Tag: 2011 Stanley Cup finals

Vancouver Canucks v Boston Bruins - Game Six

Canucks’ Raymond practices for first time since breaking back


Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun is reporting that Canucks winger Mason Raymond, who hasn’t been with the team since suffering a broken vertebra in the Stanley Cup final, practiced with his mates for the first time today. MacIntyre noted that Raymond skated with the main group and received a warm cheer upon leading the team in stretches — an understandable response, given what he’s experienced the last few months.

The injury occurred during Game 6 of the final on a hit from Boston defenseman Johnny Boychuk:

The hit put Raymond in a back brace for six weeks and through months of discomfort and soft tissue problems. Even as late as September, the speedy winger was unsure if he’d be able to play again.

“I’m lucky to be standing here today with arms and legs moving. I’m still having some discomfort with some soft tissue,” Raymond told the Vancouver Sun two months ago. “Whenever you have something in that [spinal] area, you have a serous risk of having additional problems.”

While returning to practice was a major step in Raymond’s recovery, there’s still a ways to go. Vancouver assistant GM Laurence Gilman said Raymond “continues to progress” but that he joined the Canucks on road trip mainly to participate in some team-building exercises (they had their golf tourney at Trump National yesterday in L.A.; I’m assuming today was reserved for trust falls and cooperative puzzle challenges.)

Slow starts plague Bruins, Canucks early in season

Boston Bruins v Vancouver Canucks - Game Seven
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Much like two friends who go drink-for-drink during a binge, both the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks are seemingly dealing with Stanley Cup hangovers. (The Bruins lost to the Hurricanes while the Canucks fell to the Flyers tonight.)

The two teams that made it to the 2011 championship round have combined for two wins in seven games so far. They’re losing in different ways, but to extend the metaphor, both seem like they just want to sleep late instead of getting to work on time.

For the defending champion Bruins, it seems like they’ve been a little flat to start games. Their offense has been stagnant in general, but it’s been more pronounced in the first period; they’ve scored just one of their seven goals in the opening stanza. That happened when they were still riding the high of a banner-raising ceremony, so the B’s must find a way to find an early spark more often.

That spark isn’t coming from the usual suspects like injured center David Krejci or top-line wingers Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, but at least the B’s are showing some promise from Tyler Seguin and solid work from their goalies.

On the other hand, the Canucks keep shooting themselves in the foot early on. The instinct is to assume that Vancouver’s talented group has a feeling that they can just “turn it on” and win games late, but that’s been a dangerous instinct so far. It worked out against the Columbus Blue Jackets; the Canucks had more penalties (three) than shots (two) in the first period, but wrangled a 3-2 win after revving up the pressure in the third.

That didn’t work out so well tonight against a legitimate contender in the Philadelphia Flyers, though. The Canucks took the game’s first four penalties, which allowed Philly to take a 3-1 first period lead that they managed to preserve with a 5-4 win.

The Canucks didn’t look sharp in their season opener against the Penguins, either, as they went down 2-0 and 3-1 but managed to squeeze out a charity point.


Seven games between two teams is a small sample, but the Bruins and Canucks shouldn’t rest on their laurels, either. They need to remember that their past accomplishments will only make teams try that much harder to curb their future success.

Bruins raise Stanley Cup banner, honor Mark Recchi during season opener

Flyers Bruins Hockey

The Boston Bruins started their first regular season game with a bang, as Brad Marchand scored the NHL’s first goal of 2011-12 by beating Ilya Bryzgalov (see this post’s final video). For some fans, the Bruins’ first game of the season is just icing on the cake after seeing their team celebrate their 2011 Stanley Cup victory one last time. Maybe losing to the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 will sting for a while, but it was still a fantastic night for fans of the B’s.

The team honored a wide array of figures during the ceremony, which encouraged plenty of amusing comments on Twitter. As fun as it is to inject snark into the occasion, it’s tough to blame the Bruins for milking the moment for what it’s worth after waiting 39 years to raise the Cup once again.

Check out this video of the 2011 Stanley Cup banner-raising ceremony.

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One of the standout moments of that presentation was the tribute made to Mark Recchi’s career. The recently retired winger suited up one last time and appeared on the ice with his teammates for the ceremony.

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Finally, here is Marchand’s goal. In an interesting quirk, Marchand scored the last goal of 2010-11 and the first of 2011-12.

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