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Canucks v Sharks - 2011 Stanley Cup Conference Finals

Canucks still remember, honor Luc Bourdon

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Alex Burrows and his teammates on the Vancouver Canucks are just four wins away from hoisting the franchise's first Stanley Cup. The only thing that could have made it all a touch sweeter for Burrows is if his good friend, and teammate, Luc Bourdon was around to share the experiences with him.

Bourdon, a first-round pick by the Canucks, died tragically on May 29, 2008, in a motorcycle accident near his hometown of Shippagan, N.B. He was just 21 years old.

As the three-year anniversary of the accident approaches, Burrows has not forgotten his friend.

"He means a lot to me. We're still really close to his girlfriend (Charlene) and we still talk to her a lot," Burrows said. "I think about him before every national anthem, during the national anthem – I always think about him a little bit, and wish that he'd be here with us, wish that he could compete with us."

Bieksa goes from overtime hero to moving man

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Timing is everything, and for Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa, the timing of his double-overtime goal in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday night couldn't have been better.

While other players might have spent the time basking of in the glory of being an overtime hero, Bieksa said he's been working harder away from the rink the last couple days.

"It's been terrible actually, I'm in the middle of a move, I've been taking loads up and down the elevator – it's been terrible," he said Thursday. "It's been busier actually. It's a good thing we didn't go on the road (for Game 6) so I could stay home and help pack and move.

"It's been nothing special over here, trust me."

Canucks expect Ehrhoff, Rome back for Final

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- With seven full days off before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Vancouver Canucks are expecting some good news on the injury front.

Coach Alain Vigneault met with the media Thursday for the first time since the team's Game 5 double-overtime win over San Jose on Tuesday night and said he fully expects defensemen Christian Ehrhoff and Aaron Rome back in the lineup for next Wednesday.

Both Canucks blueliners were sidelined in a Game 3 loss to the Sharks courtesy of hits from San Jose forward Jamie McGinn.

Sharks GM Wilson is proud -- and disappointed

Eric Gilmore - Correspondent

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- For Sharks general manager Doug Wilson, there couldn’t have been a worse backdrop for his state-of-the team interview Thursday. Equipment bags were piled high behind Wilson in the team’s dressing room, as players began an offseason that arrived earlier than they had hoped – again.

For the second year in a row, Wilson had to deal with the bitter disappointment of his team losing in the Western Conference Finals.

Just two days after the Sharks’ season ended with a 3-2 loss in Game 5 to Vancouver in double overtime, Wilson talked about his emotions, the season and the work ahead.

Canucks to keep close eye now on East Finals

Wednesday, 05.25.2011 / 10:20 AM / Canucks v Sharks - 2011 Stanley Cup Conference Finals

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

"We've watched a little bit, but more as fans than an opponent. Obviously now we'll try to pick up on a few things and hopefully it goes to four OTs (Wednesday), then maybe a Game 7 and another four OTs. We'll see."
-- Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows on watching the Eastern Conference Finals

VANCOUVER -- After watching the first five games of the Eastern Conference Finals as fans trying to relax for a few hours during a stressful time, the Vancouver Canucks will have a keen interest in Game 6 between Boston and Tampa Bay on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; Versus, CBC, RDS).

If the Bruins win, they will be the Canucks' opponent in the Stanley Cup Final. If the Lightning win, it's up for grabs and the Canucks will have to wait until Friday to learn which Eastern Conference foe is coming to town.

Vancouver did its part by beating San Jose 3-2 in double overtime Tuesday to win the Clarence Campbell Bowl.

Sharks at a loss for words over Bieksa's winner

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

VANCOUVERKevin Bieksa's goal at 10:18 of double overtime had many of the San Jose Sharks at a loss for words.

Here's what we do know -- Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler, trying to keep the puck in at the Sharks blue line, attempted to dump the puck into the corner to the left of goaltender Antti Niemi.

Instead of ending up in the corner, where nearly every player's attention was, the puck hit a stanchion near the hash marks and bounced out to Bieksa, who stepped into a slap shot from the point and beat Niemi for his fifth goal of these playoffs.

"Someone said it hit one of the stanchions and right to Bieksa, who was looking behind the net thinking it was going to go around the boards," said Patrick Marleau. "It was a bounce and he got a shot off.

Sharks shocked and frustrated after Game 5 loss

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

VANCOUVER – The San Jose Sharks were 13.2 seconds away from heading back to HP Pavilion for Game 6, but a Ryan Kesler deflection tied the game 2-2, and Kevin Bieksa's double-overtime blast from the point sealed a come-from-behind victory for the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.

Afterward, Sharks rookie Logan Couture said it best when he told the assembled media his team's season "ended too soon."

"Obviously, we haven't figured it out," said a visibly-dejected Couture, a finalist for the Calder Trophy as the League's top rookie. "We were good all year. We played 107 games to get to this point. It (stinks). So much hard work went into this year, in all of our minds this ended way too short. We still a lot to play and a lot to give."

Luongo saves his best performance for Game 5

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

VANCOUVER -- There was a point during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs when Roberto Luongo was struggling so badly that coach Alain Vigneault turned to backup Corey Schneider for a start during the first round.

Exactly one month after that benching against the Chicago Blackhawks, Luongo put the Canucks on his back and carried them to their first Stanley Cup Final since 1994.

Luongo made 54 saves -- including 16 during the first overtime period -- to lead the Canucks to a 3-2 victory in double overtime in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night at Rogers Arena.

At one point, however, Luongo's dream night looked like it wasn't going to happen.

Kesler overcomes injury to score game-tying goal

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Ryan Kesler remembers going to the net, the puck hitting off his stick and then jumping about three feet in the air.

He didn't land in any pain.

"No, I'm good," Kesler said, smiling, soon after Kevin Bieksa scored the double-overtime winner to put the Canucks into the Stanley Cup Final with a 3-2 win against San Jose in Game 5 at Rogers Arena. "It didn't hurt."

It probably would have if Kesler could have felt anything but pure excitement and adrenaline after he scored the goal with 13.2 seconds left in regulation that helped salvage every party across British Columbia on Tuesday night. 

Marleau: 'We let it slip away'

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

VANCOUVER – After facing his share of criticism in these playoffs, San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau finished the Western Conference Final with five goals and two assists in a series that ended in five games.

Marleau was on the ice when Kevin Bieksa netted the winner at 10:18 of the second overtime Tuesday night -- lifting the Vancouver Canucks to a 3-2 victory at Rogers Arena -- and spoke with reporters afterwards.
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