Canucks fans hold their breath
City prepares for even bigger street crowds; eateries stock
up for lucrative night
By Frank Luba, Sarah Douziech and Andy Ivens, The Province June 13, 2011
The big game tonight is in Boston, but the party is set for Vancouver.
Another huge crowd is expected in downtown Vancouver to watch Game 6 of the Stanley Cup
final being played in Boston beginning at 5 p.m.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said today's plans are similar to Friday's, with the same fan
"We'll have the same setup as we did for Game 5," said Robertson on Sunday. "Game 6, we'll
have Georgia Street closed off, starting earlier in the afternoon, and Hamilton and Homer as
More than 100,000 people showed up downtown Friday to watch the Canucks bounce the Boston
Bruins 1-0 to go ahead 3-2 in the best of seven series.
"We're asking everyone to leave the alcohol at home and to make this a really great family
environment," he said.
Robertson's concerns about alcohol are warranted.
Friday's crowd was four times the size of last Wednesday's game, and the liquor pour-outs were
more than 10 times the 201 pour-outs Wednesday -2,000 by the Vancouver Police Department
and another 850 by the transit police.
With the city prepared, Robertson is also optimistic about the city's team.
"I think the Canucks are back on a roll, and I think they're gonna steal one in Boston," he said. "I
think they've got a great shot at this game."
Hockey fan Ian Tostenson would also like the Canucks to claim the Cup tonight in Boston.
But as president of the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association, Tostenson reluctantly
admits he'd prefer the series go to seven games because the hockey playoffs have been so good
for an industry that has been hard hit by the harmonized sales tax, new drinking and driving
regulations and a struggling economy.
"We have been flatline for a while now," said Tostenson of restaurant businesses.
The Canucks' success in the playoffs has changed that provincewide, according to Tostenson.
Fast food, high-end and family restaurants haven't benefitted greatly but any facility that is, as
Tostenson explains, "in the game" with television screens, has seen increases in business ranging
from double digit to double.
Tostenson said the benefits to the industry provincewide are "probably a couple of million
dollars per game."
"I believe, we'll see when it's all said and done, this will have been a greater boost than the
Olympics," he said. "It's a lot more sustained and it's a lot more system-wide across the
G Sports Bar and Grill, at the corner of Granville and Davie streets, has 24 high-definition
screens and one big screen, and is prepared to go to seven games.
Manager Kathy Korble said business is "very similar to the Olympics."
"It's been very good, very exciting, very full," she said. "We're full to capacity," she said of her
152-person limit. "We're turning people away about two hours before the game."
While some people are making money, other people -notably taxpayers -are having to spend to
pay for the party.
Robertson confirmed the city's costs are in excess of $1 million.
"The estimates, if you add up the policing and all of the city efforts on the engineering and street-
cleaning side, are about $1.2 million, depending on if we go seven games or not," he said.
While it's expensive, Robertson thinks it's been worth it.
"Absolutely. I think it's been a phenomenal experience already and building on the Olympic
success, closing down streets and making great public spaces out of our downtown. I think it's
worth it, and we have to support what people want to do.
"When 100,000 people came downtown a couple nights ago, you've got to make sure it's safe and
everything's looked after."
TransLink is trying to ensure everyone can get home efficiently, with more buses on standby
downtown, two SeaBuses operating to provide 15-minute service until midnight and, if the
Canucks should win the Cup, an extra hour of SkyTrain service.
If a seventh game is needed back in Vancouver on Wednesday, the extra bus and SeaBus service
will be provided, as will the extra hour of SkyTrain.
But the commotion and crowds aren't just in downtown Vancouver.
There are screens to watch the game in Surrey's Central City area, attracting about 5,000 fans per
game, as well as other viewing areas elsewhere in the Lower Mainland.
Crowds are more dispersed in Abbotsford -until after the game.
Abbotsford police Const. Ian MacDonald said there are no major problems on game nights,
despite crowds of up to 6,000 lining a stretch of South Fraser Way after Canucks wins.
"The mix we attract to the Abbotsford celebrations is quite different from Surrey and
Vancouver," said MacDonald. "It's from strollers to seniors. We're really pleased with their
Shutout stick goes to young up and comer
Pre-Atom player to build shrine to piece of folklore
By Ian Austin, The Province June 13, 2011
Young Jaden Ferrario has an epic piece of Vancouver Canucks folklore.
After Friday's 1-0 victory over the Boston Bruins -arguably the most important win in Canucks
history -all-world goalie Roberto Luongo handed his winning goal stick to the up and coming
Abbotsford hockey player.
The eight-year-old centre/goalie for the Abbotsford Chiefs is now preparing a shrine for
Luongo's shutout stick.
"I'm going to put it in a trophy case," the pleased as punch pre-Atom player said Sunday after a
practice with the Chiefs.
After the shutout win that put the Canucks one win away from the Stanley Cup, Luongo was
circling the ice, drinking in the ovation from the crowd as he was named the game's first star.
"I ran up to the front, and somebody picked me up," Jaden recalled with an eager smile.
"[Canucks mascot] Fin pointed to me.
"The stick went a little too high, and the big people were fighting for it." Jaden's dad, Randy
Ferrario, says there was quite a melee for the treasured keepsake, but eventually Jaden and the
stick found each other.
"All the guys went for it," recalled Randy. "There was a little tug of war action.
"But security were really good. They said, 'Not a hope, guys, it's going to the kid.'"
Jaden became an instant celeb -ecstatic fans stopped the youngster so they could take a photo
with Luongo's history-making goal stick.
"Getting out of the arena was one thing," recalled Randy. "Once we hit Georgia it was a gong
"Everybody wanted photos with the stick. It took us an hour to get to our car."
Jaden plays for the Chiefs in spring hockey but now refuses to wear his winter-league gear -he
played for the Abbotsford Bruins.
"I don't like that team," he said. Added his dad, pulling two now-hated socks out of Jaden's
hockey bag: "Black and gold -those were his team colours for the year. Now he won't wear
Like superstitious Canucks fans everywhere, young Jaden has his own gameday ritual.
Randy bought the up and coming goalie a signed Luongo stick before the playoff run, and Jaden
clutches it for the entire game, each and every playoff game.
"For his birthday, he got a Luongo stick," says Randy. "Every game, he holds onto the Luongo
"If he goes to get a glass of water or goes to the washroom, somebody else has to hold onto it."
Leave it to younger brother Nikolas -another would-be hockey star -to dish the real dirt on
Jaden's obsession with Luongo's stick.
"For the Game 7 against Chicago," said a wide-eyed Nikolas, 7, "he slept with it."
So now, throughout Game 6 (and Game 7 if needed) the two young brothers will tightly clutch
their treasured twin Luongo sticks to help finally deliver the Canucks' first Stanley Cup after 40
long, Cup-free years.
One of hockey's unsung heroes
By John Colebourn, The Province June 13, 2011
Glenn Mageau's days as an organist at hockey games is right out of the movie Slapshot.
At one time Mageau was a full-time musician and played clubs around the Vancouver area. But
after four years as a struggling musician he went back to school and ended up as an accountant.
That still left his nights open.
Mageau's love of both hockey and the keyboards landed him a job in 1976 and '77 with the rough
and tumble New Westminster Bruins. "I remember watching those young guys work their butts
off," he recalls. "There were a lot of fights and bench-clearing brawls."
Once hired to play at Canucks home games, Mageau said he knew exactly what his role was
when he was behind the keyboard.
"It is a crowd motivator, that is the objective," Mageau said.
Picking the right music to play to motivate the crowd depended on how the game was going.
He once played "The Three Blind Mice" at a game after some refereeing calls went against
That got him in hot water with NHL brass and he was warned to not make the refs look stupid.
"I got in trouble for that," he recalled. After that, he liked to play the theme from the movie The
Good The Bad and The Ugly.
The highlight for Mageau was during the 1982 playoffs in which the Canucks went to the
Stanley Cup final and lost to the New York Islanders in four straight.
After coach Roger Neilson created what became Towel Power, Mageau used the "Na Na Na"
refrain to whip the crowd into a frenzy.
"Towel Power in '82 was great," he said. "It was such a phenomena and everybody got on the
By 1986, the Canucks were moving in a new musical direction and Mageau was replaced by
"The organ player was the cheerleader back then," he said. "Now it's all canned music."
Hoping for an end to Cup drought
The Province- Associated Press
MONTREAL — The last time a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup — the Montreal Canadiens
in 1993 — it was no big deal.
Well, it was a really big deal if you were a fan of the Canadiens, who surprisingly reached the
final and then dispatched Wayne Gretzky‘s Los Angeles Kings in five games to claim their
record 24th Cup. Big enough that there was a riot in downtown Montreal after the Cupclinching
game. But in those days, a Canadian team winning it all was the norm rather than the exception.
If the Canucks beat the Bruins this season,itwouldendan18-yearCupdrought for the country that
lives and dies with hockey. And it would end a jinx that saw the 1994 Canucks, 2004 Calgary
Flames, 2006 Edmonton Oilers and 2007 Ottawa Senators all lose in the final.
The Canadiens were underdogs againstLosAngelesin1993anddropped the opening game 4-1 at
home at the Forum. They trailed 2-1 in Game 2 until another piece of Stanley Cup lore
happened. Late in the game, Demers called forameasurementofKingsdefenceman Marty
McSorley‘s stick. It was found to have too much curve, putting Montreal on a power play.
Demers pulled Roy for a 6-on-4, and Desjardins tied it with his second goal of the game and then
completed his hat trick in OT.
InLosAngeles,JohnLeClairscoredOT goals in Games 3 and 4, and the Canadiens closed it out
The Forum erupted, and as fans rejoiced out on the streets, windows were broken, stores looted,
police cars set ablaze. There was enough trouble that the Canadiens opted not to head downtown
to celebrate, but had a party upstairs at the Forum.
On the way up, forward Stephan Lebeau passed a workman mopping the stairs who looked up
and asked: ―So, are you going to win again next year?‖
That‘s how fans who had seen their team win 24 Cups thought at that time. Little did he know it
would be 18 years and counting before any Canadian team would win it again.
Thomas discards Luongo’s words
Boston hopes to recreate the magic from Games 3 and 4
The Province BY JIM JAMIESON
BOSTON — Bruins fans can only hope the rest of the team is as loose for Game 6 as star
goaltender Tim Thomas was on Sunday.
There was much ado about Roberto Luongo‘s critique of Game 5‘s winning goal and the
suggestion it was a shot at Thomas‘s aggressive goaltending style.
―If you‘re wandering out and aggressive like he does, that [Maxim Lapierre goal] is going to
happen,‖ Luongo said.
Luongo later said he didn‘t mean to be critical and subsequently quipped that Thomas hadn‘t
thrown any compliments his way either.
When asked about it initially, Thomas just said he‘s heard about the comment but just wanted to
focus on the next game.
When pressed, he couldn‘t resist. ―I guess I didn‘t realize my job was to pump up his tires,‖ said
Thomas, who‘s allowed just six goals in five games to the Canucks in the Stanley Cup final. ―I
guess I have to apologize for that.‖
Thomas certainly has nothing to apologize for in these NHL playoffs. He‘s the Conn Smythe
front-runner and will likely win it whether Boston wins the Stanley Cup or not.
That prospect hinges on a Bruins win here tonight to stave off elimination and force a Game 7 in
Vancouver on Wednesday. To do that the Bruins must find the game that allowed them to
outscore the Canucks 12-1 in two wins in Boston to even the series. But in Game 5 in
Vancouver, the physical play and strong forecheck weren‘t as evident. Vancouver outhit the
Bruins 47-27. Defenceman Dennis Seidenberg said the Bruins have to recreate what they did in
Games 3 and 4 — going hard to the Canucks‘ net and putting more pressure on Luongo.
―The difference is us being physical, determined, being hungry around the net, getting pucks to
guys in front,‖ said Seidenberg.
―It goes back to the mindset we have. We play more physical when we play at home. They were
more physical than us when they were at home.‖
The Canucks‘ third line has scored the winning goal in two of Vancouver‘s three home wins and
Bruins coach Claude Julien said that successful teams in the playoffs need to get scoring from all
over the lineup.
