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Five Thoughts: Tuning up for a Game 7

Jun 14, 2011, 10:16 AM EDT

Vancouver Canucks v Boston Bruins - Game Six Getty Images

It almost had to be this way didn’t it? Game 7 on the way on Wednesday between Boston and Vancouver and these two teams truly do deserve each other. With the physical play, the off-ice comments, the on-ice shenanigans, and the questionable hits it’s as if these two are playing the mirror image of each other. Think of it like that final stage of an 80’s Nintendo game where you think you’ve beaten the game but then have to square off against the evil version of your own character. Of course, who you decide is the evil one in this series is a matter of opinion.

1. We know that both of these teams have played out of their minds on home ice and have protected it the way an attack dog would a rich person’s mansion. There’s a flip side to looking at things here though and it’s that both of these teams have been absolutely miserable road teams. Obviously the Canucks issues in Boston have been obvious and beyond awful. Roberto Luongo can now add Boston to his list of personal hells to go along with Chicago. The fact that the organist at TD Garden serenaded the Canucks with his own version of “Chelsea Dagger” helped add to the pain.

Boston hasn’t been much better in their three road games in Vancouver though. Sure the scores are closer and they had their opportunities to change the game in all three of them, but if they show up the way they did in Game 5, the Canucks are going to skate away with the Stanley Cup. The fact that neither of these teams have yet to play a road game worthy of the road dominance we’ve seen throughout the playoffs is somewhat embarrassing. After all, these are the best two teams left in the league and neither of them can bring their “A” game with them on the road? That’s no good. It’s up to Boston to show that they can do it in Game 7 but if they don’t we’ll be left wondering what happened to the greatness of road teams in the end.

2. Much of the talk today is going to center around Mason Raymond‘s injury suffered in the first period of Game 6 thanks to an awkward but late hit from Johnny Boychuk. Now that everyone’s had a chance to sleep on things and get caught up to the news that Raymond was stretchered out of TD Garden and taken to the hospital, the outrage in Vancouver is building. After all the verbal lashing Aaron Rome took for his reckless hit on Nathan Horton, Canucks fans will be acting out in kind towards Boychuk. Justified though? Not at all as the hit just strikes us as awkward yet ugly. Should Raymond end up being hurt seriously, as is the rumor, it’ll add fuel to their fire.

Of course, that doesn’t excuse the chants Bruins fans delivered as Raymond was down on the ice. It was an ugly incident all around made worse by the spectacle this series has become thanks to everything that’s gone on. Some fans should learn to get a grip on things and that goes for everyone.

3. Interesting to see that Henrik Sedin took about five straight rights to the face from Brad Marchand late in the game to which Sedin didn’t so much as do anything in return. After the game, Sedin said that that’s the kind of player he is and it’s to be expected. Don’t think the Canucks won’t have that in the back of their heads throughout Game 7. Taking swipes at the captain is a good way to get noticed in all the wrong ways.

4. Crazy part about Game 6 is that Vancouver actually played well for most of the game. They played solid through the final 40 minutes of play and outside of the four minute span of the first period that saw them give up four goals it was a good game out of the Canucks. Of course, brain farts of any kind have cost both teams opportunities to win this series already. Here’s to hoping Game 7 will see both teams bring their best to the ice and leave all the drama and mistakes at home.

5. Some fun Game 7 factoids for you to help get you revved up for Wednesday. The last time Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals was decided in overtime it was 1954 when Detroit beat Montreal 2-1 in overtime. Your game-winning-goal scorer that year? Tony Leswick.

We’ve actually had plenty of recent Cup finals Game 7’s. Since 2000, five finals have gone seven games. In 2009, Pittsburgh beat Detroit. In 2006, Carolina beat Edmonton. In 2004, Tampa Bay beat Calgary. In 2003, New Jersey beat Anaheim, and in 2001 Colorado beat New Jersey to give Raymond Bourque his one and only Stanley Cup.

Boston will be attempting to be the first team to win three Game 7s in one playoff year. It’s never been done before. Should they pull it off, what a testament it will be to their resilience and stamina as well.

  1. bsandcs - Jun 14, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    it’s terrbile that raymond is hurt so badly but the Canucks are enormous hypocrites. they are so fired up about this hit yet in regards to the Rome hit they claim:

    “It was a little bit late, but anybody that’s played this game knows that you have to make a decision in a fraction of a second. He’s engaged in the hit. I don’t know how the League could come up with that decision really.” – Vigneault

    “We disagree with the decision. We thought it was a clean hit.” – D. Sedin

    “It’s not like it’s the blind side. I think the guy didn’t even know he was there. I thought it was a good hit.” – H Sedin

    nothing wrong woth the Rome hit but somehow this hit is dirty? okay.

    • shaqattaqer - Jun 14, 2011 at 10:31 AM

      yet regardless of what vancouver said publicly about it, rome was suspended 4 games. so, what do you care what vancouver has to say?? of course theyre mad when their guy gets 4 games and no penalty is called on this one.

