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Posted On Tuesday, 06.07.2011 / 7:46 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

Marchand, Recchi bridge generation gap in Final

With his goal in Game 2, Bruins’ forward Mark Recchi became the oldest player to score in the Stanley Cup Final. With two more goals in Game 3, Recchi built on that record while making a considerably younger linemate a part of hockey history.

With an assist on Recchi’s second goal Monday night, Bruins’ rookie Brad Marchand contributed to a fascinating piece of Stanley Cup lore. Recchi, the oldest active player in the League at age 43, is 20 years, three months, and 10 days older than Marchand, an age disparity that is among the widest ever between two players combining for a Stanley Cup Final goal. To put things in perspective, Recchi was drafted by the Penguins one month after Marchand was born.

Since 1997, the only two players who have come close to matching this distinction are Jiri Fischer and Igor Larionov, who was the oldest player to score in the Cup Final before Recchi got his Game 2 marker. In 2002, Larionov, 41, took a pass from Fischer, 21, and found the back of the Carolina Hurricanes’ net to help lead the Red Wings to the Cup. At 19 years, seven months, and 28 days, their mammoth age gap still couldn’t match Recchi and Marchand.

This mix of youthful energy and veteran leadership has boded well for previous Stanley Cup champions. In fact, since 1997, teammates with at least a 15-year age difference who have combined for a Cup Final goal have gone 6-2 in the series. In 2004, 40-year-old Dave Andreychuk finished his career by setting up 24-year-old Conn Smythe Trophy winner Brad Richards for the game-winner in Game 4 of the Final. Five years later, 38-year-old Bill Guerin set up 22-year-old Conn Smythe winner Evgeni Malkin in Game 2.

While these goals don’t occur often, 21-year-old Alex Tanguy helped lead Colorado to the 2001 Cup by finishing separate passing plays from Ray Bourque (40) and Dave Reid (36)

If anyone can draw any meaning from young and old combining for a Cup Final goal, it’s probably Recchi. In the 2006 Final with the Hurricanes, a 38-year-old Recchi scored off an assist from 21-year-old Eric Staal. Even on that team, Recchi was the oldest player on the roster. 


Posted On Tuesday, 06.07.2011 / 4:07 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

Teams get rid of 'garbage'

NHL Vice President of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy said Tuesday some of the post-whistle antics between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins "has been addressed" with the teams.

Players from both sides have been taunting each other, stemming from Alexandre Burrows' biting of Patrice Bergeron's finger in a scrum at the end of the first period in Game 1. Maxim Lapierre stuck his fingers near Bergeron's face during Game 2, while Mark Recchi and Milan Lucic did the same to Vancouver players in Game 3.

"We will deal with the issues of the series, the chippy-ness that's going on," Murphy said. "(Vice President of Hockey Operations) Kris King is in charge of the series. We've addressed it. We've addressed it with the teams as early as this morning. I will be speaking with both general managers and coaches before the day's over about what we are seeing, the garbage that is going on, some of the issues."

There has been plenty of extracurricular activity by both teams after the whistle in this series. When the Bruins took a big lead in Game 3, some of that boiled over. Boston's Shawn Thornton earned a misconduct penalty for an extended facewash on Vancouver's Ryan Kesler, who later fought Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg after some post-whistle jostling between the two.

Boston's Andrew Ference and Vancouver's Daniel Sedin also earned misconducts for their part in an altercation after the whistle had been blown.

"We've addressed that and realize that's one of our strengths. We're not going to feed the animosity after whistles," Vancouver center Manny Malhotra said. "We're not going to gain anything from it and the referees are starting to crack down on the nonsense after the whistles. Our focus is on playing between the whistles.

"I think it's the nature of playoff hockey. As the series goes on, the rivalries and the animosity grows. I think that was an effect of being in the playoffs (Monday). You see a lot more hostility toward one another. But we've cleaned that up and we realize where our focus needs to be."

Both Lucic and Recchi said they were reprimanded by the Boston coaching staff after their taunting acts.

"I got in trouble for that," Recchi said. "(Julien) gave me heck for that. We didn't know this morning that he said something.  You know, it's emotional out there. But it won't happen again. Obviously when it happens to one of your teammates, they kind of mock you a little bit, when it happened in Game 1, it was a little bit -- you know, it's a little bit of frustration on our part. It is what it is, and we'll forget about it and get ready for the next game."
Posted On Tuesday, 06.07.2011 / 3:41 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

Nasty boy Canucks

BOSTON -- Alexandre Burrows' had his biting incident with Patrice Bergeron in Game 1. Maxim Lapierre waved his finger in Bergeron's face in Game 2, daring him to chomp down. And, in Game 3, Ryan Kesler cross checked Dennis Seidenberg in the back enough times to make the Bruins' defenseman want to fight and Raffi Torres just missed with a flying elbow.

With all of this out front and center, it was no surprise that Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin was asked not once, but twice about if his team is comfortable being labeled as the nasty boys of this Stanley Cup Final?

