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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final
POSTED ON Monday, 06.13.2011 / 9:45 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

Historic first period at TD Garden

History was made at TD Garden during the first period of Game 6 on Monday night.

During a wild opening 20 minutes, the Boston Bruins set the Stanley Cup Final record for the fastest four goals by one team as they accomplished the feat in 4:14. The previous record was 5:29, set in Game 4 of the 1956 Stanley Cup Final by the Montreal Canadiens against Detroit.

The  Bruins also tied the Stanley Cup Final record for the most first-period goals by one team. Twelve other teams scored four times in a first period, but it hadn't been done in 15 years, as the Colorado Avalanche were the last team to do it in 1996 against Florida.

Also, Brad Marchand's first-period goal made him the fifth rookie in NHL history with as many as nine goals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He also became the 11th rookie with as many as 16 points in one postseason.

Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo, who is 3-0 in Vancouver in this series, was pulled 8:35 into the first period Monday night. He has allowed 15 goals on 66 shots in Boston and has an 8.05 goals-against average and .773 save percentage.

POSTED ON Saturday, 06.11.2011 / 3:16 PM

By Marty Turco -  NHL Network /NHL.com - Turco Talk

Luongo's comments not a big deal

Veteran NHL goalie Marty Turco is lending his expert opinion to NHL.com in the form of his own blog. Turco Talk will be updated daily with Marty's thoughts on the Stanley Cup Final between the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins. Marty can also be seen daily on the NHL Network giving analysis on NHL On the Fly at the Stanley Cup Final.

Today, Marty offers his reaction to Roberto Luongo's comment after Game 5 that he would have been able to make the save on Maxim Lapierre because he stays deep in his crease, but Tim Thomas couldn't because he's 'wandering out and aggressive.':

BOSTON -- Roberto has been both at the top and the bottom of this series -- a shutout in a pivotal Game 5 but before that he let in 12 goals in two games in Boston to let that team back in the series. So, when he makes a comment like that, saying that it would have been an easy save for him to make, I think he is expressing his feelings outwardly just toward people in general.

He's under a lot of pressure and for him just saying it you know he's under a lot of pressure. He really wasn't thinking about it.

It was Louie saying what is on his mind and he probably didn't think that it might create a little bit of attention that he doesn't want and they don't want at this moment.

But, if you'll let me contradict myself for a moment, I would say that's the lingo he's getting from his goalie coach. That's the belief on why he's playing his position, why he's changed his position, the positive effects it has on his play to play deep. He used to play further out of the net, but he moved back this year and he's a Vezina Trophy candidate who is one win away from winning the Stanley Cup.

So, when someone asks him a question about how difficult it is to make that save when the puck springs off the end board to a guy on his backside, that's his honest answer. But, you're in the Stanley Cup Final and you would just assume that it would be preferred to not even comment on someone else's style of position, or make reference to what you would do vs. what he would do.

Then again, the reason why he said it is he feels like he has been disrespected and he wants some kudos.

And, no, I don't think he was trying to send a message to his teammates that this is how to beat Thomas. The Canucks already know that's what they have to do.

A lot of the rhetoric you're going to get from players or stuff you may hear from coaches or the GMs, that's their cliches and that's what their message is. The message in the locker room is, 'Hey, if you can't get in front and screen him, get it off to the side of the net for those bounces, and catch one off the end boards or off someone's skate, and there is going to be an open net.'

Thomas is aggressive and he plays higher out of the blue paint, so maybe you'll have more room side to side. When you hear that every day, and then you get asked about it, it's pretty easy to say something that is unassuming. But, when it's Roberto saying it, it's not very unassuming.

I personally don't think it's a big deal. I would advise against it at this time of the year, but at the end of the day it affects no one in those locker rooms or how the game is going to play. It may just affect headlines and the fervor of others.
POSTED ON Saturday, 06.11.2011 / 1:59 AM

By Dhiren Mahiban -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

Fans in frenzy after Game 5 win

VANCOUVER – An estimated crowd of 70,000 to 100,000 people were in the downtown core for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final -- and many of them will now likely party into the early hours of Saturday morning after the Canucks beat the Boston Bruins 1-0.

By 3 p.m. local time, bars along Water Street in Gastown had significant lineups, and bar patios along Burrard Street were at capacity well before puck drop.

Georgia Street, one of the city's main arteries in to the downtown core, was shut down at noon on Friday to accommodate those who planned to watch the game on a large screen set up at the intersection of Georgia and Hamilton, outside of the CBC's Vancouver bureau.

Once the final buzzer sounded, three to four city blocks were jammed with fans taking in the game.

