nice statistical nights for the defensemen. Kaberle had a pair of assists on the night, giving him 11 points this postseason — the most among Boston defensemen. Ference led all B’s in ice time.
On a more peculiar note (and this may not necessarily be bad), Dennis Sieidenberg didn’t see the ice from until 1:22 of the third period until 11:32 and was not on the bench for a time. We’ll see whether this was equipment or injury-related.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- While the Bruins dominated the first period with relative ease, but Vancouver did come to life from there. The Canucks seemed to regain focus with Schneider in net and spent far more time in the Bruins’ zone. Three power plays will do that, but it should be taken as a sign that just because Luongo collapses, doesn’t mean the hole team does. The Canucks outshot the B’s, 11-8, in the second period and opened the third period by finally getting on the board.
Jannik Hansen thought he had made it 4-2 shortly after, though his shot rang off the post and bounced back as though it had gone in and out. Were it not for the Canucks handing the B’s a 1:13 two-man advantage (on which Krejci scored) with 13:49 to play, the Canucks could have really put a serious fight to make it a close one.
- The idea of a brother Sedin scoring on the power play was something people were prepared to get used to entering the series, but the Bruins had done an excellent job of keeping both the Sedins and the Canucks’ power play silent. Henrik got plenty fancy in beating Thomas for his third-period goal. The tally was his third goal of the postseason and his 22nd point, putting him in a tie with Krejci for the postseason lead in the latter category until Krejci scored to jump back ahead.
- For the first time in his NHL career, Patrice Bergeron was called for four penalties in one game, three of them in the second period. First he was whistled for goaltender interference when he steamrolled Schneider while trying to tip home a centering pass. Then he went off for hauling down Ryan Kesler behind the play. And in the final minute of the period, his elbow came up a little too high while throwing a hit on Christian Ehrhoff. In the third, he and Alexandre Burrows earned matching minors for extracurriculars after the Bruins’ fifth goal. The eight penalty minutes were a new career-high for Bergeron, beating his previous high of seven on April 18, 2009, against the Canadiens. That was also a playoff game — Game 2 of what became a four-game sweep.
The home team has won all five games in this series, and Olczyk indicated he expects that trend to continue Monday night in Game 6.
“I’ve already got my travel [to Vancouver] booked,” he said “So, for what that’s worth, I believe that the Bruins will have a large game tonight. I think the crowd will have a major impact on this game. I think the first goal is very crucial, but I think the Bruins will find a way and I think home ice will stay the course and there will be a Game 7 for all the marbles on Wednesday night back in Vancouver.”
There has been a lot of talk about which team will be more physical. Olczyk said another key is the play in the neutral zone.
“I think the team that has had the greatest success in this series and has really dictated is when they’ve controlled the neutral zone, the area between the two blue lines,” he said. “And I think that’s when the teams are really, really stifled, not only physically, but I think scheme-wise of not allowing either one of these teams to create anything.”
Canucks players have drawn attention for their habit of trying to draw penalties with some acting antics. Olczyk has suggested that referees waive off the initial penalty if a player dives, only assigning a penalty to the player who embellishes.
“I think that’s the way that you’re going to remove the embellishment in the game, if that’s what you want to do,” he said, adding: “When I made that suggestion, the rebuttal was, ‘We can’t get inside the mind of the embellisher.’ ”
“Regardless of how the question posed, you’re better off to be seen and not heard and just say, ‘Look, I’ve got my own issues in goal. I’m worried about how I’m playing. The other guy’s done a great job,’ and move from there,” Olczyk said. “So, I was a little bit surprised. I don’t know if he got caught up in the moment. Because I think Roberto Luongo has matured a lot. I think he’s grown up a lot over the last season-and-a-half, and expectations and what have you.”
CSNNE Bruins analyst Tony Amonte spoke with the Mut & Merloni show Monday morning. To hear the interview, go the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
Amonte said the key to the Bruins winning Game 6 Monday night is to 'ride [Zdeno] Chara and [Dennis] Seidenberg.'
'I think that's what they've done at home is been able to ride those two defensemen, their top D pair,' Amonte said. 'They don't get scored on much, and they help you out, create a lot of offense for the Bruins.'
Amonte said that a key to the offense is getting Tyler Seguin more minutes, especially on the power play.
'Seguin's a guy that could break the game open,' he said.
'You have to play the odds. You have to put a guy out there you know is going to score a little bit more than another guy.'
While Gregory Campbell is good on faceoffs and penalty kills, Amonte said he lacks the puck control necessary to play in front of the net on power plays.
'If you can't get control of the puck and you can't get it set up, you're never going to see a net-front guy,' Amonte said, adding: “That second unit just never had the ability to get the puck, settle it down, and establish a net-front presence.'
|Game 6 countdown, noon: Tim Thomas in line for Conn Smythe?||at 11:59 am ET|
Even if the Bruins lose Game 6 Monday night, there is speculation that Tim Thomas will win the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP. At Canada’s Sportsnet website, Ian Mendes writes that he’s hearing from fellow media members Thomas is the favorite, but he makes a case for Thomas’ counterpart, Roberto Luongo. The premise of his argument is that Luongo had bad games in Boston when the Canucks were going to lose anyhow, so ignore those games and focus instead on how well he’s played in the rest of the playoffs.
'¦ The Toronto Star has five questions for Game 6, including the question: Which Bruin will step up and replace the clutch scoring of Nathan Horton? The last question, which will not sit well with Bruins fans, is: If the Canucks win, who will be the first players to handle the Stanley Cup?
'¦ Following a relatively tame series against the Lightning, the Bruins have had no shortage of villains step forward for the Canucks. In the National Post, Sean Fitz-Gerald recaps and analyzes the controversy from the finals.
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