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2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Seguin goes from visitor to participant at Final

Monday, 05.30.2011 / 9:00 AM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- It took an injury to star center Patrice Bergeron to get rookie Tyler Seguin into the Boston Bruins' postseason lineup.

It took productivity and competitiveness to keep him among Boston's 12 forwards once Bergeron returned.

Seguin famously scored three goals and added two assists in the Bruins' first two games of the Eastern Conference Final against Tampa Bay. While the Bruins were on their way to a seven-game victory, Seguin didn't register another point the rest of the series.

But coach Claude Julien witnessed the maturation of last June's No. 2 overall draft pick enough to stick with the 19-year-old and scratch veteran energy player Shawn Thornton for the series' final five games. Seguin had been a healthy scratch for the first 12 Bruins' postseason games.

Lucic reflects on journey to the NHL

Sunday, 05.29.2011 / 8:27 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- To fully understand how far Milan Lucic has come in his hockey career, you have to go back to the night in Ladner, B.C., where Vancouver Giants General Manager Scott Bonner accidently saw the then 16-year-old strutting his stuff with the Delta Ice Hawks of the Pacific International Junior Hockey League.

The Western Hockey League executive was in attendance to scout another player when he saw Lucic fighting, and figured Lucic could be a good enforcer for his team in a couple of years.

"We had another boy on our list, David Rutherford, at the time and we were just going out to watch because (Giants majority owner) Ron Toigo was a family friend of the Rutherford's, so he sent me out to watch David play," remembers Bonner.

"At the same game, Milan was actually there playing for the Ice Hawks, and he fought, did really well … so we ended up listing him as well because we thought we had Matt Kassian on our team, but we thought Milan might be his replacement."

'94 Canucks see similarities in '11 version

Sunday, 05.29.2011 / 5:54 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- If you take a quick scan of highlights from the Vancouver Canucks' run to the Stanley Cup Final in 1994, you'll notice three familiar faces -- defenseman Dave Babych, assistant coach Stan Smyl and equipment manager Pat O'Neil.

The three are the only remaining members of that '94 team still directly involved with the organization 17 years later. Babych is now with the development team as a defense consultant; Smyl is a senior advisor to GM Mike Gillis, while O'Neil maintains his spot on the Canucks bench as the team's equipment manager.

"It has been a while," admitted Babych, who went on to play with the Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings before calling it quits. "When things aren't happening or the team hasn't gotten to that point, it seems to have dragged out, but now that they're so close to the Stanley Cup again all those memories come back."

According to Babych, the biggest difference between this year's team, and the one he was a part of, is that the 1994 edition of the Canucks weren't picked by many experts to win it all.

Jacobs thanks Bruins for a special ride

Sunday, 05.29.2011 / 3:45 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Matt Kalman - Correspondent

BOSTON -- It's rare for the Bruins players and coaches to have much interaction with owner Jeremy Jacobs, who has mostly left hockey decisions to his hockey people over the more than three decades the team has been under his control.

Sunday, however, was one of those rare days.

The Bruins' long-time owner paid a visit to his team's dressing room to express his congratulations and gratitude for reaching the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1990.

"Oh I did, yeah I did. You have to, why wouldn't you?" said Jacobs when asked during a rare press conference if he addressed the team. "They listen to me, which is unusual. Most people won't.

Reading List: Waiting game for Bruins, Canucks

Sunday, 05.29.2011 / 1:57 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

The Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks are like the rest of us -- they’re taking it easy for the weekend. Both teams are taking a break before they lace up the skates Wednesday night for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

The Bruins might find the rest a little more welcome -- they had to go the full seven games before eliminating Tampa Bay 1-0 on Friday night to earn their first trip to the Final since 1990. The Canucks have been off since completing a five-game victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

So while you enjoy the weekend (a long holiday weekend in the U.S.), here is your daily Reading List, a set of quick links to some of the stories you won't want to miss:

Matching up
The Canucks and Bruins rarely see each other – they played just once this season and only five times in the last seven years. Dan Rosen and Shawn P. Roarke combine to look at how the teams match up offensively, defensively, in goal, on special teams and behind the bench.