―Teams that are having success and have had secondary contribution,‖ he said.
Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron said he‘s confident his team will come out full of energy in front
of their fans.
―They‘ve been great all year,‖ he said. ―They‘ve given us that extra jump.‖
Rome makes most of bad situation
‘I don’t think that it would change my decision on the play,’
The Province Jim Jamieson
Aaron Rome has continued to practise with the Canucks after a four-game suspension ended his
season last week following an open-ice hit on Bruins forward Nathan Horton.
A day before his teammates have a chance to win the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise
history, Rome spoke for the first time about the suspension — which was considered by some to
be excessive considering comparable incidents — the hit and the support he is receiving from his
Rome stepped up in the neutral zone early in Game 3 to bodycheck the Boston winger, but
Horton had passed the puck and the Canucks defenceman hit him late.
Rome was given a major for interference and a game misconduct. Horton, one of the Bruins‘ top
players, received a serious concussion on the play and was ruled out for the remainder of the
―It‘s tough,‖ said Rome Sunday at the TD Garden in Boston. ―You start the finals and you‘re
excited about having the chance of a lifetime. It‘s just an unfortunate incident where it‘s just an
unfortunate decision where it‘s a split-second decision. However you view the hit, whether you
think it was dirty or not, there‘s no intent to hurt anybody.
―I‘ve been on the tough end of hits like that. If I could go back I‘d wish he didn‘t get hurt but I
don‘t think that it would change my decision on the play.
―I‘ve got to step up and be physical on the play.‖
Some were surprised that Rome — who‘s never been suspended in the NHL and does not have a
reputation as a dirty player — was suspended for so many games.
―You see other instances and you hear from the league that this player has a clean record and he
doesn‘t play the game dirty and they take that into account,‖ he said. ―For some reason they
didn‘t do that this time.‖
The usual part-time player was in the lineup regularly in the playoffs and was living a dream
playing in the Stanley Cup final.
―It‘s emotional, said Rome. ―You can‘t put it into words. You work hard all season and all
playoffs and for a guy like myself who‘s in an out of the lineup, getting a chance to play every
day, it‘s disappointing.‖
Rome was hit from behind into the glass by San Jose‘s Jamie McGinn on May 20 in Game 3 of
that series and received a concussion. McGinn got a boarding major but no suspension. Rome‘s
suspension is the only one longer than one game in Stanley Cup final history.
―That‘s the type of hit where a guy is vulnerable,‖ said Rome. ―I saw him coming but there‘s
nothing you can do. My hit, they say, was late. It‘s arbitrary. What is late? That‘s a decision [the
suspension] they made and I‘ll have to respect it, but I definitely don‘t agree with it.
―If it‘s a half second earlier or a quarter second earlier maybe I‘m not in this situation. But the
game happens fast. I‘ve got to play on the edge and I guess that time it was a little bit over the
Rome said he sent a text to Horton, but hasn‘t had a reply. He‘s not surprised.
―It‘s an emotional time and he‘s not going to be able to play in the series, too,‖ he said. ―I
understand, being on that side of hits. He wants to be out there.‖
Rome said he‘s received tons of support from the Canucks, family and friends and he‘s
continuing to practise with the team to ―be part of it.‖
―Just because I‘m not playing I‘m not going to mope about it or hide in cave or[not] speak to the
media or [not] be around my teammates,‖ he said. ―It‘s a way for me to release some stress and
be a part of it.‖
Ehrhoff working toward making the dream a
The Province BY JIM JAMIESON
BOSTON — Like his Canucks confreres, Christian Ehrhoff was saying all the right things
heading into tonight‘s Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final.
Ehrhoff wouldn‘t allow his focus to drift off the task at hand, which is snapping the Bruins‘
playoff home winning streak at five and bringing the Cup home for the first time in franchise
But it didn‘t take much to get him warmed up to what winning the cherished mug would mean to
him and his family.
―It‘s the ultimate you can achieve as a hockey player,‖ said the Canucks defenceman. ―That has
been my goal forever and I‘m still working on that goal.‖
Ehrhoff, 28, was born and raised in the small German town of Moers, but he says he knew from
a young age how iconic the Stanley Cup is.
―It really wasn‘t until I was 10 or 11 years old that I understood what it was,‖ said Ehrhoff.
―Ever since then in the back yard, it‘s always playing for the Stanley Cup. You imagine yourself
in those kinds of games. We have a chance right now, but you don‘t want to think about it.‖
If the Canucks win the Cup, Ehrhoff would be just the second German to raise it since Uwe
Krupp did it first with Colorado in 1996. Boston‘s Dennis Seidenberg, also a German, has the
same prospect if the Bruins win.
Ehrhoff‘s father, Achim, and mother, Gaby, came over from Germany for the first three games in
Vancouver. And his wife, Farina, is among about a 160-member group flown here by the
Canucks organization to be on hand in case Vancouver closes the deal on Monday.
Ehrhoff‘s mother is looking after his two daughters — Leni, 2, and six-week-old Milla — in
Vancouver while Farina is away.
There‘s no question Leni would like to be here.
―She‘s a huge fan and she loves the game,‖ said Ehrhoff proudly.
―She sings the [Canadian] anthem. She‘s getting better at the words every day. The first two
verses she‘s really good at.
―She loves Fin and she loves to throw on her jersey every day.‖
Winning is all about perspective
In this series, it's not enough to win Cup. It's how you win it
By Jason Botchford, The Province June 13, 2011
To borrow a rant from Allen Iverson:
We have been talking about diving at the Stanley Cup final. We have not been talking about the
game. Not enough, anyway. We haven't been talking about the game the players go out and die
for, playing like it's their last. We have been talking about diving.
How silly is that? Depends on your perspective, it seems. For many documenting this gladiators'
tournament, it's no longer enough to win the Stanley Cup. It's now how you win it. It's how many
points the Sedins get, or don't. It's the possibility Roberto Luongo may have disparaged the great
Tim Thomas. It's about diving which has consumed some people to the point where you worry
about them because they're missing one heck of a series. They're missing a lot of slashes, too.
The Canucks have been framed as nasty, contemptible and sometimes ruthless. Say that last
sentence out loud and history may laugh at you. It comes off like the morality bar has been
moved suddenly and dramatically. Either that, or this is re-writing history right before our eyes.
There seems little context. If the Canucks don't deserve to win, what did Claude Lemieux
deserve? Even the beyond-criticism Detroit Red Wings haven't always won with honour,
especially when Vladimir Konstantinov was doing his Vlad the Impaler thing. Then, there were
the Dallas Stars who relied on lots of dirty Derian Hatcher and Richard Matvichuk play to get
through Colorado and win a Cup. Sorry, the Canucks don't measure down to their evildoing
predecessors and it's not even close.
Any means necessary has long been an NHL rallying cry. It's definitely being re-examined from
the outside this year and a fair question is why? More coverage and more twitter has helped lead
to more consensus. And the consensus is people don't like the Canucks.
Many watching the Cup are handing out honour and style points this year rather than breaking
down the matchups. It's like they just got finished the figure skating world championships. But
this isn't figure skating. It's hockey. It's mean, foul, and includes much chirping. And that's just in
the locker-room during the pre-game session.
Truth is, in a few years, it's likely none of the garbage being gorged on is going to matter for
either Vancouver or Boston.
Winning has always been what counts. Team that wins will rule and the rest will be forgotten.
Already, some forget the way the Chicago Blackhawks slashed their way through the Western
Conference with players like Adam Burish, Ben Eager and Dave Bolland last year. In fact,
Bolland was regularly lauded for being a "rat" on their run. He used his stick like a scalpel to
impressively manage, in one postseason, to get both Joe Thornton and Daniel Sedin to lose their
minds. Oh, Chicago may have looked great in the Cup final compared to Chris Pronger and
Daniel Carcillo, but they got there ugly.
"I think anyone who watched knows that. You saw them when we played them. The Hawks won
with any means necessary," Kevin Bieksa said.
"They definitely weren't the classiest team I've ever played. They were dirty and chippy and,
arguably, the mouthiest team in the league.
"But who cares? They won the Cup. They're the champions. And I'm sure if you ask them what
they think about being called the chippiest team last year, they'll say they couldn't care less.
"We're the same way."
There have been two transgressions in the Stanley Cup final worth discussing for more than five
minutes. There was Aaron Rome's late hit, which the NHL said would have been clean if landed
a split second earlier. And there was the bite, which may have bruised a finger.
The rest is mostly torque to keep the Canucks-as-villain motor running. A lot seems to work as
fuel, too. Even Luongo's mundane comment about how he could have made the save on Game
5's winning goal has had legs for two days. There wasn't a scrum in the Boston locker-room
Sunday in which a player wasn't pressed for comment about Luongo's supposed foul.
Gregory Campbell nailed it when he said Luongo never meant it the way it was presented. But
who cares? There's a narrative to keep alive.
It's a disingenuous one, too when you consider the Bruins have matched the Canucks taunt-
fortaunt, and far outpaced them on the post-whistle, slash track. The Canucks definitely lead the
series in embellishments, no question. But is diving worse than two-handed slashes? Depends
who you ask.
Unfortunately, the side show has enveloped the series. Instead of their moribund power play, the
Canucks were, again, pressed to the wall Sunday for reaction to being "hated."
"I know when I watch other sports, the No. 1 team, you never like them," Burrows said.
"Because people like underdogs. That's just way it is.
"I'm the same way. That may be a reason people don't really like us."
He may be on to something there. But it's not only the breathless tallying of transgressions which
has Canucks fans feeling slighted. Some of Vancouver's players have been ripped. Start with the
Sedins, who Zdeno Chara who has essentially shut down, production wise, with help from Tim
Thomas. That led to the Mike Milbury mocking.
The Sedins have just two points in five games, and the Canucks just six goals. Chara is playing
them hard and physical, not unlike the Nashville Predators. But here is where some context can
In last year's Cup final, Jonathan Toews had just three assists and was a minus-5 in six games.
When Sidney Crosby won the Cup, he had one goal, two assists and was a minus-3 in seven
games. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg have played a combined 22 games in the Stanley
Cup final. They have a combined five goals.
It suggests two things. One, teams that make the Cup final are great defensively. Two, teams that
make the Cup final do a great job of shutting down stars and do it regularly.
"Do you think in ten years anyone is going to remember who had the better plus-minus in the
Stanley Cup final?" Bieksa said. "Will people remember who had the better goals against
"Of course not. There are just going to remember who won."
He's right. The ring tends to change everything.
Battling on foreign ice
Canucks must bring their home game to TD Garden
By Ben Kuzma, The Province June 13, 2011
They won't talk about it. They'd like to but they can't.
Like mentioning a shutout before the event actually occurs, it's a jinx. Imagine the Vancouver
Canucks communicating about what it would mean to capture the Stanley Cup here Monday.
What it would mean to skate around the TD Garden hoisting that trophy for the first time in
franchise history. And what it would mean to have family and friends present to share the
For that all that to occur, the Canucks must replicate their home game on foreign ice where
they're been outscored 12-1 in two sour Stanley Cup final outings. They must find a power play
that's an abysmal 1-for-25 and send a search party to find a second line that has disappeared and
combined for just two points and is a minus-8. That story has flown under the radar because two
combined series points from Henrik and Daniel Sedin is the big story that won't go away.
However, there may be hope on the horizon. The inspirational kind they write about in movie
Ryan Kesler looked like he was skating on two legs and not one Friday in a 1-0 victory to put the
Canucks up 3-2 and put the Stanley Cup parade committee back to work. The centre didn't have
a shot in Game 5, but it looked like that troublesome left leg was shot up with something because
he skated better and competed harder. And it wouldn't be a stretch to suggest that Kesler is
hurting even more because he didn't practise Sunday and what was labelled as a day off from the
rink and the media was probably more about addressing ailments that may be well beyond a
groin strain. Amid all this, Kesler will play Monday. Yes, he will play.
