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2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Bruins' Lucic played through broken toe, infection

Sunday, 06.19.2011 / 8:31 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON – Rookie Tyler Seguin did more than just score 3 goals in the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs for the Bruins. He also nearly knocked out one of his most important teammates.

During a practice May 16 in the midst of Boston's Eastern Conference Finals series with Tampa Bay, Seguin fired a shot off of power forward Milan Lucic's right foot, a shot that ended up breaking the big toe of the Bruins leading goal-scorer from the regular season, it was revealed Sunday.

When you combine the toe injury with the sinus infection that slowed him down late in the regular season and in the first round of the playoffs – Lucic said the infection caused him to not be able to sleep properly – it's amazing he was still able to come up with 5-7-12 totals without missing any of the Bruins' 25 postseason games.

Horton played playoffs with separated shoulder

Sunday, 06.19.2011 / 8:25 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON – The Boston sports scene is littered with clutch postseason heroes, including Red Sox slugger David Ortiz and Patriots kicker Adam Vinatieri – players who were able to come through to save the day for their teams at the last possible moment.

In the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Bruins forward Nathan Horton was that "Mr. Clutch" during the club's run to its first Stanley Cup championship in 39 years.

He scored overtime game-winning goals in Game 5 and 7 of the Bruins' first-round series against Montreal, and then his third-period goal was the only score in Boston's dramatic Game 7 victory over Tampa Bay.

Fans pack parade route to celebrate Bruins' victory

Saturday, 06.18.2011 / 4:38 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON – Forward Shawn Thornton is one of the toughest Boston Bruins, and he was one of two B's who had already been through the experience of winning and celebrating a Stanley Cup victory.

But Saturday's "Rolling Rally" parade to celebrate the Bruins' first championship since 1972 – a celebration that drew about 1 million Stanley Cup-starved fans to the streets of Boston -- left quite an impression on Thornton.

"It was more overwhelming than I expected," he said after he and his teammates' procession on Boston's famous Duck Boats was complete. "It was an unbelievable turnout. I didn't know that many people lived in Boston, let alone would be on the streets today. It was an awesome, awesome experience."

Canucks' walking wounded aim to get healthy

Friday, 06.17.2011 / 8:46 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Getting through two grueling months of the Stanley Cup Playoffs doesn't come easy. Players often mask injuries as they try to battle through them.

On Friday, various Canucks confirmed many of the injuries players were battling with.

Defenseman Dan Hamhuis was sidelined in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final; he suffered an abdominal injury after he went to hip check Bruins forward Milan Lucic. The Smithers, B.C. native will go under the knife next week.

"We're not sure about the recovery," he said. "On that Lucic hit I did some damage in the core area. We're going to have a surgery done next week, and once they get in there they'll find out more of what they need to repair."

Canucks GM ready to deal with free agents

Friday, 06.17.2011 / 8:11 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

VANCOUVER – One of the issues any team faces when they go deep into the playoffs is a condensed offseason, with less time to prepare for the draft and free agency. Canucks GM Mike Gillis, in just his third season at the helm, will have some significant decisions to make in the coming weeks.

A total of 17 players who spent at least some time with the Canucks this season can become either unrestricted or restricted free agents on July 1. Topping the list are unrestricted free agent defensemen Kevin Bieksa and Christian Ehrhoff.

Bieksa, a Grimsby, Ont., native, was a fifth-round selection of the Vancouver Canucks back in 2001. Many believe he will be the easier of the two to sign, and he's indicating he wants to be a Canuck next fall.

Canucks lament Game 7 loss, turn focus to next year

Friday, 06.17.2011 / 7:20 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Friday was supposed to be the day the Canucks paraded the Stanley Cup through the streets of downtown Vancouver, not the day to be holding exit meetings and final media availability.

The Canucks, the Presidents' Trophy winners, shattered many franchise records during their 40th anniversary season, but came one win shy of taking home in the ultimate prize – the organization's first Stanley Cup.

Despite the disappointment, many called it a good learning experience for the group, most of whom hadn't played past the second round before.

"You work hard all year obviously to try to get to the ultimate goal and to fall short like that, just by one game, is tough," goaltender Roberto Luongo said. "At the same time, I think it's something that's probably going to make our team stronger and even hungrier for next season."

Chiarelli savors Cup, looks toward next year

Friday, 06.17.2011 / 4:29 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- Once a skyscraper is completely built and soaring to the sky, the architect gets to kick back and relish what he's accomplished.

That's just how Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli feels now that his club has won the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1972.

"It feels really good," the fifth-year GM said Friday during a news conference at TD Garden. "And you know, everyone talks about a plan. Whenever a manager takes a job, they always have a plan or else they wouldn't be doing their job. And I've talked to other managers and managers-to-be and talked about certain plans. Pretty much everyone has a five-year plan, and so did we. And it's not like it fell exactly into place but we were adding certain elements, certain elements to get to that point.

"And it's happened -- so I'm a genius."

Lapsed Bruins fan Wright is back on board

Friday, 06.17.2011 / 2:36 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Ovechkin in GQ

Chara, Wright, and the Cup (Click image to enlarge)

NEW YORK -- Count famed comedian Steven Wright among the hockey converts during the Boston Bruins' run to the Stanley Cup.

The Boston sports fan was one of the hundreds of fans who poured into the NHL Store Powered by Reebok on Friday for a glimpse of the Stanley Cup and three of the players who helped win it -- Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron and Tim Thomas.

Actually, Wright was more like a lapsed fan than a new convert. He said he was a fan of the Bobby Orr championship teams in the 1970s, but fell away not long after. Only this season, he said, did he start to follow the Bruins again.

Bergeron never doubted he'd win the Cup

Friday, 06.17.2011 / 12:48 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Bergeron hoists the Stanley Cup (Click image to enlarge)

NEW YORK -- Even in his darkest days, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron never doubted he would come back from a pair of concussions that threatened to derail a promising career.

He missed the final 72 games and all seven playoff games during the 2007-08 season, and another 15 games during the 2008-09 season with the head injuries. There were some who questioned if he ever could return to being the kind of player who could help a team win a championship.

Well, he certainly proved he's all the way back in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday, scoring a pair of goals -- the game-opening goal in the first period and a shorthanded goal late in the second that gave the Bruins a 3-0 lead.

Emotions still running high for Cup champions

Friday, 06.17.2011 / 12:18 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

"I was so thrilled and excited to be in that position. It doesn't happen very often in your career that as a captain you're able to go in as the first guy and lift the Cup." -- Zdeno Chara

NEW YORK -- The moment will remain in his mind forever, but Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said he had to watch the moment on TV to actually hear what was going on.

Standing on the ice, in the middle of the commotion and celebration following their Game 7 victory Wednesday against the Vancouver Canucks, fans in the Rogers Arena and watching on television heard NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman say the words all hockey players dream of hearing -- "Zdeno Chara, it's my honor to present you with the Stanley Cup."
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