If the scene after Vancouver's 3-2 win in Game 2 win last Saturday night was any indication, traffic will not be getting through on Granville Street, in the city's popular entertainment district, until well into Saturday morning.

Canucks fans have been waiting 17 long years to see their team get back to the Stanley Cup Final, and coming on the heels of the 2010 Winter Olympics last February, have been using the Final run to re-create the festive atmosphere created by the Olympics.

Fans will pour into Rogers Arena by the thousands once again on Monday night to take in Game 6 on the big screen. Canucks Sports and Entertainment has opened the building to fans at $10 a ticket, with proceeds going to charity.

Games 3 and 4 sold out, and tickets were fetching over $100 on sites like Craigslist.

Many in Vancouver feel a Stanley Cup win will be bigger than the Olympic gold won by Canada last winter. It will be to no one's surprise that the celebration will be larger, and last longer, if the Canucks can cash in.

POSTED ON Friday, 06.10.2011 / 5:34 PM

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

Thomas, Luongo follow different paths to Final

While Roberto Luongo and Tim Thomas were both nominated for the Vezina Trophy this season and represented their countries at the 2010 Olympics, any similarities between the opposing Stanley Cup Final goaltenders end with how they entered the League.

In 1994, Thomas was selected in the ninth round by the Quebec Nordiques -- in a round that no longer exists by a team that no longer exists. By the time Luongo was drafted with the fourth pick in the 1997 first round, the highest selection ever used on a goaltender, Thomas was shuttling between three different leagues on two different continents.

Today they're battling for the Stanley Cup.

For some time, taking goalies at the top of the draft was a recipe for Stanley Cup success. In fact, from 1976 to 1998, 10 of the 11 starting goaltenders who won the Stanley Cup were taken in the third round or higher. That all changed in 1999, when the undrafted Ed Belfour led the Stars to Lord Stanley over 10th-round selection Dominik Hasek of the Sabres. That Final marked the first time in the modern era that two goaltenders so overlooked in the Draft faced off in the Final. The feat was practically duplicated three years later, when Hasek faced off against fellow 10th-rounder Arturs Irbe.
These exploits marked something of a shift in where goalies came from in their quest for Stanley Cup glory. In fact, since 1998, goalies undrafted or selected behind their counterpart have gone 8-4 in the Final. Coupled with the undrafted Antti Niemi hoisting the Cup last season, that bodes well for Thomas and the Bruins. But it’s not an exact science.

Four of the last seven Cup-winning goalies have been first-rounders, starting with the 2003 series, the first in the modern era to see two opening-round netminders -- Martin Brodeur and Jean-Sebastien Giguere -- face off. If nothing else, it all shows how a goaltender can follow a variety of paths towards Lord Stanley's Cup.

POSTED ON Friday, 06.10.2011 / 12:04 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Road to St. Paul 2011 Entry Draft Blog

Grimaldi keeps the faith

Following what he hopes will be a long and prosperous NHL career, Rocco Grimaldi of the U.S. National Team Development Program has every intention of giving back.

"I've always wanted to be a pastor since I was about 10-years-old," admitted the 18-year-old Grimaldi. "I have a real good sense of the Bible and can see things and stuff that most other people don't see."

Grimaldi routinely speaks in front of 10-18 people in his youth ministry group.

"I read (the Bible) every day and study it," he said. "A lot of people come to me for advice so I already got a jump-start to being a pastor. I think I'm a pretty good speaker and I'll hopefully become more comfortable with it in front of thousands instead of just tens and hundreds."

Interestingly, Grimaldi has two favorite "life verses" taken from the Bible that are actually customized on his Nike ID shoes -- one on each shoe. Not surprisingly, each passage deals with overcoming adversity and, in Grimaldi's case, his 5-foot-6, 163-pound frame that many thought would hinder his ability to reach the NHL.

The first is from Samuel 16:7: "But the Lord said to Samuel, do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

The second is taken from Corinthians 1:27: "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty."

"Foolish things of the world would be things that the world looks down upon; my size for example," Grimaldi said.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

POSTED ON Thursday, 06.09.2011 / 8:51 PM

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

Bruins ready for world-class Luongo in Game 5

VANCOUVER -- Tim Thomas has allowed one goal in the last two games and all of Vancouver can't stop talking about him. He's red-hot and whether the Canucks want to admit it or keep trying to fool themselves, in all likelihood Thomas is in their heads, dominating the mental game in the Stanley Cup Final.

On the flip side, Roberto Luongo has allowed 12 goals in the last two games and all of Boston can't stop talking about him. He's ice cold, but the Bruins insist they are not in his head.

Can it go both ways like that? Even if the Bruins do think they've got Luongo on tilt, do you really think they'd admit it?