"He's proved it all year that he likes the word warrior," said linemate Mason Raymond, who's
pointless in the series but had three shots in Game 5. "He has been through a lot and fought
through a lot. This time of year, you lay it on the line, no matter what you're going through and
he has continued to do that. For all the guys, it's incentive."
Raymond has never won a major championship. His Camrose Kodiaks lost the Junior A 2005
Royal Bank Cup final 3-2 to Weyburn, Sask.
"That was at a different level, but you take things from it and you learn," added Raymond. "I
talked to my junior coach and he has sent me some messages. He said these opportunities don't
come along too often and to seize the moment and have some fun. Do what you do."
Kesler has tried to do what he does best in the Stanley Cup final. After holding Jonathan Toews,
Mike Fisher and Joe Thornton to a combined 11 points in 18 playoff games, a big reason David
Krejci has five points in the final is because Kesler hasn't been himself. The Selke Trophy
favourite couldn't physically contain Brad Marchand on a short-handed goal in Game 3 and was
late to negate Rich Peverley when he charged to the net to bury a rebound in Game 4. It's not so
much that Kesler has one series assist, it's that he won just eight of 19 draws in Game 5. Then
again, he has 19 points in 22 postseason games.
"Playing with him, you realize how good he is," said winger Chris Higgins, who hasn't won a
major title since scoring the overtime winner in high school as a junior. "He plays with a lot of
heart and emotion and that's all you can ask of a player. Intensity and speed and winning one-
onone battles have been an advantage for our line throughout the entire playoffs. Make the other
team move their feet and get tired and that's when the opportunities will come."
Alex Burrows plays on the first penalty kill unit with Kesler and sits beside him in the dressing
room. He has seen the centre get agitated at mundane lines of media questioning and dominate
by figuring in 11 of the last 14 goals in a conference semifinal series win over Nashville.
"It's his heart and his mind," said Burrows. "When he puts that into his game, there's nothing that
can stop him. He's a great leader and he shows it. We know how much he wants to win and how
much he cares about the team and I know he's going to be in the lineup."
So does Kevin Bieksa. He only smiles when asked how much his roommate is hurting.
"He plays through injuries, that's just what he does," shrugged Bieksa. "I can't remember him
missing a lot of games and if he did, it was through surgery. What you admire is how hard he
plays and how hard he competes. You need that. It really has an affect on the outcome."
By With Jim Jamieson, The Province June 13, 2011
Vancouver can clinch the franchise's first Stanley Cup championship with a win in Boston
tonight. But it won't be easy, as the Canucks have been outscored 12-1 by the Bruins in Games 3
and 4 here. To get it done, the Canucks will need a good start and try to keep the crowd out of
Boston must win to stave of elimination for the third time in these playoffs. A win gets them
back to Vancouver for a third Game 7. They've got to recapture the physical play and strong
forecheck that allowed them to take two home games convincingly.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
1 Can the Canucks stop Boston's roll at home? The Bruins were average at TD Garden in the
regular season but are right there with Vancouver for the best home record in the playoffs and
have won five straight before their fans.
2 Goaltending, at both ends. It's been the key so far in this final, so don't expect any different in
Game 6. Canucks' Roberto Luongo is coming off perhaps the biggest game of his career, but
Bruins' Tim Thomas likely has the Conn Smythe locked up.
Power plays, at both ends. The Bruins have been firing blanks most of the post-season, ut have
still managed to score three on the anucks in the series. Vancouver led the NHL in ower play
conversion in the regular season, but he man advantage has lost it's way against the ruins. It's
now one for 25 in five games.
BY THE NUMBERS
6: The number of goals Boston netminder Tim Thomas has surrendered in five games.
CANUCKS: D Dan Hamhuis (undisclosed), D Aaron Rome (suspended), RW Mikael
Samuelsson (hernia surgery).
BRUINS: C Marc Savard (concussion), RW Nathan Horton (concussion)
'We have to stay in the moment'
Players won't allow themselves luxury of reflection until they
have Cup in hand
By Ed Willes, The Province June 13, 2011
They all know they're in the middle of the biggest thing of their lives but they can't step outside
their bubble long enough to acknowledge it.
No, that would be like breaking the spell. Alex Burrows, for example, had the thousand-mile
stare going at Sunday's media availability and would admit to nothing more than name, rank and
In the Boston dressing room, Patrice Bergeron allowed he will reflect on everything that's
happened to him in the summer but, "Right now, that't not an option."
Kevin Bieksa? He was more eloquent than most but it was essentially the same message.
"I'm aware of every thing that's happening but you really try hard to stay focused on the
moment," said the Canucks defenceman. "You can't start taking the spectators' view where you're
almost in awe of everything because this stage is so huge. We have to stay in the moment."
Which is a safe place to be right now. But when this is over, and it could all end tonight, they
will look back at this Stanley Cup final and wonder how they survived it.
From Game 1 to Game 5, this series has produced better theatre than Arthur Miller. It's had
heroes and villains. It's had high points and low. The hockey hasn't always been great but it has
been mesmerizing because of the emotional investment of both teams. The undercurrent of
tension and violence, meanwhile, has made the whole piece crackle and the byplay between the
two teams on off-days has added an extra layer of entertainment.
Add it all up and it's hard to remember a Stanley Cup final that's delivered on so many levels -
1994 maybe? -and which has captured the imagination of hockey fans to the extent of this series.
Do we exaggerate? Well, consider a combined TV crowd of about 12 million is expected for
tonight's Game 6 in Boston.
Those aren't exactly Super Bowl numbers. But for the NHL, it's boffo box office. The American
TV crowd for tonight probably won't surpass the 8.28 million who tuned for Game 6 between
mega-markets Chicago and Philadelphia on NBC last season. But it should be reasonably close.
In Canada, meanwhile, the ratings are through the roof. Games 1 through 5 have already
attracted the five largest audiences in the history of Hockey Night in Canada and Game 6 is
expected to produce another record high.
The response, in short, qualifies as a huge win for the NHL. But there's a reason fans have been
drawn to this series in such numbers.
If you were to draw up a checklist of all the things you love and hate about hockey, every one of
those categories would be ticked off in this series. At times, it's produced beautiful hockey. More
often, it's been vicious and downright ugly but there's no disguising the emotion on the ice and
that's what makes this the best reality TV.
"It's so difficult to get here," said Canucks associate coach Rick Bowness, who's been in the
game for 40 years and is making his first appearance in the final. "There are so many great
players and great coaches in our league who never got this far. For us to get this far is the thrill of
a lifetime and it's a lifetime of working to get to this point."
Bowness was asked if an outsider could understand what is demanded to reach the final.
"Unless you live it every day, it would be impossible," he said.
But they understand the stakes and what winning the Stanley Cup means to both teams. For the
Canucks that could be tonight and a moment they've thought about all their lives but can't allow
themselves to think about now. Or it might be two nights from now in a Game 7.
Game 7 in this series. Wonder how many would tune in for that?
"We used to play road hockey a lot in the winter and build up the snow banks and hit each other
into them," said Bieksa. "We always pretended we were playing in the Stanley Cup final. I think
most kids were like that. It's definitely a dream to play in the Stanley Cup final."
And a bigger dream to win it.
Power play, come back!
By Tony Gallagher, The Province June 13, 2011
It might be considered one of hockey's great sleights of hand for the Canucks to be within a
game of holding the Stanley Cup tonight.
They have no first line going, no second line and no power play. They have been outscored 14-6
in the series so far but, by use of judicious timing and, perhaps, some Jedi mind trick, have built
a 3-2 lead going into a possible clincher Game 6.
With Zdeno Chara merely showing up for any Euro forward to throw up his hands, the first line's
disappearance is explained.
Ryan Kesler was the second line and, given his obvious injury, there's no secret to its absence.
His linemate Chris Higgins has been ineffective and Mason Raymond has been reported missing
But what's the deal with the power play? One for 25? Those are supposed to be the odds on Tim
Thomas scoring an emptynetter, not the performance of one of the best power plays the league
We're talking Bruce Boudreau territory here. Remember last year, Washington loses in seven
games to Montreal and the Caps' power play goes 1-for-34 without any adjustments. This isn't
far off. And if the Cup manages to slip through the fingers of the Canucks over the next three
days there's no question who and what will be to blame.
Obviously somewhat confounded and taken out of their comfort level, those on the power play
have taken to saying it's getting better. Hopefully that's more than wishful thinking because one
of the team's strengths is going to be needed to get the prize won.
Said Sami Salo: "I don't think we've made too many adjustments. You don't want to go too far
away from what made you successful in the season."
"It's got better, our last game was a big step in the right direction," said Henrik Sedin of some
phantom step nobody else can see, although these guys often know when something is about to
break. "It's our job to get rebounds and do a better job in front. Look forward to tomorrow's game
and hopefully get a bounce because we've been working hard for those."
Maxim Lapierre, of all people, was saying in French Saturday at the airport that the Canucks
think they've found a weakness in Tim Thomas's game. Yet none of this is evident to the
What appears to have happened is that at first the aggressive Boston penalty kill threw them a
little, and behind that Thomas was stopping everything from the point. So then they went
through a phase of trying to make the perfect play down low but ended up holding on to the puck
too long. A power play this good has to go through a cycle of errors to go 1-for-25.
"We have been aggressive. Because they're such good players, you have to be," said Chara's
partner Dennis Seidenberg.
There have been complications, a blizzard of little things.
Throw in a hot Thomas and we arrive at this point.
The Canucks been good enough to come this far without the two top lines or a power play, so
maybe they could still pull it off, particularly with so many saying this is the biggest game of
their lives. But one or two with the man advantage would sure be nice.
Is tonight the night?
With the Canucks one win away from the Cup, a war of
words shouldn't be the main focus
By Cam Cole, Vancouver Sun June 13, 2011
Tonight at TD Garden, according to sources familiar with the situation, the Vancouver Canucks
will attempt to beat the Boston Bruins and win the Stanley Cup in a game of ... let me just check
my notes ... yes, here it is: ice hockey.
You may have heard of it, but only if you've waded through a raft of schoolyard insults first. And
that's just in the two towns' media.
It's kind of embarrassing, frankly.
Players lay their bodies and minds and souls on the line for the chance to win the Cup. Leave
their families to go ride buses as teenagers. Sacrifice education. Get stitched up and shot up, lose
teeth and gain dentures, uproot and move to foreign lands, struggle with language, commit acts
they would like to have back, say things they regret later.
And then it gets to be this close, at the end of a twomonth-long marathon of pressure and hard
knocks, of hidden injuries and stiff upper lips, and what's it all about?
It's about what Roberto Luongo said, when Kevin Bieksa's bank-shot off the backboards came
out the other side to Maxim Lapierre for the lone goal in Game 5.
Or if not that, it's about what Alex Burrows did to Patrice Bergeron's finger in Game 1 -guilty of
overwriting, Your Honour -or what gesture Max Lapierre made in Game 2, or how Milan Lucic
and Mark Recchi mocked it in Game 3, and what a lot of hockey players whose teams have long
since been eliminated from the playoffs, or didn't make them in the first place, have tweeted
about the hated Canucks, who definitely are not Canada's team ...
No, wait. It's about NBC's Mike Milbury calling Henrik and Daniel Sedin "Thelma and Louise"
while waving his blackand-gold pompoms, since having once coached the Boston Bruins seems
to be a prerequisite for the job of network hockey boob in either country.
And in Vancouver and Boston, it's no better.
Our guys good, your guys bad.
Luongo, in case you've been living on another planet the last two days, dared to say after Game 5
that the backboards bank-shot goal was only possible because Bruins goalie Tim Thomas comes
so far out of his net to challenge the point shot.
He said Lapierre's shot would have been a routine save for him, because he plays deeper in his
net, but on the other hand, Thomas makes some saves that Luongo wouldn't.
Fair comment. But that's not how it came out.
"Despicable," a Boston columnist called it.
Maybe Luongo could have put the fire out if he'd rephrased, when given the opportunity on
Saturday, but instead, he said: "I've been pumping [Thomas's] tires ever since the series has
started, I haven't heard one nice thing he has to say about me."