Henrik's first response was a brush off.

"We don't really care," he said. "If people from the outside want to say what they want, that's fine."

When he was asked the same question again, he laughed and asked, "Are we?" When the reporter said, "That's what people are saying," Henrik responded, "Yeah, in Boston maybe."

Well, that is true. But, that's also part of being the villain, a role the Canucks don't seem to bothered by right now.

"I know what kind of group we have," Henrik said. "We're a tight group, honest players. There are guys that are going to maybe cross the line a little bit, but again, we're talking about gray areas. I don't think we're the dirtiest team in the playoffs. I don't think that by far. A lot of attention gets put on our team because we are where we are right now. That's the way it's going to be."


Posted On Tuesday, 06.07.2011 / 1:20 AM

By Emily Kaplan -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

Bruins regret taunting Canucks in Game 3

While the Bruins walked away from Game 3 with an 8-1 victory, some Boston players expressed remorse about their behavior throughout the game.
 
Bruins forwards Mark Recchi and Milan Lucic were both caught taunting the Canucks, waving their fingers in the faces of Vancouver players during scrums.

The actions came hours after Boston coach Claude Julien told the media that Vancouver's Maxim Lapierre was "making a mockery" of the game with a similar taunt in Game 2.

The origin of the taunting exchange was in Game 1 of the series, when Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows apparently bit Boston's Patrice Bergeron's finger during a scrum. In Game 2, Lapierre teased Bergeron by waving his finger in front of his mouth.

"I said this morning that I wouldn't accept it on our team,'' Julien said. "It happened a couple of times [Monday night]. They've been told that I don't want any of that stuff. You've got to live by your words. It was disappointing for me to see that happen after what I said this morning, but part of it is my fault for not bringing it up [enough] to the guys. They did it. Emotions got the better of them.''

When Recchi was asked about giving Lapierre a taste of his own medicine, the forward laughed.

"I got in trouble for that," Recchi said. "Coach gave me heck for that.  We didn't know this morning that he said something.  You know, it's emotional out there.  But it won't happen again.  You know, it's an emotional game.  You get involved.  Obviously when it happens to one of your teammates, they kind of mock you a little bit, when it happened in Game 1, it was a little bit -- you know, it's a little bit of frustration on our part.  It is what it is, and we'll forget about it and get ready for the next game."

Lucic, meanwhile, said he "for sure" regrets taunting Burrows.

"It's something this team isn't about and that I'm not about," Lucic said. "It's definitely a classless move. Claude talked about it. He definitely gave me some heat after the game about it. You regret doing it but, heat of the moment type of thing, things like that will happen."
Posted On Monday, 06.06.2011 / 2:35 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

Lapierre's antics wearing thin with Bruins

Maxim Lapierre is no favorite among the Boston Bruins.

Players are still seething over Lapierre's behavior in Game 2 when he taunted Bruins center Patrice Bergeron with his gloved hand. The taunt was in reference to Bergeron’s allegation that Vancouver's Alexandre Burrows had bitten him during a scrum in Game 1.

The NHL ruled after Game 1 that the Burrows biting incident was not an intentional bite and he was not suspended. Burrows then went on to score two goals -- including the OT winner -- in Game 2.

Boston coach Claude Julien said Monday morning that Lapierre has stepped over the line with that taunt.

"If it's acceptable for them, then so be it," Julien said after the morning skate at TD Garden in preparation for Game 3. "Certainly wouldn't be acceptable on our end of it. I think you know me enough to know that. Not much I can say on that. The NHL rules on something. They decide to make a mockery of it, that's totally up to them. If that's their way of handling things, so be it.”

Later, in comments in French to the French-language media covering the series, Julien further suggested that Lapierre's behavior isn’t even acceptable to his teammates.

"It's one of the reasons he played for three teams this year," Julien said in French, according to several reports.


Posted On Sunday, 06.05.2011 / 2:25 AM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

Thomas pays price for aggressive goaltending

Tim Thomas is an aggressive goaltender, maybe the most aggressive in the NHL.

Being aggressive is part of his personality, and it often enables him to make brilliant saves. He challenges shooters, often coming out of the blue paint to cut off angles and not let the bodies in front of him affect his ability to make the save.

But every now and then, opponents are able to use that aggressiveness against him. Both of the game-winning goals in this 2011 Stanley Cup Final have come on plays where Thomas came out of his net and the Canucks were able to counter it.

"I think at the stage we're at right now, if I ask him to change his style, I'm not sure that's real good advice," Boston coach Claude Julien said.

Raffi Torres directed a pass from Jannik Hansen past Thomas with 18.5 seconds left in Game 1. Thomas came out to challenge Hansen, who was skating in from the right point, and the Danish forward sent the puck to Torres cutting toward the left post.