"I don't think we're in Luongo's head at all," Brad Marchand said Thursday afternoon once the Bruins arrived in Vancouver. "He's one of those goalies that can shake a game off and get a shutout the next game. We just have to pray we're fortunate enough to get even one (Friday) night."

C'mon, really? Marchand has to be playing some of his own head games with that quote

Fortunate to get even one? They scored 12 over two games against Luongo in Boston.

"A lot of the goals have been kind of the not-so-straight-shot goals, so I don't think it's going to hurt his confidence at all," Rich Peverley, Boston's offensive hero in Game 4, told NHL.com. "He's a top caliber goalie, one of the best in the League. You know he's going to bring his 'A' game (Friday)."

Shawn Thornton said the same thing when he was asked about the Bruins' potentially being in Luongo's head. Despite the fact that Luongo was sieve-like at TD Garden, the Bruins' expectation is that he returns to being world-class in Game 5.

Luongo has given up four or more goals in back-to-back games twice in these playoffs, but he's also given up two or fewer goals in 13 of his 21 starts. He allowed four or more goals eight times during the regular season, including three games in a row in October.

"The guy doesn't have a gold medal for no reason. He can play," Thornton said. "I don't think anybody assumes we're in his kitchen now. He's going to have an unbelievable game (Friday) night, I'm sure. I know we're going to have our hands full."

So will Luongo.

"We have to keep playing the same way and that's all we need to worry about," Patrice Bergeron said. "Just keep doing the same thing we've been doing."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
POSTED ON Thursday, 06.09.2011 / 4:52 PM

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

Thornton excited for first game in Vancouver

VANCOUVER -- After coming straight from Vancouver International Airport to Rogers Arena, the usually energetic and quick-witted Shawn Thornton didn't seem himself Thursday. Of course, the party line among the players in the visiting locker room here was despite winning two straight games in Boston, the series was simply tied 2-2 and there was nothing to celebrate.

But come on, Shawn. You're not the least bit excited?

"You probably can't tell right now because I just got off the plane, but I'm pretty excited," Thornton cracked.

The rigors of six-hour, cross-country flights mixed with the grueling intensity of the Stanley Cup Final against the Vancouver Canucks will wear down even the toughest of players. But with Game 5 about 24 hours away, Thornton feels the Bruins' complete performance in a 4-0 victory in Game 4 won't be enough if they want to win at Rogers Arena.

"We're going to have to play a lot better than we did yesterday because we know they're going to be a lot better," Thornton said. "We have to put in the same effort, if not more. Nothing special happened. We've just evened up the series. I think we've done a good job of keeping our focus."

Thornton spent the first two games of the series watching from the press box, so this will be his first crack at playing in Vancouver during this series. After losing a pair of one-goal games here to open the series, the Bruins dismantled the Canucks 12-1 in two games in Boston.

Have the Bruins figured out the Canucks?

"There's a little more familiarity with these guys now," Thornton said. "Maybe we were a little surprised the first couple games. The game's a lot easier up there (in the press box). We know what to expect. I don't know if that's easier or not. It's the same on both sides, right? So they know what to expect too."

So does Thornton, whose excitement is perhaps tempered because he knows his role on the Bruins.

"They have last change," Thornton said,  "so I don't know how much ice time I'll be getting."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
POSTED ON Wednesday, 06.08.2011 / 11:17 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final: Canucks vs. Bruins

Home-ice advantage is key at Stanley Cup Final

Once again, it's the home team that has reigned supreme in the Stanley Cup Final.

With the Boston Bruins' 4-0 win against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 4 at TD Garden on Wednesday night, home clubs improved to 4-0 in the Stanley Cup Final for the third consecutive season.

In 2009, the home team won the first six games before the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings in Game 7 at Joe Louis Arena. In 2010, the home team was 5-0 until Patrick Kane's goal lifted the Chicago Blackhawks over the Philadelphia Flyers in overtime of Game 6 at the Wells Fargo Center.

In the 20 years prior to 2009, the home team won the first four games just once. That happened in 2003, when the New Jersey Devils beat the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in seven games.

With Boston's win on Wednesday night, home teams improved to 15-2 in the Stanley Cup Final since 2009.
POSTED ON Wednesday, 06.08.2011 / 10:23 PM

NHL.com - Situation Room blog (2010-2011 season)

VAN-BOS Game 4: 3:39 of third period

Video review confirmed the call on the ice by Referee O'Halloran that the puck deflected off the body of Boston's Rich Peverley and entered the net legally.   Good goal.

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. 

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I didn't think it would actually work, but it ended up working, so I'm thanking my lucky stars tonight.

— Columbus forward Nick Foligno on scoring the overtime goal after telling the Blue Jackets in the locker room that he would win the game