This is what passes for controversy, when the Stanley Cup is one Vancouver win -or two by the
Bruins -from being over? Is it just the two off-days between games, or are we really this
provincial, this petty?
"I guess I didn't realize it was my job to pump his tires," Thomas said Sunday, drawing a big
laugh. "I guess I have to apologize for that."
Thomas has an eye-popping 1.20 goals-against average in the final, and he could lose the Stanley
Cup tonight -and win the Conn Smythe Trophy at the same time.
Luongo's goals-against sequence in the series -0-2-8-4-0 -is both bizarre and, if you're into
esoterica, also happens to be the zip code for Newport, Rhode Island, an hour's drive from
Boston. It's where the U.S. lost the America's Cup. The Boston Globe's John Powers looked it
up, as a joke. Have we strayed off-topic here? Perhaps.
Luongo, predictably, wasn't really into the humour of the situation Sunday.
He had dared to give an honest answer to a question, without thinking how it might be used
against him, and was buried for it.
"Listen, I know we're in the Stanley Cup Final and everything is under the microscope and going
to get blown out of proportion," he said. "My whole comment, I don't think, was negative if you
take the whole comment.
"But at the end of the day, I'm one win away from winning a Stanley Cup and that's all I really
care about now. All the other stuff is noise to me and doesn't really affect what's going to take
place for me tomorrow night."
And that, really, is the way it has to be.
We are the noise. We in the press box, we on Twitter, we in the stands.
If the Canucks are unlikable to some because they writhe and fall -that was Sports Illustrated's
Mike Farber, then of the Montreal Gazette, describing Claude Lemieux's act -if the Bruins are
viewed as bullies, do the players care? Can they possibly need some real or imagined slight to
get them ready to play the biggest game of their lives ... or (dare we say it) two games?
"Aw, who really cares?" said Kevin Bieksa. "I could say a bunch of things right now but ... if I
was on my summer vacation, I wouldn't be tweetin' every day like some of these other guys. It's
funny, you don't see guys like Nick Lidstrom tweeting, or Joe Thornton, they respect the guys.
It's mostly other guys who are tweetin' and you know who they are."
"Do I care? No," said Canucks' Mason Raymond. "I'm sure a lot of teams are not the most-liked.
We know who we've got in our room and our organization."
If rats there be among the good guys, he said, this isn't a popularity contest.
"Well, there's games within the games within the game," said Raymond. "So, we're doing
whatever we can to win right now. It's a competitive sport. Guys aren't going to like each other."
"There is obviously going to be talk in the media and they're going to talk about a whole bunch
of different topics and that's fine," Thomas said. "When I watched playoffs in the past,
sometimes it's fun to listen to what is said.
"But when you're playing, I think the best course is to remain focused on what you can control.
And that's on the ice."
Apparently, that's where the game is played.
Spirited bidding on anything 'Canuck'
Cup run has spurred flood of interest in team memorabilia,
website official says
By Evan Duggan, Vancouver Sun June 13, 2011
Despite the Canucks' temporary reversal of fortune in Boston last week, zeal for the team's used
merchandise has continued to sizzle online.
"All the sites across B.C. are just taking off," said Charlotte Cowley, marketing manager of
UsedEverywhere.com (visit usedcanada.com), an online classified service that started in
The reason, she says, is the rising number of Canucks fans and memorabilia collectors eager to
get their hands on stuff -anything -plastered with the familiar orca, stick-in-rink, flying "V," or
skate logos set upon the rainbow of Canucks' colours past.
In May of last year there were 100 Canucks-related items posted from across the province on the
site, Cowley said. This year there are more than four times that many.
Last month there were 550 searches for "anything with the word Canuck in it" in Vancouver
alone, and more than 9,000 online shoppers from across the province have browsed that
inventory over the last 30 days, Crowley said.
"Jerseys are typically the hottest item," Cowley said, adding that many fans are looking to score
A little boy recently posted some merchandise on the site, she said. "He was trying to give away
his two dirt bikes in exchange for [Canucks] tickets."
She said they took the posting down to check if he had his parents' permission.
Another posting by Roger Rivard, of Victoria, displays a professionally framed 2009 Canucks
away jersey signed by the entire team.
Rivard won it in a draw at a golf tournament and someone offered him $1,200 for it on the spot.
"I said 'No, I'll take it home and show my wife,'" Rivard said.
Now, with Canucks fever taking hold, Rivard -an Oilers fan -is looking to get that $1,200 from a
willing buyer online. He's had no offers yet, so he's considering lowering the price, he said.
Some of the more unusual items include a stylish metal belt buckle imprinted with the stick-in-
rink logo. Bids start at $20.
Another person is asking $35 for an official never-beenused Canucks dart board and cabinet.
"If you love hockey but wish there was more throwing of pointy objects involved, this is for
you!" the seller wrote.
Also available is a 2000 white Ford sedan -a former police cruiser -emblazoned with "Canucks"
and "40" across the side in green and blue. Canucks flags extend from each of its four doors.
More than 6,040 browsers have checked out the car posting since it went up on May 3.
There's been "all sorts of crazy stuff" posted, Crowley said.
Punjabi community feels 'Canucks fever'
By Stephanie Law, Vancouver Sun June 13, 2011
Prayers, a popular bhangra song and Punjabi-language hockey broadcasts have propelled the
Sikh community fulltilt into the Vancouver Canucks' run for the Stanley Cup.
"Canucks fever has taken over the Punjabi community," said music producer Nick Chowlia, who
teamed up with Abbotsford bhangra singer Sony Dhugga and lyricist Kulvir Sahota to create a
tribute song for the team after Game 2.
Called Canucks Waleyan Ne, or Paying Tribute to the Canucks, it's been aired on a regular basis
on the Punjabi station RedFM and on the CBC.
"It's got catchy beats and lyrics that everyone can relate to, so it gets them going and gets
people's bodies bumpin'," said Chowlia.
On a more spiritual level, some Sikhs are praying for the Canucks, as some remember doing in
1994 during a previous Stanley Cup run.
Sukminder Virk, a director at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara society, recalled going to the
temple to pray for the Canucks during the second intermission of the final game against the New
York Rangers in 1994.
"A bunch of us walked to the prayer room and prayed that the Canucks would score and tie the
game," he said. Today, Virk is a little older and a bit more confident about the team."I don't think
the Canucks need the prayers. They're going to win it."
The Sikh temple did a prayer for the Canucks, but it was a one-time only event. Aside from that,
Virk said, the society tells those who want to pray for the team to do it individually.
One of the other things that has sparked more engagement in the Sikh community is that Hockey
Night in Canada is broadcasting the games live in Punjabi.
Virk said even his mom, who didn't used to follow hockey, is watching now because it's in a
language she understands.
"When I'm watching in Vancouver or Surrey somewhere, my mom would call me and be like,
'Oh no! The Canucks are losing!' or 'Yes! They're winning!'" he said. As for the Canucks' tribute
song, it's in the bhangra style, which originated in the Punjab region in India. It incorporates
sounds from traditional instruments like the dhol drum and the Indian harmonium, as well as a
"Go Canucks Go" cheer recorded from a live crowd.
The YouTube video for the song was posted last Thursday and had close to 20,000 views as of
Song composer Chowlia, who is also a host on RedFM, said he didn't expect it to garner so much
He said the group behind it just wanted a song to show their support and capture how the Punjabi
community is getting behind the team.
For the Canucks, this time it's for real
Dreams could come true tonight for players who have long
fantasized about lifting hockey's grail
By Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun June 13, 2011
Most of them have rehearsed this moment a thousand times as youngsters, whether it be on
frozen Prairie ponds or flooded backyard rinks, out on the neighbourhood street or, in the case of
Tanner Glass, in the basement of his childhood home in rural Saskatchewan.
"Growing up, we had this room in our basement," the Vancouver Canucks winger said Sunday.
"It was called the Hockey Room and it was three cement walls and one really thick wooden wall
and we had lights and nets up and so any time we had any cousins over or friends over we'd
always be playing in there.
"It was usually two-on-two for the Stanley Cup. We have played for it many times. I have won it
many times. I think every kid has."
Kevin Bieksa has.
"Yeah, probably every other night when I was a kid," said the Canucks defenceman. "We used to
play road hockey a lot in the winter and build up the snow banks on the side and hit each other
into it and pretend we're playing in the Stanley Cup finals. I think most kids were like that and
this is definitely, you know, a dream to play in the finals."
Only this time, the dream is for real.
The Vancouver Canucks get a chance to make all those dreams come true tonight when they
meet the Boston Bruins in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final at the TD Garden. Win it and the
Canucks will hoist the Cup for the first time in the 41-year history of the franchise.
Lose and they'll get a second chance to win it in a Game 7 that would go Wednesday at Rogers
As focused as they are on the task at hand, the players nonetheless seemed happy to reminisce a
little Sunday about their childhood dreams of playing on this stage.
"I was young, that's for sure," said winger Mason Raymond. "Eight or 10 years old when you
start playing street hockey with your friends and talking about how this goal wins it all or
whatever for the Stanley Cup. And here you are on the cusp of that. It's exciting, but we still
have one more win to go."
The magical lure of the Stanley Cup even affected a youngster in Germany by the name of
"I was probably 10 or 11 years old when I understood what it was," Ehrhoff said. "Ever since
then, playing in the backyard, it was always playing for the Stanley Cup and imagining yourself
in those kinds of games. We have a chance right now, we are here, but like I said, now you just
don't want to think about it. You just want to focus on the game."
The Canucks know it won't be easy. Their first two visits to the TD Garden for Games 3 and 4
were disasters. Vancouver was outscored 12-1 and physically punished by a Boston team that
seemed to be highly motivated by its raucous fans.
So far, this has been a homer series, with each team winning all of its home games.
Bieksa thinks weathering the first few minutes of tonight's game will be key for the Canucks
changing that pattern and clinching the Cup.
"It seems like both cities have really stepped up, they're both passionate and both want to win
and it's been loud in both buildings," he said. "So I think the teams are feeding off of that. And
for us [tonight], we'd like to go out and have a good first 10 minutes of the game and kind of
keep them as quiet as possible and not allow them to feed off their crowd."
But it has really been after the first period where the Canucks have had the most trouble in
"Two games in Boston, the second periods were a problem," said Vancouver coach Alain
Vigneault. "We played real well in the first two periods, and for whatever reason, the game got
away from us in the second.
"Obviously, we all know that we need to be better. We need to make every shift in every period
count and that's what we're going to try to do [tonight]."
Goalie Roberto Luongo, who is coming off his second shutout of the series, would not allow
controversy over his remarks Friday night about Maxim Lapierre's game-winning goal get in the
way of his preparation for tonight's game.
The Boston media had a field day with Luongo's comment that it would have been an easy save
for him, but was a tough one for Boston goalie Tim Thomas, who likes to play outside his crease.
"I'm one win away from winning a Stanley Cup and that's all I really care about now," Luongo
"All the other stuff is noise to me and doesn't really affect what's going to take place for me
[tonight]. To be honest with you, I don't really care."
The Canucks practised early Sunday afternoon, mainly to loosen up bodies that made another
long, cross-continent journey on Saturday.
They'll gather again this morning at the TD Garden for a game-day skate. They are trying to
prepare for Game 6 like it's any other game, but they all know it is anything but.
"It sounds like a cliché, but you prepare the same way, everything you have to do to get ready to
go," Raymond said. "Yeah, we are one win away, but at the same time we haven't won anything.
Prepare the same way tomorrow and go out there like it's our last game and put it all out there."
In other words, play it with the same passion, enthusiasm and joy as those neighbourhood games
with friends so many years ago. Live the dream.
If only dad could see him now
Oldest Canuck player has late father in his heart -and
family on the trip -as he plays for the ultimate prize
By Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun June 13, 2011
There was money only for one of the two boys to play hockey and Sami Salo had the benefit of
being the younger one, who had the advantage of a few more earning years for his father.
His big brother still teases him about it. Why Sami? Why not Juha? Maybe he would have
become the big hockey star. But he is proud of Sami, too, because his baby brother has a chance
tonight to win the Stanley Cup.
