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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Canucks discuss how they’ll help Vancouver deal with big events, learn from riots

APTOPIX Stanley Cup Vancouver Scene Hockey

Considering how tragic this summer has been for individuals in the hockey worldparticularly enforcers – some might forget that the season ended with an entire city getting a black eye. That ugly night of rioting in Vancouver was especially unfortunate considering the fact that the city dealt with similar issues 17 years earlier, when the Canucks also lost a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.

The hope is that even though history repeated itself in a way, the city, team (and even to some extent the NHL) will learn from those awful times. Winnipeg’s CTV took a look at two reviews of the June 15 riots – one was an independent review by retired law enforcement representatives, the other was an internal review by the city of Vancouver – to see how responsible the NHL and its teams should be for managing large crowds that gather for games in places that aren’t considered their designated buildings.

Various sides argued the cases for and against the league and its team taking a larger role in policing large crowds that aren’t at their buildings. Some (including Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson) believe that teams should work along side cities during major events while others believed that the Canucks and other teams would be out of their element.

“I’m very hopeful we see a positive response from the NHL and the Canucks in the event we are in this situation maybe next year,” Robertson said. “I’m hopeful we have a real pro-active role coming from the league and the Canucks so that we don’t see this kind of situation again.”

But business professor Richard Powers questioned why the league or Canucks have any responsibility for what happens outside the arena.

“The club and league, they provide a source of entertainment,” Powers, a professor of business law and ethics at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, said Friday.

“It’s sports. It’s not policing, it’s not crowd control. It’s not their expertise.”

The Canucks responded to the reviews by saying that they will encourage “responsible, fun celebrations” and that they hope to work with the city and province to help them out if they plan on arranging similar events in the future. Here are few excerpts from  Canucks COO Victor de Bonis, via the Vancouver Sun.

“Obviously, the first thing is that we’re committed to working with the city and province in the future to try to help and support them if they plan to do public-viewing parties of our games.”

De Bonis said he was uncertain what the level of support might be, whether it would involve funding for security and police, as well as education and awareness programs.

The latter initiatives, he noted, are a certainty.

“We’re really looking forward to trying to support the recommendations in the report and build programs that would drive success for these kinds of events in the future,” de Bonis said.

When asked about the possibility of shutting down those big, public events altogether – an extreme but understandable notion considering how hard it is to control crowds of “too many people” who get “too drunk” – de Bonis acknowledged that possibility but said that he hopes “it never gets to that.”

It’s great to hear that the Canucks are pledging heightened responsibility when it comes to helping the city deal with big events, although the details seem a bit vague right now. It would be a shame if the sports world needs to cringe every time the Canucks reach such a high level because of worries about riots, especially since Vancouver as a whole responded admirably to that ugly situation.

Click here for a gallery of the riot and some information about the arrests. Hopefully those sights will remain rare for Vancouver and other NHL markets.

Comparing PHT editor and reader predictions in the 2011 playoffs

Adam McQuaid; Raffi Torres
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Over the long haul, we all did pretty well with our predictions for the 2011 playoffs. There wasn’t a Cinderella team anywhere near the shocking level of the 2009 Montreal Canadiens or 2006 Edmonton Oilers to make everyone look silly. Instead, this year’s playoffs were like a class everyone did pretty well in all along … until final exams handed us C’s and F’s (except for one handsome/beautiful group of students). Hopefully that final test doesn’t wreck our overall grades, though.

Let’s take a look at how everyone did in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals and the 2011 playoffs overall.

2011 Stanley Cup finals

Boston Bruins (third seed in the East) vs. Vancouver Canucks (first seed in West)

Actual result: Bruins beat the Canucks 4-3
PHT readers pick: Bruins beat the Canucks 4-3 (22.83 percent)
Joe’s pick: Canucks beat the Bruins 4-2
Matt’s pick: Canucks beat the Bruins 4-2
James’ pick: Canucks beat the Bruins 4-1

First round records:

PHT readers: 5-3 (with two exactly correct)
Joe: 6-2 (with three exactly correct)
James: 8-0 (with two exactly correct)

Second round records

PHT readers: 1-3 (with one exactly correct)
Joe: 1-3 (with one exactly correct)
James: 2-2 (with none exactly correct)

Third round records

PHT readers: 1-1 (zero exactly correct)
Joe: 2-0 (with one exactly correct)
James: 2-0 (with none exactly correct)

Final round records

PHT readers: 1-0 (one exactly correct)
Joe: 0-1
Matt: 0-1
James: 0-1

Overall record

PHT readers: 8-7 (with four exactly correct)
Joe: 9-6 (with five exactly correct)
James: 12-3 (with two exactly correct)
Matt: 6-3 (with three exactly correct)