Alexandre Burrows also drew Thomas away from the cage with a shot fake as he broke down left wing early in overtime of Game 2. Thomas overcommitted on the play, so Burrows went behind the net and slipped in the game-winner on a wraparound before Thomas could recover.
Posted On Sunday, 06.05.2011 / 2:20 AM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

Burrows the unlikeliest of heroes

On a team full of first-round picks, a free agent led the way again Saturday night.

Despite missing 306 man games during the regular season -- seventh-most in the League, the Vancouver Canucks were able to find enough interchangeable parts to capture the Presidents' Trophy this season. A quick scan of their roster shows where much of that team depth comes from.

If most of the NHL's top young talent is selected in the Entry Draft's first round, then the Canucks enjoy an embarrassment of riches.

The roster Vancouver fielded for Game 2 against the Bruins boasted nine first-round picks -- Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Ryan Kesler, Roberto Luongo, Manny Malhotra, Raffi Torres, Chris Higgins, Cory Schneider, and Jeff Tambellini. That doesn't even include Dan Hamhuis and Keith Ballard, two first-rounders who didn't play in Game 2. The team also iced three second-rounders in Maxim Lapierre, Mason Raymond, and Victor Oreskovich. That's more than half the roster taken in the first two rounds of the Draft.

But despite fielding among the League's finest collections of Draft Day talent, it was the Vancouver's only undrafted player who was the star in Game 2's 3-2 victory. With three points, including the winning goal 11 seconds into overtime, Alexandre Burrows followed a very different path to the Stanley Cup Final.
Posted On Sunday, 06.05.2011 / 1:36 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

Sedins not happy with their performance despite win

VANCOUVER -- For taking up two-thirds of a line that scored two goals Saturday night, Henrik and Daniel Sedin were pretty upset with the way they played in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.

"We played a lot better last game than we did tonight," Henrik said following Vancouver's 3-2 overtime win. "Tonight was maybe our worst game of the playoffs and we were able to score two goals. That's how it is sometimes."

Daniel Sedin scored the game-tying goal with 10:37 to play in regulation and Alex Burrows scored the winner 11 seconds into overtime. Burrows had the primary assist on Daniel's goal and Daniel had the primary assist on Burrows' goal. Henrik was on the ice for both.

However, the Sedins and Burrows were bottled up for most of the first two periods and didn't truly spring to life until after Daniel scored his goal. They finally started to find some time and space in the offensive zone when the game was tied at 2-2, and that's probably due to the fact that they began to wear down Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara, who was their shadow all night long.

Daniel finished with the goal, assist and four shots. Henrik had no points for the second straight game and won only four of 13 faceoffs to drop his record to just 12-26 in the series. Burrows had a huge night with two goals, an assist and five hits, but he was also limited offensively in the 37-plus minutes between his first goal and Daniels' tying goal.

"I thought our line didn't play that good, but we probably got rewarded for all the chances we had last game," Daniel said.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
Posted On Saturday, 06.04.2011 / 10:59 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

2011 has most OT games since 2003

The Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks ended Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final even at 2-2, producing the 22nd overtime of this year's playoffs.

It's the most overtime games in a single playoff year since 22 of the 89 games played in 2003 went into overtime, and is tied for the third-highest total in playoff history. The 22 OT games in 2003 included Games 3 and 4 of the Final, both of which were won by Anaheim at home against New Jersey.

The record for most overtime games in one playoff year is 28, set in 85 games in 1993. The 2001 playoffs are next with 26, in 86 games.
Posted On Saturday, 06.04.2011 / 12:56 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

Everyone is dying for Game 2 to get here

When there are two days off between games without a travel day in between, that means media and players will have a lot of time to fill with very little to talk about.

Game 1 of this series was Wednesday. That means reporters peppered players with questions after the game Wednesday, then at practice Thursday and Friday, then again Saturday morning. By the time Saturday rolls around, everyone is desperate for a hockey game to be played, just so there's not another question to ask or answer.

"I think everyone's dying to get back at it," Bruins forward Nathan Horton said. "It's been a long two days. We need to be better and we know we can. That's what we talked about."

Defenseman Tomas Kaberle, who has been available for reporters Thursday, Friday and then again today, was standing with just two reporters around him while other players had larger gatherings. But before anyone could ask a question, almost out of desperation, he asked to wait for more reporters to come to him just so he wouldn't have to answer the same questions over... and over ... and over ... and over again.

Coach Claude Julien also met with reporters for a third straight day. It was business as usual during his press conference, but he wasn't sitting close enough to the microphone to be heard. Cameramen in the back of the room made the problem aware to him, so Julien pulled the microphone closer.

"Test, test," he said.

Not that it wasn't funny, but it was as if the room was filled with fraternity brothers and Dane Cook was performing. After three days, we're all desperate for something new.

For the players, that something new tonight will be not feeling the same nerves they felt in Game 1.

"That Stanley Cup title might be in your head for Game 1," Tyler Seguin said. "I was nervous for sure. Now you know what it's like. You got your feet wet."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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