It's a difficult thing to fathom. You spend your life dreaming of something that seems so out of
reach. And then one day it's there in front of you. If the Vancouver Canucks don't see the Stanley
Cup on their way into the Garden today, they'll probably feel its holy presence in the building.
All they have to do is take it. Just beat the Boston Bruins one more time and it's theirs.
The concept is both beautiful and terrifying. You don't dare stare at something this immense
straight on. You keep your eyes down respectfully and stay in the moment. There is still Game 6.
Don't look past the first shift. Don't think about anything outside the boards. Don't look back or
At 36, Salo is the oldest Canuck. He is so ready for the opportunity.
But in quiet moments over the last two months, he couldn't help but think about the hard road he
travelled to reach his first Stanley Cup Final -the many serious injuries he has overcome, the
playoff disappointments, the times when it was hard to get back up. And often he has thought
about the father who never got to see his son's journey, to share the euphoria and the pain.
"My dad's name was Toivu, but we called him Topi," Salo explained after Friday's 1-0 win. "My
son's second name is Tobias, for my dad. I started [hockey] when I was six or seven and he took
me. My older brother never had a chance to play hockey because it was too expensive. I don't
know why I got to play. I never asked him why I got the chance to play and not my brother.
And Topi Salo was only 54 when he died of stomach cancer in the winter of 1995. He was the
equipment trainer on most of Sami's minor hockey teams in Finland, but his job was in a steel
plant applying coatings and plating to pipes and railings.
"It was, like, two months once we found it.
"He went really quickly. I was 20." Two months. Sami was a rookie with TPS Turku. He spent
as much time as he could with his dad, but kept playing hockey because it took his mind off the
awful thing happening at home.
Known for his stoicism, Salo was swamped by emotions when the Canucks finished off the San
Jose Sharks in the Western Conference final three weeks ago. He was finally going to a Stanley
Cup, and this, too, his dad would not see.
"I started to think about him a little more and all the stuff that he put in front of him to get me out
on the rink," Sami said. "So for sure, it was emotional. He always pushed me to play better. I'm
grateful for that. I always tried to please him for sure and do my best."
Salo's mother, Raija, wasn't up to travelling across the Atlantic. But Juha has come over, and so
has Sami's best friend, former NHL goalie Jani Hurme. Salo's wife, Johanna, was part of the
Canucks' family charter from Vancouver on Sunday.
Salo is still playing for his father. And for the brother who never had the privilege of a pair of
skates and a hockey sweater. Salo's own children -Julia, 13, Oliver, 7, and Peppi, 5 -are old
enough to remember this Stanley Cup. Sami may be playing for them, too, because no Salo has
had his name permanently engraved on the trophy.
Regardless of whether the Canucks finally win their first Stanley Cup, people in British
Columbia will be talking about this time forever. As the NHL likes to say, history will be made -
one way or another. The trophy transcends the game. It provides a kind of immortality to anyone
who wins it. And, like Salo, everyone is playing for someone. "Right now is not that time for
reflection, but I think we all have the sense it took a lot of people and a lot of sacrifices and a lot
of relationships to get us to this point," Canucks centre Manny Malhotra said. "This run and this
opportunity means so much to everybody. To hear that it means so much to Sami because he lost
his father, it's one of those things that makes guys in this room want to fight for each other that
"I'm sure come summertime, when we're at a barbecue or a cookout or socializing with friends,
there's going to be a lot of emotions and thoughts about the path we all took to get here -some
very different than others, but all meaningful."
Salo says the Canucks have grown up like a family, so surely he is the older brother now. But
you never stop being your father's son.
"He never got to see me play," Salo said. "It would have been nice to have him around and see
me play in the finals. I know he's watching somewhere, so I'm trying to put my best game out
Canucks family grows for Game 6
By Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun June 13, 2011
The Vancouver Canuck players chartered a plane to Boston on Saturday. On Sunday night, their
support team arrived on a second charter. The team's ownership has flown in family members of
the team's players and coaches and some of its staff members for what could possibly be a
historic evening tonight at the TD Garden. "I think there are about 160 or something," said
Canucks defenceman Christian Ehrhoff, whose wife Farina was on board.
Ehrhoff said the players certainly appreciate the Aquilini brothers recognizing the role family
members have played in the Canucks' success.
"Definitely, they have a huge part in our success," he said. "They support us behind the scenes as
much as they can and it's a nice reward for them to be here, too."
Ehrhoff's two young daughters, twoyear-old Leni and Milla, who was born just six weeks ago,
did not make the trip. His mom, Gaby, is back in Vancouver doing some babysitting.
"My mom is watching both of our daughters at home," he said. "My wife really couldn't enjoy it
here if she had to take care of two little ones."
Ehrhoff is originally from Moers, Germany and his parents were both in Vancouver for the start
of the Stanley Cup Final but his father, Achim, had to return home Sunday. "It's huge for them,"
he said. "They've supported me all my life. I wouldn't be here without them. It's great they can
share some of the finest moments."
O CANADA: Ehrhoff's eldest daughter still doesn't completely comprehend what is going on in
her dad's life right now, but is quickly becoming a huge fan of the Canucks. "She loves [team
mascot] Fin and loves to throw on her jersey every day," Ehrhoff said. She also loves to sing the
Canadian national anthem. "She's getting better every day," Ehrhoff said. "The first two verses
she's really good at. She's getting the full song."
Mark Donnelly beware. RECORD RUN: Bruins' goalie Tim Thomas has made 725 saves in the
23 playoff games he's played in to date. That's second only to the 761 made by former
Vancouver goalie Kirk McLean in the Canucks' 1994 Stanley Cup run.
Thomas was reminded Sunday that he and former Montreal Canadien Ken Dryden are the only
two goalies who have graduated from college and gone this deep into the finals.
"You know, it's an honour to be mentioned in the same sentence as Ken Dryden," said Thomas, a
University of Vermont graduate. "He played at Cornell, the same league that I played college
"When I was in college, I remember looking at what he'd accomplished and his stats. Those were
stats that I was gunning for to try and reach in college because he had a good college career. I
read his book either when I was in college or I think the year after I was out of college, too, and
gained some insight from that. So I didn't realize that was the case. I would like to hope that I
can finish it off and get the Cup like he did."
GOLD, NOW SILVER?: It will have been quite the 16 months for Roberto Luongo if he and the
Canucks can finish off their Stanley Cup run.
Luongo helped lead Team Canada to Olympic gold in Vancouver in February 2010. It sounded
Sunday like a Stanley Cup would be even bigger.
"They're both unbelievable but very different," Luongo said. "The Olympics is a very short
tournament. This is a two-month grind, you know, probably one of the hardest things we've ever
had to do as a team. In the end, if you come out on top, it's the most rewarding thing that you can
probably do as an athlete."
Daniel Sedin, who along with brother Henrik won Olympic gold for Sweden in 2006, agrees. "
It's the toughest thing you can win. You work so hard with your friends and teammates to get to
this point. We're going to enjoy it."
QUOTABLE: "There are a couple of guys from the print media, but most of them are at the
NBA finals." -Ehrhoff on the German media covering the Stanley Cup Final.
Statistically superior, but ...
Despite outscoring Canucks 14-6 and keeping power play at
bay, Bs face elimination tonight
By Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun June 13, 2011
Maybe statistics are for losers, because the Boston Bruins seem to have most of them on their
The Bruins must look at what they have accomplished in this series and wonder how they find
themselves staring at elimination tonight when they meet the Vancouver Canucks in Game 6 of
the Stanley Cup Final.
For starters, the Bruins have outscored the Canucks 14-6 in the first five games of the series.
They have held Vancouver's power play, the best in the league nearly all season, to just one goal
in 25 attempts.
They have limited Henrik and Daniel Sedin to a combined total of two points. They have held
centre Ryan Kesler, a 41-goal scorer in the regular season, to just one assist.
Their goalie, Tim Thomas, has a goals-against average of 1.21 in the series and a save
percentage of .964.
The Bruins at least have some positives to hang their hat on as they search for a way to extend
this series to a seventh and deciding game Wednesday night in Vancouver.
The Bruins began playing catchup right from the start of these playoffs, when they lost their
opening two games of the first round at home to the Montreal Canadiens.
"Of course, I mean we came back in the first series after being down and everybody counted us
out," said Boston defenceman Dennis Seidenberg. "We came back in this series after being down
two-nothing. So this team has character and I'm sure everybody is going to come out flying and
ready to go."
Thomas said despite their dominance in games 3 and 4 at the TD Garden, the Bruins can't count
on the energy of their fans to carry them through Game 6 tonight.
"Well, I guess you would have to say that home ice has been an advantage in both cases,"
Thomas said Sunday. "You know, it's not always that way during every playoff series, but that
seems to be the way it's turned out so far.
"We would like to hope that that's the case again [tonight], but really we can't depend on that.
We have to depend on the game that we bring to the ice, and that's what our focus should be on."
For their part, the Canucks feel somewhat fortunate to be in a situation where they can win the
Cup with one more victory. They have managed to eke out three one-goal wins at home to
counter the Bruins' two blowout wins in Boston.
"I don't know why it is," said Henrik Sedin. "I don't think we've come up to our standards here in
Boston. Why it is? I don't know. We're hoping to fix it tomorrow.
"I think all the stats are just because of those two games where we didn't play the way we wanted
to. Other than that, the stats that we look at, the scores stats and stuff like that, we're in good
shape. So we're going to come out [tonight], play the best game of our lives and we're looking
forward to it."
The Bruins know the Stanley Cup will be in their building tonight and don't want to watch it be
awarded to the Canucks.
"You try not to think about that," said Boston forward Rich Peverley. "You just try to think about
what you can do to win the game and try to keep all your thoughts positive."
The Bruins spent much of their practice on Sunday working on drills designed to create traffic in
front of the net. Boston feels it hasn't made life difficult enough for Vancouver goalie Roberto
"I think it's part of the game that we have to play well," Julien said. "We need to get to the front
of the net and win battles, and it's part of our game and part of their game, as well. If you're
going to score goals, you have to win those battles and you have to put the pucks in the net and
be there. ... When you want to improve in certain areas, you bring that up to your practice. So it
was meant for that reason."
Title's at stake
how's that for motivation?; Bruins and Canucks scoff at
notion anything extra is needed to spark their burning desire
By Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun Columnist June 13, 2011
Nobody has had an easier Stanley Cup than the media. Roberto Luongo's badly timed weekend
critique of Tim Thomas' goaltending style kept reporters undefeated in the National Hockey
There has been plenty to chatter about -from Vancouver Canuck Alex Burrows' bite to Luongo's
blast and a lot of incidents in between.
This Stanley Cup, which has had some pretty darn good hockey, too, has mostly written itself.
But the idea, often floated by reporters, that one side or the other has been "motivated" by or is
"rallying" around certain incidents is preposterous.
Unless, of course, the players lacked heart or conscience or both and were planning to coast
through their chanceof-a-lifetime, hoping to stay healthy for golf season.
If anyone needed extra motivation, they shouldn't be in the Stanley Cup and probably neither
should their teams.
"You're right, I don't think we need that," veteran Boston Bruins defenceman Tomas Kaberle
said as the Luongo wave crested ahead of Game 6 here today. "There's nobody thinking like he
needs motivation. You'd be in the wrong spot if you don't feel motivated. You talk to your
families and your friends and they're excited as well. It's an unbelievable feeling [to be playing
for a Stanley Cup]. This is the spot you want to be."
Luongo's 1-0 win Friday gave the Canucks a 3-2 lead in the final. It was Kaberle's 100th playoff
game. Last week he surpassed 1,000 games in his 12-year career.
This is his first Stanley Cup Final and first trip to the playoffs since 2004. Kaberle may or may
not be a Stanley Cup winner, but it's not like he suddenly played harder because Aaron Rome
knocked out Bruin Nathan Horton.