Canucks don't have much experience against Bruins

Saturday, 05.28.2011 / 6:31 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- For the third time in these playoffs the Vancouver Canucks will play a team they've never before faced in the postseason when they meet the Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final.

"They're a great team, obviously they've got a lot of good forwards that can put the puck in the back of the net and solid ‘D' led by the big guy (Zdeno Chara)," forward Alexandre Burrows said Saturday, less than 24 hours after the Bruins beat Tampa Bay 1-0 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. "(They have) one of the best goalies in the League so they play a great defensive system, and they've got a great coach so it's going to be a tough match-up."

Added Daniel Sedin: "I think they're a well-coached team, good defensively and they have some forwards up front that are really skilled, and big."

Olympic history in Canucks' corner

Saturday, 05.28.2011 / 4:39 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Teams look for all possible good omens at this time of year. The Canucks hope the fact that this is the year after the Winter Olympics were held in Vancouver is a sign that the Stanley Cup will come to town this spring.

Prior to 2010, the Olympics had come to Canada twice – and each time, the NHL team in the host city won the Stanley Cup in the following year.

Tim Thomas' road to the Final was a long one

Saturday, 05.28.2011 / 4:17 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

John Kreiser - Columnist

If Boston goaltender Tim Thomas ever wanted a theme song for his first trip to the Stanley Cup Final, "I've Been Everywhere" would be a perfect choice.

At 37, Thomas is in the Final for the first time in a hockey career that began at the University of Vermont and has taken him through three North American minor leagues, three different teams in Finland and another in Sweden. His NHL debut came during a four-game cup of coffee during the 2002-03 season -- after which he spent two more seasons in the AHL and made his third and final stop in Finland. He finally became a full-time NHL regular at 31, an age where far more players are preparing for the end of their careers than the beginning.

Malhotra cleared to play

Saturday, 05.28.2011 / 4:14 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

The Vancouver Canucks may center Manny Malhotra back in the lineup for the Stanley Cup Final.

Coach Alain Vigneault announced after Saturday’s practice that Malhotra has been cleared to play when the Final begins Wednesday night against Boston. The Canucks officially list Malhotra as day-to-day, and Vigneault would not say if he would be in the lineup for Game 1.

Malhotra, among the NHL’s best penalty-killers and faceoff men, hasn’t played since March 16, when he was hit in the left eye by a puck. He has had two operations and is expected to need another one. breaks down the Canucks-Bruins matchup

Saturday, 05.28.2011 / 2:30 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Dan Rosen and Shawn Roarke - Staff Writers

The Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins have outlasted the other 14 teams that began the quest for the Stanley Cup in mid-April. Three rounds and six-plus weeks later, they've battled their way to within sight of hockey's most coveted prize, and in the next couple of weeks, one of them will earn the right to sip from Lord Stanley's mug.

The Bruins won the teams' only regular-season meeting, 3-1 at Vancouver on Feb. 26. Boston has dominated the all-time series -- the Canucks have won just 25 of the 108 meetings since Vancouver joined the NHL in 1970. Both teams survived a seven-game scare in the opening round and enter the Final having won 12 of their 18 playoff games.

The Canucks have the home-ice edge -- and the advantage of being well-rested. They finished off the San Jose Sharks in five games in the Western Conference Finals, while the Bruins had to battle through seven life-and-death games before outlasting the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Vancouver has been without center Manny Malhotra since he took a puck in the eye in March, and forward Mikael Samuelsson is out after sports hernia surgery. Malhotra was supposed to be out for the season, but he's been OK'd for light contact in practice, and there are rumblings he might be able to play at some point. Boston is as healthy as a team can get after 100 games and should have all hands on deck.

The team that wins will end one of the longest championship droughts in NHL history. Boston is 0-for-5 in the Final since its last victory in 1972. The Canucks have never won a Cup since entering the League in 1970; they were beaten by the New York Islanders (1982) and Rangers (1994).
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