      • bsandcs - Jun 14, 2011 at 10:59 AM

        i personally don’t care. i get the emotion the comes along with losing a player to a big injury, but this team just sits on both sides of the fence and whines one way today and the other way tomorrow.

        big difference between the plays. One was an open ice hit, off the play to the head. The other was a legitimate check to the boards. that being said, i don’t claim to comprehend the nhl judicial process.

        again, i can understand why they are upset about what sounds like is going to be a serious injury and I do hope he recovers okay.

  2. warpstonebc - Jun 14, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    Yerdon, if this was the pre-Mike Murphy era, you can give Boychuk a pass. But it’s not. Injuries are now one of two criteria in Murhy’s decision-making. Given the precadent with Rome, the non-call and league’s sudden lack of will to this injury are notable.

    Ask yourself, is exploiting a defenceless opponent is a hockey play? Add a broken vertebrae. What does that get you? A whole lot of nothing, because this is the NHL and nothing makes sense anymore.

    • bbgraf08 - Jun 14, 2011 at 2:22 PM

      How was the exploiting a “defenseless” player? The two were tangled up and seemed to continue to glide into the boards. I don’t even think Boychuck truly finished his check.

      Yes, we hope Raymond is okay, and yes, the Bruins’ fans reaction, especially in retrospect was ridiculous, but this was not a dirty play nor a play worthy of suspension.

  3. madtolive5 - Jun 14, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    I also think that there was no penalty on the play. It was a clean hit in the eyes of the ref.
    Rome had a 5 minute major for interference. Boychuck was just finishing his check and it is really sad to see a player hurt. But it was far from dirty.

    Regarding the chants. I mean, can you really blame a fan base who has seen flops all series long? They are at a live event and don’t know the seriousness of an injury. The Sedin’s and Burrows fall down with the blow of a wind, throw heads back when sticks go a foot away from their heads and Max looked like he was shot in game 5.

  4. mjdkid100 - Jun 14, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    “The fact that neither of these teams have yet to play a road game worthy of the road dominance we’ve seen throughout the playoffs is somewhat embarrassing. After all, these are the best two teams left in the league and neither of them can bring their “A” game with them on the road?”

    Are you serious with this quote? Boston(the huge underdog in this series) has lost 3 games in Vancouver by 3 goals. Game 5 they played poorly, but it can be argued they outplayed them in games 1 and 2. What games are you watching?

  5. homelanddefense - Jun 14, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    “3. Interesting to see that Henrik Sedin took about five straight rights to the face from Brad Marchand late in the game to which Sedin didn’t so much as do anything in return. After the game, Sedin said that that’s the kind of player he is and it’s to be expected. Don’t think the Canucks won’t have that in the back of their heads throughout Game 7. Taking swipes at the captain is a good way to get noticed in all the wrong ways.”

    Is this guy serious? Are you really shocked that Sedin did nothing back? He has disappeared this whole series and hasnt stuck up for himself once. And if he wont stand up to Marchand then who would he stand up to?

    But as a Bruins fan I will admit Marchand deserved a penalty there.

  6. canuck2011 - Jun 14, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    Look … I am Canadian and a Calgary Flames fan, but above all I am a hockey fan. Unfortunately the beauty of this series was stolen by the referees and NHL. NHL says that Rome’s hit on Horton was not intentional but he is suspended 4 games because of the outcome injuries. Boychuk hit on Raymond fracture one of his spine vertebra (no call from referees) and NHL doesn’t even want to review it. Comment on that! ….. Unfortunately this was not the only example.

    Regarding NBC Sports … what a shame! Like I said, I am a Flames fan and I like watching hockey, but NBC Sports displayed such a bias opinion through his commentators in Bruins favor. This is unacceptable! I thought that NBC Sports is a national broadcast station and not a Boston’s local. And why NBC Sports commentators are cheering for the Bruins? Because Bruins are Americans and the Canucks aren’t? (what about Kessler? … he is American!) I thought that we are watching two teams from NHL playing for the Stanley Cup and not “Canada” vs. “US”. Shame on you NBC Sports! I will never watch your broadcast from now on.

  7. ottawaravensfan - Jun 14, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    dude. american hockey coverage is the worst!!! stick with the cbc. Go Canucks!!

  8. crusty14 - Jun 14, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    I haven’t watched NBC coverage at all, but I can tell you that the CBC coverage is totally biased for Vancouver .I’m a bruin fan, although I’m Canadian , I expect a little homerism, but I think Jim hughson and company have taken it to the next level!

  9. wheresdapuck - Jun 15, 2011 at 7:09 AM

    The NHL commissioner in charge of discipline needs to be fired immediately by the owners! The resulting fines and suspensions absolutely make no sense anymore! It has been that way the entire season, not just in the Final Cup series!

  10. joay11 - Jun 15, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    I’m a Bruins and even I agree the Rome suspension was a bit overkill, it was worth a penalty and possibly a 1 game suspension at most. I think Vancouver fans are reacting to Rome’s suspension more than anything.

    The Rome suspension was a bit overkill, but the Boychuk non-penalty, non-suspension was right the call. Let’s face it, the Bruins were playing a must win game, of course they’re going to hit. We’re clearly responding to the consequences of the hit, had Raymond come back and finished the game, no one would have thought twice about the hit.

    – Rome’s suspension too much, Yes
    – Boychuk’s non-suspension too little, No

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