Canucks fourth-liner Tanner Glass, likewise, didn't try more because Bruin Brad Marchand
clotheslined Christian Ehrhoff and submarined Daniel Sedin near the end of Game 4 last
"If you're not playing your hardest this time of year ..." Glass said, too incredulous at the concept
to finish his thought. "Someone can say you're not playing your best. But to say you don't have
enough motivation or effort, that's a whole different thing."
Glass said he'd be insulted if someone thought he wasn't trying his hardest even before any of the
"I haven't paid that much attention to it," Thomas said. "When I sit here and say I truly am
focused on what I have to do on the ice, I'm not just making that up. That's where I try to put 100
per cent of my focus."
"There really isn't any extra motivation," Bruin Rich Peverley said. "We're playing for the
Stanley Cup and [the rest] doesn't really matter."
Rome still shaken by 'arbitrary' suspension
Defenceman expresses regret over Horton's injury, but
wonders why McGinn's hit in last series slipped under NHL
By Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun June 13, 2011
They say time heals all wounds, but Aaron Rome isn't so sure this one is ever going to
completely go away.
Rome spoke publicly Sunday for the first time since the NHL head office ended his Stanley Cup
dream and the Vancouver Canucks defenceman had difficulty finding the words to describe his
"It's emotional and obviously I have waited this long to talk," Rome said after practising with his
teammates early Sunday afternoon at the TD Garden. "It's tough, I couldn't put it into words for
you. You work all season, all playoffs, and for myself, a guy being in and out of the lineup,
getting the chance to play every day and working your bag off to be out there at this time of the
season, it's disappointing.
"You just have to try and look at the bright side and try and let it make you stronger."
Rome received a four-game suspension for his open-ice hit on Bruins winger Nathan Horton five
minutes into Game 3 last Monday in Boston. Horton suffered a concussion and is also missing
the rest of the series.
Rome expressed regret over Horton's injury, saying his intent was never to injure him, but also
made it clear he did not agree with the league's decision to end what he called his "chance of a
"It's just an unfortunate incident where it's a split-second decision," Rome said of the Horton hit.
"However you view the hit, whether you think it was dirty or not, there's no intent to hurt
"I have been on the tough end of hits like that. It's a splitsecond decision and if I could go back I
wish he didn't get hurt, but I don't think it would change my decision on the play. I've got to step
up and be physical, that's part of my game, and it's just unfortunate."
What made the suspension an even more bitter pill to swallow was the fact that Rome himself
suffered a concussion in Game 3 of the Western Conference final when he was run into the
boards from behind by San Jose Sharks forward Jamie McGinn. Rome missed the rest of the
series, McGinn received a boarding major and a game misconduct, but no suspension.
Rome can't help but wonder why he, a player with no previous disciplinary history with the
NHL, got dinged so hard. No other player had ever been suspended for longer than one game in
the Stanley Cup Final.
"The series before I was hit and it was from behind and the guy got a boarding major and that is
the type of hit where a guy is vulnerable," Rome said.
"I saw him coming, but there is nothing you can do. Mine, they say it was late, it's arbitrary ...
that is the decision they made and I have to respect that, but I definitely don't agree with it.
"If it's half a second earlier or a quarter of a second earlier, maybe we're not in this situation. But
the game happens fast and for me I have to play on the edge and I guess that time I was a little
bit over the edge."
Rome said it's important for him to keep practising with teammates, like he did Sunday.
"You want to be a part of it," he said.
"Just because I'm not playing I am not going to mope about it, hide in a cave or not speak to the
media or be around my teammates. I have been here two years and for me to be out with the
team is a way for me to release some stress and be a part of it, to be part of the camaraderie in the
"I am just here to support my teammates and help them out any way I can."
His teammates have also been helping Rome, who by all accounts took last week's decision
"For sure, my teammates have been awesome," he said. "Guys really care about each other and
go the extra mile to make guys comfortable. Everybody has been great to me here, from the top
of the organization all the way down to the bottom."
Some Boston fans have not been quite so kind. Rome would not offer specifics, but
acknowledged he had received threatening emails and the like.
"I am not going to discuss it because I am not going to add fuel to the fire," he said. "When you
get stuff like that, it's disappointing. At the end of the day it's a game and you are trying to help
your team win. It's an unfortunate situation. Obviously, as I said before, I am not intending to
hurt anybody out there."
Rome said he sent a text message to Horton last week expressing regret about his injury. He did
not receive a response and did not really expect one.
"I tried to text him and let him know that I was sorry about the severity of the injury and
outcome of it," Rome said. "It's an emotional time, he's not going to play in the series, too. I
understand being on that side of hits where you are pissed off about it and he wants to be out
there just like anybody else. I understand that."
It's just so many other things he doesn't get.
CANUCKS' ROME STILL SMARTING
ABOUT MISSING STANLEY CUP
BOSTON -- Given the chance to level Nathan Horton again, Aaron Rome would probably make
the same play that got him kicked out of the Stanley Cup final.
The Vancouver Canucks defenceman ended his silence after practice Sunday and made it clear
that he still doesn't understand why the NHL handed him a four-game suspension for hammering
Horton with a late hit in Game 3.
"If I could go back, I'd wish he didn't get hurt but I don't think it would change my decision on
the play," said Rome. "I've got to step up and be physical, that's part of my game. It's just
The suspension he received from league vice-president Mike Murphy is the longest in the history
of the Stanley Cup final.
Horton suffered a concussion on the play and is out for the series. Rome attempted to reach the
Bruins forward with text messages but didn't receive a response.
"It's an emotional time," said Rome. "He's not going to be able to play in the series too.
Obviously, I understand being on that side of hits where you're pissed off about it. He wants to
be out there just like anybody else."
Rome suffered his own concussion during the Western Conference final on a dangerous hit from
San Jose's Jamie McGinn that didn't draw a suspension. That was one of the incidents he cited
when expressing frustration over the length of his ban.
One of the main criteria that factored into Murphy's decision is that the hit came almost a full
second after Horton made a pass prior to skating into the offensive zone. For his part, Rome
acknowledged that the contact came late.
"There has to be some accountability on the part of the player skating with the puck up the
middle of the ice -- maybe with his head down not looking," said Rome. "If it's half a second
earlier, a quarter of a second earlier, I'm not in this situation.
"But the game happens fast and, for me, I've got to play on the edge and I guess that time it a
little bit over the edge."
Rome has continued practising with his teammates even though he's not eligible to return to the
lineup until next season. He'll be permitted to take to the ice and celebrate if the Canucks go on
to capture the Stanley Cup.
"You want to be a part of it," said Rome. "Just because I'm not playing I'm not going to mope
about it and hide in a cave and not speak to the media or be around my teammates. I've been here
two years and for me to be out with the team, it's a way for me to release some stress and be part
The 27-year-old defenceman is a journeyman who played one playoff game for Anaheim in
2007, the year they went on to win the Stanley Cup. However, the game wasn't in the final and
he didn't have his name inscribed on the trophy.
After getting back to the championship and working his way into the lineup, he's bitterly
disappointed that it was taken away with one bad decision.
"I couldn't put it into words for you," said Rome "You work hard all season and all playoffs, and
for myself being in and out of the lineup getting chance to play every day, working your (tail) off
to be out there at this time of the season. It's disappointing.
"For me, you've just got to try to look at the bright side and just kind of let it make you stronger."
MCKENZIE: CANUCKS, BRUINS HAVE
PROVIDED BIZARRE STANLEY CUP
It's been a bizarre Stanley Cup Final between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins, it's
really been out there on the edge.
We've had biting, we've had taunting, we've had embellishment, we've had a major suspension
and a player being knocked out of the series, and there have been a lot of comments on and off
I'm a little surprised at how unruly things have been and how the animosity level for this series
got cranked up as quickly as it did.
I had a casual chat with some of the officials who do the games and they were a little surprised
that the players have been out this far on the edge.
We'll see as things go along here, as the two teams get closer and closer to the ultimate prize,
whether this behaviour will continue. There's no margin for error now for the Bruins and you
would think both teams will try to keep this thing more between the lines than it has been.
We haven't really seen power-plays for either team be very effective in this Stanley Cup Final
series and that's a huge surprise on the Vancouver Canucks' side of things.
The Canucks have only scored one power-play goal in 25 attempts in this series. They have not
scored a power-play goal since early in Game 2 when Alex Burrows got a goal. Since then, it's
basically been nothing as far as the power-play goes.
Four per cent for the Canucks' power-play in the Stanley Cup Final is absolutely bizarre.
The Bruins' power-play has actually improved dramatically, it's all the way up to 14 or 15 per
cent in the final, but it's still not dangerous at all. They got a power-play goal in Game 2, they
really won the special teams battle in a big way in Game 3, but since then they've been lacking
on the power-play as well.
After this Final is over, neither team is going to have a power-play percentage that they are going
to be proud of but maybe it's going to come down to a moment in a clinching Game 6 or Game 7
if it goes that far, where the power-play goal will actually be the difference.
I think the big challenge for the Canucks is to try and bring the same physical side in Game 6
that they had in Game 5 on home ice.
The Canucks were not very physical in either of the first two games in Boston; they played a
very soft game I thought.
The biggest difference was Alex Edler stepping up in the early going on home ice in Game 5,
setting the tone for the entire Canucks team.
The Canucks drastically out-hit the Bruins in Vancouver, now they have to try to duplicate that
on the road and send a message that they are going to close this out with strong physical play.
SEDINS HOPE TO HELP CANUCKS
MAKE HISTORY AT STANLEY CUP
THE CANADIAN PRESS
BOSTON -- Under the roof at TD Garden, the Vancouver Canucks organization was changed
When former general manager Brian Burke stole the spotlight at the 1999 draft by completing a
series of moves and selecting Daniel and Henrik Sedin second and third overall, he accomplished
something no other team did that day. He added two future scoring champions and two franchise
cornerstones in one fell swoop.
There were plenty of growing pains -- the twins combined for 63 points in their rookie year, a
total they've eclipsed individually every season since the lockout -- but the team would likely not
find itself back in Boston with a chance to lift the Stanley Cup on Monday night were it not for
that memorable draft.
On the eve of a Game 6 that could be the most memorable in Canucks history, the twins reflected
on the road back to Boston.
"I think always we were excited that Vancouver picked us both for the same team," said Daniel.
"That was a big surprise for us. We didn't expect that. Over these 10 years, we've (seen) what a
tough league this is -- we've been through ups and downs and we learned a lot.
"I think we've grown as people and as hockey players and that's the most important thing."
Vancouver finds itself leading the Bruins 3-2 despite a number of puzzling statistics. The
Canucks are the first team in NHL history to lead a best-of-series despite only scoring six times
in five games -- made possible by the fact Boston's Tim Thomas has held the Sedins to just two
points in the final.
Despite the low offensive output, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault is far from frustrated with his
"I do think that they're playing much better than their point total indicates," said Vigneault. "I
think they're moving the puck well. They're doing a lot of the right things, and a lot of the things
that should enable them to get on the score sheet."
They've also run into the Bruins shutdown tandem of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, to
say nothing of the spectacular goaltending from Thomas.
Henrik Sedin enters Game 6 still looking for his first point of the championship series.
"This is a tough team -- they don't give up a whole lot of chances," he said. "If you're going to
start cheating to get points, it's going to hurt us more, so...
"Like I said, we're battling hard. They are a good team. We know we aren't going to get the
chances maybe we get usually. That's the way it is. We have to bear down and get chances and
find a way to beat Tim Thomas."
What little scoring there has been from Vancouver has come from some of the lesser lights --
two from Alex Burrows and one each from Raffi Torres, Jannik Hansen, Maxim Lapierre and
The Bruins, meanwhile, are facing an elimination game for the third time this spring. They've
won five straight games on home ice and are hoping for the same effort they had in blowing
Vancouver out by a combined score of 12-1 in Games 3 and 4.
"I don't think there is anybody in that dressing room panicking," said Bruins coach Claude
Julien. "We're focused. We understand the situation. When you've been through it quite a few
times, you certainly know how to deal with it a lot better and we've certainly been through it
Added defenceman Tomas Kaberle: "Everything's on the line right now. This is the Stanley Cup
final and you have to leave everything out there."
Vancouver is on the verge of the first championship in franchise history. A number of players
spoke openly about visualizing what it might be like to lift the trophy -- something only
Mikael Samuelsson, out indefinitely with a groin injury, has done.
It would be fitting if the twins were able to accomplish the feat in the same building where their
NHL careers were born.
"I think it's natural to be excited," said Henrik Sedin, who is vying become the second European
captain to lift the Stanley Cup. "We're in a great spot. Like (Roberto Luongo) said, we're one win
away from winning it, so we're excited.
"But we know if we get out of our comfort zone and start getting overly excited, it's going to take
away from our game. That's a key for us, to come in here tomorrow and play the way we have all
Case for Conn Smythe
June 13, 2011- Ian Mendes Sportsnet.ca
Luongo's stats have been incredible during his 15 victories for Vancouver.
Perplexed by the notion that Roberto Luongo is being discounted for the Conn Smythe
If the Vancouver Canucks win the Stanley Cup on Monday night, there will be considerable
debate about who should win the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP.
After speaking to a number of media members -- including a few who will be casting a vote -- it
appears as though Tim Thomas is the leading candidate to win the award. Even if the Bruins lose
in six games, the prevailing thought is that Thomas has been the best player in the Stanley Cup
final and is more deserving of the award than anyone on Vancouver's side.
While I agree with the notion that Thomas has been the best player in the final, I'm not sure why
everyone has written off Roberto Luongo for the award. In the series against Boston, the Sedin
twins have struggled offensively, Ryan Kesler has been a mere shadow of his healthy self and
Alex Burrows has probably taken himself out of the running with some of his antics.
But Luongo has been masterful in Vancouver's three wins -- even besting Thomas in two
different games where the final score was 1-0. Anyone who can channel his inner Frank McCool
like that deserves some serious accolades. And yet, nobody is talking about Luongo for the
playoff MVP award because he had a couple of bad games, which I find perplexing.
Newsflash for you: Luongo hasn't cost the Canucks any games in the Stanley Cup final. There
was no way that Vancouver was winning the two games played in Boston earlier in the series. If
they lost Game 3 by a score of 8-5 or 8-6, I would buy into the theory that Luongo cost them the
game. But they were beaten in all facets that night.
And the same goes for the Chicago series. If the Canucks had lost 7-5 and 5-3, you could make
the argument that Luongo was the sole problem. But in those two games, the Canucks were
outscored 12-2 and were generally awful as a team. When it mattered most in against Chicago --
in Game 7 -- the Vancouver netminder was brilliant. The save on Patrick Sharp in overtime was
the second-best stop in Canucks history. (Nothing will ever top Kirk McLean on Robert Reichel,
In the 15 games that Vancouver has won in this post-season, here are Luongo stats:
.953 save percentage.
In the 14 games that Boston has won in the post-season, here are Thomas' stats:
.953 save percentage
So why are Thomas' 14 wins more impressive than Roberto Luongo's 15? Of Luongo's wins so
far, a staggering 11 of them have been one-goal victories. That means a lot of critical saves in
late-game situations for Luongo -- often in the dying minutes of the third period and overtime.
As for Thomas, he's had only six one-goal victories this spring. The Philadelphia series was such
a cake-walk for Boston, as they outscored the Flyers 20-7 in a series where Thomas hardly had to
make a clutch save because his offence was scoring at will.
And why does everyone forget that Thomas was very shaky in the Tampa Bay series -- allowing
four goals or more in four different games? Yet these same people bring up Luongo's two bad
games against Chicago and use it as an argument against him when it comes to the Conn Smythe
All you ask from your goaltender is to deliver 16 wins in a playoff year. And judging by the stats
from above, Luongo has done that on 15 occasions -- usually in brilliant fashion and often in
tight-checking, low-scoring games. But for some reason, we are more preoccupied with his four
bad starts than with his 15 good ones. It doesn't make sense to me.
Last year, most of the voters ignored Jonathan Toews' poor play in the Stanley Cup final, where
he didn't score a goal and registered a minus-five rating. Toews was awarded the Conn Smythe
trophy as playoff MVP in a year in which there was no clear-cut favourite. The same thing
happened the year before, when Evgeni Malkin claimed the prize, despite having long stretches
of unproductive play.
Goalies, apparently, aren't allowed to have that luxury. Four bad games and you are no longer a
Conn Smythe candidate. It's a double-standard that defies logic. If the goalie wins you 16 games
with a save percentage over .950 in those games, shouldn't that count for something? Especially
when at least 11 of those wins are one-goal games?
I'm all for giving Tim Thomas the Conn Smythe trophy if the Boston Bruins win this series. But
if Vancouver is hoisting the Stanley Cup, I hope the voters have enough sense to look at the big
picture and hand Luongo another trophy as well.
Pointless but productive
Mark Spector –sporstnet.ca
Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
Despite poor offensive numbers the Sedins continue to battle.
BOSTON — It has been a pointless Stanley Cup final for Henrik Sedin, the first time he has
gone five games without a point — playoffs or regular season — since the final five nights of the
Daniel has but two points against the Boston Bruins, a goal and an assist accrued in Game 2.
Together, they have been called Thelma and Louise by that great observer of talent, Mike
Milbury, plus various and sundry childish names by the Boston media.
It was enough, even, to make Henrik rear back and fire away. And any Vancouver Canucks fan
knows that takes some doing.
"My son told me a man was making fun of me and Uncle Danny on TV," Henrik said over the
weekend. "I said ‗That can't be true, because that‘s what usually happens in kindergarten.
Sometimes grown-ups have low self-esteem and get on guys and say stupid stuff.‘
"I think he has to be happy with his career," Henrik said of Milbury. "He did a great job on Long
Island. I'm sure he is happy with that."
Daniel, the true sniper among the twins, went passive aggressive on Milbury:
"Usually, the guys who sit in those situations, they're called experts," Daniel said.
It was the rare show of force by the Sedins, the cerebral brothers who have been knocked down
and abused by the Bruins through five games of this series, and bravely come right back to be
knocked down and abused again.
Despite what personnel gurus like Milbury might say, the twins possess plenty of courage. What
they don‘t possess is the ability to push back physically, so they exact their revenge on the
Since that‘s not happening, and considering linemate Alex Burrows has said they communicate
like dolphins with each other, where do they to go to tune up their game?
The Boston Aquarium?
"We work it out with Alex and whoever is on the point," Henrik said Sunday afternoon. "We‘re
still confident. You lose confidence when you‘re cheating or doing things wrong."
Alain Vigneault, coach of two of the game‘s lowest maintenance superstars, wouldn‘t know
where to find the match to light a fire under the Sedins. He‘s never had to look before.
"When you‘re dealing with those two players in particular, they‘re so demanding on themselves
that they don't really need anyone to point certain things about their game out to them," he said.
"That being said, I do think that they‘re playing much better than their point total indicates.
"You‘ve got to give credit where credit is due," Vigneault said. "Their goaltender has made some
great saves on them, and their defencemen have done a great job. They have been shutdown now
for a few games, but I‘m confident the tide should turn here soon."
Add in the fact Ryan Kesler has just one, lonely assist in this final, and you begin to reach
historic numbers for futility, for a team that finds itself one win away from a summer with the
Outscored 14-6 by the Bruins marks the first time in the Stanley Cup final that the leading team
has been outscored by greater than a 2-to-1 margin, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. It‘s
only ever happened once in any playoff round — a Detroit-Chicago semi-final in 1966.
So the fact this team is one win away, and the Sedins have had very little impact offensively, is
more good news than bad news for the Canucks.
"It shows how deep a team we are," said defenceman Kevin Bieksa. "You can‘t get to this point
being a one-line team, or having 75 per cent of your offence from three guys. You need it spread
"We‘re playing a team with arguably the best defenceman in the game (Zdeno Chara), and he‘s
going to do a good job on the twins and Burr. That‘s where we need other guys to step up and
There are players who, having led their team in scoring in the regular season — the Sedins have
won the past two Art Ross Trophies as NHL scoring leaders, first Henrik then Daniel — would
be visibly shaken at this stage, with these paltry totals.
But not the even keeled Sedins, the Volvos of the hockey set.
They face the media every day win or lose, never flinch when one is called by the other‘s name,
and Milbury quotes aside, unfailingly give straight, honest responses to the questions.
And they‘ll look you in the eye as they do it.
Good men, but so far in this final, bad production.
"We‘re battling hard," Henrik said in closing. "They are a good team. We know we aren‘t going
to get the chances maybe we get usually — that‘s the way it is. We have to bear down and get
chances, and find a way to beat Tim Thomas."
Home sweet home for Cup finalists
Boston— From Monday's Globe and Mail
The home team has won every game of the Stanley Cup final heading into Game 6 Monday at
Boston‘s TD Garden, and the players and coaches have been unable to explain the phenomenon.
Vancouver Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault pointed to a symptom – second periods in
which his team was outscored 6-0 – but couldn‘t muster a reason why his team looked so ghastly
in Beantown, and so airtight on the West Coast. On the other bench, Bruins head coach Claude
Julien went as far as saying that last change isn‘t even the advantage that some would make it out
to be, further muddying a not-so-clear debate.
So, barring any definitive answers from the participants, let‘s take a stab and say that the
respective fan bases are driving success on home ice. That some of the NHL‘s most ardent fans
are refusing to let their clubs bring less than their best, because there is just too much excitement,
and too much anticipation in both cities.
Canucks and Bruins supporters are some of the longest-suffering in the NHL, and having
reached the Cup final, they aren‘t going to let their teams lose in their midst.
In Vancouver, tens of thousands are taking to downtown streets to watch games on oversized
screens and be with like-minded people. They‘ve been waiting 40 years for a championship, and
never before has their team been this good, or this close (with a margin for error).
In Boston, Game 1 of the Cup final drew a larger television audience than Game 1 of the Lakers-
Celtics NBA Finals one year ago. That means the Bruins are attracting more eyeballs than the
best rivalry in basketball did last spring.
The Bruins haven‘t lifted the Cup since the glory days of Bobby Orr in 1972, and they‘ve pushed
the beloved Red Sox to the inside pages in the local press. Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan
has argued that two sports – baseball and hockey – are in the DNA of New Englanders, and
strolling around downtown last week, you saw more spoked Bs in black and yellow than you did
red Bs in the familiar Red Sox font. That‘s saying something.
Plus, there‘s inner-city bragging rights at stake. Bruins fans are hopeful that their team can match
the rest of their Boston counterparts by winning a championship in this new century. If so, the
NFL‘s New England Patriots, who won Super Bowl XXXIX in 2004, would have the longest
title drought among the city‘s four major professional sports franchises.
The Bruins trail the series 3-2, and face elimination Monday at the Garden. The Canucks,
meanwhile, are one win away from the Cup and have two chances at glory.
―We‘re going to have to use our fans to our advantage tomorrow and then go from there,‖ Bruins
forward Patrice Bergeron said Sunday. ―They‘ve been great all year and all playoffs, they‘ve
given us that extra jump and energy that we‘ve needed.‖
The Canucks were sent off across the North American continent Saturday by hundreds of fans at
the airport. If they come home with a certain chalice Tuesday, you can bet the greeters will total
in the thousands.
The Canucks are to Vancouver what the Red Sox were to Boston prior to winning the 2004
World Series. They are the beloved franchise that more often than not disappoints. The team that
shows promise only to be derailed by a Nicklas Lidstrom goal from centre-ice, or a Todd
Bertuzzi act of savagery.
But after the best regular season in franchise history, after ―slaying the dragon‖ in Round 1
against the Chicago Blackhawks, and after not trailing in a series since then, optimism reigns
across B.C. So much so that defenceman Kevin Bieksa was asked what it‘s like to be rock star.
―This is pretty cool,‖ he said. ―It gets bigger and bigger every time we come on the road. A lot of
support in the city, as you can see. [Friday] night was a lot of fun, driving home, seeing
everybody out on the streets.‖
Unlikely heroes emerge this time of year
DAVID SHOALTS |
Boston— From Monday's Globe and Mail
The most overworked hockey cliché in the playoffs has to be one that goes, ―Your best players
have to be your best players.‖
And no, I‘m not saying your best players, be they the Sedin brothers or whoever, can take the
Stanley Cup final off and you will still cruise to victory. The stars do need to maintain a
But the difference-makers in the big games are the foot soldiers more often than not. If your team
does not have a few hard-working grunts who can hack and slash their way to the front of the net
and whack in the odd goal, you are not going to win too many championships.
The first thing teams in the NHL playoffs do is crank up their defensive game. And it‘s all aimed
at the other team‘s stars. The big guns usually get shut down in the playoffs because they are the
focus of the best pair of defencemen on the opposition and the best checking forwards. On every
Good teams win by getting their second and third and sometimes fourth lines to pick up the
scoring slack. Or a defenceman or two.
Yet there is still enormous energy spent in this Stanley Cup final fretting about the silence of the
Sedins. Daniel and Henrik have a grand total of two points between them. Throw in Ryan Kesler
and you can say the Vancouver Canucks trio has the grand total of one goal.
Someone threw the best players have to be your best players chestnut at Boston Bruins head
coach Claude Julien on Sunday and he wasn‘t having any.
―I'm just going to tell you that right now, teams that are having some success have had secondary
contribution,‖ he said. ―[Chris] Kelly at the beginning of the playoffs was a big boost for us.
[Michael] Ryder has scored some big goals, you saw [Daniel] Paille score some big goals for us.
So you‘ve got to understand in the playoffs the guys are being checked closely, the key guys. It's
not always obvious. You need secondary scoring and every team needs that.‖
The Canucks have a 3-2 lead in the Cup final and can win it Monday night because of people
like Max Lapierre, as detestable as he is. He took time out from the worst acting job in a hockey
situation since Rob Lowe in Youngblood to score the winning goal in Game 5.
A look at the game-winning goals in this series shows the value of having blue-collar workers
who can score. Rich Peverley and Mark Recchi scored the winners for the Bruins, although both
came in blowouts. Raffi Torres did it for the Canucks in the first game. Both Torres and Lapierre
came through in 1-0 games.
Yes, that shows the goaltending by the Bruins‘ Tim Thomas is other-worldly but he is getting
lots of help keeping the Sedins quiet. It takes a special effort for stars to be the best players in an
intense series like this one.
Unlike the regular season, the Sedins never see the other team‘s fifth and sixth defenceman.
When they‘re on the ice, so is Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara. The odd easy shift against the
fourth line? Forget it. It‘s the designated checkers almost every time, at least it is on the road
when the home team has the benefit of the last change.
The Edmonton Oilers did not win all those Cups in the 1980s simply because of Wayne Gretzky.
They won because they also had Grant Fuhr, Paul Coffey, Mark Messier and Glenn Anderson. In
Edmonton, Anderson played a supporting role and was a 50-goal scorer, not to mention a
phenomenal playoff performer.
When the playoffs come and everybody clamps down on defence, there aren‘t too many pretty
plays that result in goals. Even though the NHL has done a good job taking the smother out of
the game it still comes back in the playoffs. The teams who can swarm the front of the net and
knock in the odd puck are still the ones who prosper most of the time. The stars know that.
―We're battling hard. They are a good team,‖ Henrik Sedin said. ―We know we aren't going to
get the chances maybe we get usually. That's the way it is. We have to bear down and get
chances and find a way to beat Tim Thomas.‖
Diehard Canuck fans head for Boston, while
thousands cheer from Vancouver streets
Victoria— From Monday's Globe and Mail
Lecia Stewart is Boston-bound on Monday, ready to wade into the stands in the TD Garden with
her $800 ticket and her blue Canucks T-shirt to shout herself hoarse for Vancouver – surrounded
by about 17,000 Boston Bruins fans.
At least 100,000 less fortunate Canucks fans are expected to watch Game 6 on massive screens
on the streets of downtown Vancouver – their best opportunity to see the Canucks bring home
the Stanley Cup for the first time in the franchise‘s 40-year history.
―I put this at the top of the Richter scale for stress – it‘s very nerve-wracking,‖ said Ms. Stewart
as she packed for the flight. ―The most compelling reason to go is that they really need us – the
team needs to hear us there.‖
She‘s convinced this will be the night that the Stanley Cup comes home to Canada for the first
time since 1993. The Canucks lead the final series 3-2, but to say they have had little luck
playing in Boston would be a gross understatement.
Just for safety, she‘s booked her flight back to Vancouver so that she is in town for Wednesday,
should the series go to Game 7.
Ms. Stewart has been a Canucks fan longer than Ronil Desai has been alive, but he is just as
anxious about his team‘s chances. ―When the Canucks lost the last two games in Boston, the
entire city was deflated, like it had been socked in the face with reality,‖ he said. His pre-game
ritual includes a prayer, the right home-cooked meal, and knocking on wood, a lot.
He hopes that the Canucks play better in Boston this time.
―The Stanley Cup is in the building – if that is not motivating enough for the boys, I don‘t know
what would be.‖
The 22-year-old student at Simon Fraser University doesn‘t plan to watch the game downtown –
he‘ll watch at home with his family in his usual spot on the couch – but he will join the
celebration later ―if all goes well.‖
The opportunities to watch the Canucks-Bruins game en masse – outside of Boston – are not just
in downtown Vancouver. B.C. New Democratic Party Leader Adrian Dix watched Game 5 with
about 5,000 fans at the Surrey Central City Plaza. But for Game 6, he‘ll probably return to his
favourite spot, the Bamboo Cafe on Joyce St. in his Vancouver-Kingsway riding.
He has no special ritual or lucky T-shirt. ―I‘m just going to go and cheer and enjoy.‖
Mr. Dix recalled skipping out of school to welcome the Canucks back to town in 1982, one of
their almost-made-it years. He said the atmosphere then was similar to now. ―It‘s just a lot of
fun, everyone is kind of together.‖
To accommodate the street celebrations, the City of Vancouver, working with the CBC, will roll
out four large screens to allow fans to watch in and around the CBC Plaza, but the city is now
chafing about the cost.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said Sunday the provincial and federal governments, who
are reaping the benefits of a boost in restaurant and pub sales, should help shoulder the costs of
policing and cleaning up after the street revellers.
A city report suggested the incremental cost of managing Monday‘s game will be $110,000, with
a total bill to the city of $680,000 if the series goes to seven games.
―It is a city responsibility, technically,‖ Mr. Robertson told reporters.
―It‘s a windfall for the provincial and federal governments when there is a big Cup run like this.
All of the bars and restaurants – everyone is making more money. The city doesn‘t get a share of
that but we have to bear the costs of supporting the celebrations. … Hopefully they will come
through with something.‖
But Ms. Stewart, adding up her own costs for a flight, hotel and hockey tickets, said there is no
question it is worth it. ―It‘s going to be an experience of a lifetime. You could go on a holiday
and sit on a beach and be bored. This, I will remember.‖
Bruins vow to block win on home ice
Vancouver set to party
The Province-BY GREG BEACHAM AP SPORTS WRITER
―We said all along since Day 1 that we were ready for this, and we‘re trying to prove it.‖
— Canucks coach Alain Vigneault
BOSTON — Even after all the taunts, hits and alleged bites that the Vancouver Canucks have
thrown at the Boston Bruins over the past two weeks, skating the Stanley Cup around the Garden
ice would be the biggest insult of all.
The Canucks could do it after Game 6 tonight, when they‘ll try to finish off the testiest Stanley
Cup final in recent memory.
After racking up the regular season‘s best record, then surviving several playoff scares, the
Canucks don‘t want to wait another day for their franchise‘s first championship.
Although New England has rallied behind the Bruins in their quest for their first Cup since 1972,
the streets of downtown Boston are unlikely to be filled Monday night with more than 100,000
screaming hockey fans and revellers, as Vancouver was last Friday when the Canucks moved to
the brink with a 1-0 win in Game 5.
Vancouver might be ready for a party that will make last year‘s Olympic festivities look like a
high-school dance, but nothing in the series‘ first five games suggests anybody will be
celebrating before Wednesday.
The home teams are unbeaten in the final, and Boston has won nine of its last 10 at the Garden
after losing its first two to Montreal in the first round.
―We don‘t want to see anybody raising the Cup on our home ice,‖ Boston defenceman Dennis
Seidenberg said. ―We can‘t focus on the future or on the past. We have to be in the moment in
The Canucks have been anticipating this moment all season long while moving to the brink of
the first Cup title for a Canadian club since 1993. Vancouver has persevered despite key injuries,
a brutal travel schedule and a fan base that‘s both adoring and hypercritical.
―When they say it‘s the hardest trophy to win, they‘re absolutely right,‖ Vancouver coach Alain
―It‘s so taxing physically on the players, so demanding with the travel, that it makes it a
challenge. But our group, we said all along since Day 1 that we were ready for this, and we‘re
trying to prove it.‖
North Shore firm set to print city's hottest T-
By Tessa Holloway, Postmedia News; North Shore News June 13, 2011
If the Canucks win the Stanley Cup, Matt Pierrot won't have long to celebrate.
The owner of Get Bold, a North Vancouver-based, T-shirt-printing company, has 18,000 T-shirts
boxed up at his company's office ready to be emblazoned with "Canucks 2011 Stanley Cup
Of course, if Boston surges back to win the series, Pierrot is on the hook for a restocking fee to
return the T-shirts he suddenly has no use for.
"When the Canucks win, my staff have 45 minutes to get to work," he said. "We'll have all the
presses set and then we'll pump out 900 shirts an hour all night long. We have a courier showing
up at 3 a.m. to pick up 6,000 shirts and then another courier at 6 a.m. to pick up another 3,000."
By the morning, his shirts will be stocking the shelves at local Walmart stores, while other
companies supply the other major chains and sports stores around the city.
The company won one of the contracts for the Canucks wear with Knights Apparel, which has
long made the NHL's official team and Stanley Cup shirts in the U.S. and just bought the licence
for the Canadian teams for the 2010-11 Stanley Cup playoffs.
The contracts have kept Pierrot busy. He was told to expect about 3,000 shirts a week but, with
high demand, he's produced more than 4,000 every week and sometimes up to 10,000.
"They'll call me on Tuesday and say, 'Can you squeeze in 9,000 shirts to fit by Friday?'
"It's kind of hard to squeeze in 9,000 shirts," he said, admitting that it's thrown a wrench into the
regular business, which includes contracts for day camps, schools and similar jobs on the North
Shore. Not that he's complaining.
"You can't complain. A businessman should never complain you have too much work," he said.
"It's better than the opposite problem."
Get Bold made the shirts for the Western Conference finals as well, so they know the drill.
It means staff are up all night finishing the job, and Pierrot stays on the next day to finish the day
shift as well. He's brought in extra staff so as not to burn out his regular employees.
He admits it's a bit of a risk to take on a large job that may never come through, but it's hard to
"How can you turn down the Canucks contract? You want to be part of the action," he said.
Tanner takes time to reflect on missed shot
The Province-Associated Press
BOSTON — Maybe it was the opponent, but with lots of time to reflect on totally whiffing on
his close-in shot at a wide-open net, Canucks fourth-line winger Tanner Glass thought only of
Bill Buckner, whose fielding error in Game 6 was one of several mistakes by the Red Sox that
helped the New York Mets win the 1986 World Series.
―I had lot of time between periods and I just saw that ground ball going through his legs,‖ said
Glass, a history major while playing college hockey at Dartmouth. ―I was just like, ‗That can‘t be
me, it just can‘t be.‖‘
It might have been him if not for Maxim Lapierre scoring the only goal 4:35 into the third period
of Vancouver‘s 1-0 win Friday night that gave it a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins in the Stanley
Cup final. That goal came almost 12 minutes of playing time and an intermission after Glass
missed the puck completely with Tim Thomas stranded atop his crease on the other side.
―You‘ve got to expect [the pass], especially on Tim Thomas,‖ Glass said. ―That backdoor play is
such a good play, but you miss and it‘s a terrible few minutes trying to clear your mind.‖