Tag: Bruins-Canucks

Stanley Cup Fans

Vancouver Canucks fans riot after Game 7 loss; Mayor calls it ‘extremely disappointing’


Unfortunately, the parallels between today’s Vancouver Canucks and the 1994 edition extend beyond a Game 7 defeat all the way toward a violent reaction.

Vancouver authorities were optimistic that Canucks fans wouldn’t riot whether the team won or lost in Game 7 tonight, but it doesn’t look like they got their wish. While it’s unclear how severe the rioting was at this time, it seems like some Canucks fans reacted to their team’s 4-0 loss in a way that continues a sad pattern from 1994. Seventeen years later, they expressed their anger regarding tonight’s defeat by rioting.

The Associated Press captured a scene in which “parked cars were set on fire, others were tipped over and people threw beer bottles at giant television screens.” (You can view some “raw video” of the scene in this YouTube clip. CTV also has a dispiriting feed of the violence.)

Again, it’s unclear at this time how bad the damage was and how many people were injured. The New York Times archives reveals that 200 people were injured during the 1994 riots, but hopefully that situation was more severe than tonight’s ugly incidents. Hopefully no one was seriously hurt during this extremely negative reaction, but it’s a sad moment whenever such a thing happens.

We’ll keep an eye out for updates regarding these regrettable riot-like acts with the hope that we’ve already seen the worst. Perhaps some day fans can find a better way to release their (likely alcohol-fueled) emotions, whether their teams win or lose.

Update: Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson released this statement.

“It is extremely disappointing to see the situation in downtown Vancouver turn violent after tonight’s Stanley Cup game. Vancouver is a world-class city and it is embarrassing and shameful to see the type of violence and disorder we’ve seen tonight.

The vast majority of people who were in the downtown tonight were there to enjoy the game in a peaceful and respectful manner. It is unfortunate that a small number of people intent on criminal activity have turned pockets of the downtown into areas involving destruction of property and confrontations with police.

The Vancouver Police and Vancouver Fire Department are doing an exceptional job under challenging circumstances to maintain control of the situation and keep people safe, and emergency crews are working tirelessly to assist those who were injured.

The priority is public safety and ensuring that people can leave the downtown area to make their way home without further incident. Transit is operating at full capacity.

I urge the public to remain calm and to stay away from central downtown in order to assist police in restoring safety to our streets.”

Mark Recchi announces his retirement after getting his wish: one last Stanley Cup win

Boston Bruins v Vancouver Canucks - Game Seven

There aren’t many professional athletes who can look back at the final game of their playing careers with the same amount of positivity as Mark Recchi will. The Boston Bruins forward confirmed the expectations of many by announcing his retirement shortly after his team won the Stanley Cup in Game 7.

He didn’t win the Cup as some lucky bystander, either; he scored seven points in the Stanley Cup finals series and 14 points in 25 playoff games overall. He earned an assist and an impressive +3 rating in Game 7 while skating alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

Every player has his regrets, but Recchi enjoyed an outstanding 22-year career in the NHL. He won three Stanley Cups: one in his first playoff run in 1991 with the Pittsburgh Penguins, one after being traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 and this triumph with Boston. Recchi will finish his distinguished career with 1,533 points in 1,652 regular season games and 147 points in 189 career playoff contests.

Are those the numbers of a Hall of Fame player? Almost 86 percent of PHT readers think so, according to this poll.

(click to enlarge)

Whether he makes the Hockey Hall of Fame or not (I would bet that he does), Recchi produced a fantastic career. That’s something he can reflect on in retirement, though. Tonight, he’s simply going to spend one more night doing what’s likely one of his favorite things: celebrating a big win with his teammates.

Tim Thomas wins 2011 Conn Smythe Trophy, drives home the point with Game 7 shutout

Tim Thomas

It’s been a bizarre journey for Tim Thomas, the obvious winner of the 2011 Conn Smythe Trophy.

The unorthodox goalie enjoyed a great run at the University of Vermont alongside Martin St. Louis, but didn’t really get much of a shot as a ninth round pick with the Quebec Nordiques. He was forced to spend his twenties bouncing around North American minor leagues as well as professional teams in Sweden and Finland before he finally stuck with the Boston Bruins at age 31.

Since then, he climbed the ranks until he was often one of the best goalies in the NHL, although his challenges haven’t evaporated along the way. Thomas won the 2008-09 Vezina Trophy only to lose his starting job in 09-10 to his strong backup, Tuukka Rask. Many considered Thomas trade bait going into this season, but those people have been silenced all year long.

Simply put, Thomas put together one of the greatest combined playoff and postseason runs of any goalie in recent memory (if not NHL history). He broke Dominik Hasek’s single-season record for save percentage during the regular season and is the odds-on candidate to win the Georges Vezina Trophy, but he’ll be best remembered for his phenomenal postseason.

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Thomas put together a record-breaking playoff run

His numbers look fantastic, even out of their historical context. Thomas earned a 16-9 record (including three Game 7 wins), posted a gaudy .940 save percentage (better than the record .938 mark he earned in the regular season), a fantastic 1.98 GAA and four shutouts. Two of those goose eggs came in Game 7 matches, by the way.

Thomas’ amazing 2011 playoff run doesn’t just look great compared to his peers, though; it’s one of the best any goalie has seen in NHL history.

He broke Kirk McLean’s all-time record for saves in a single playoff year, stopping 798 shots. Thomas also broke the record for most saves in a Stanley Cup finals series, stopping 238 in seven games. He also became only the second American-born player to win the Conn Smythe (Brian Leetch earned that award – also against the Canucks – in 1994). The 37-year-old goalie also ranks as the oldest player to win the award.

Even when the Vancouver Canucks managed to win games, they rarely “solved” Thomas, despite that foot-in-the-mouth statement from Roberto Luongo. Thomas only allowed eight goals in the seven-game series, somehow elevating his game another level when the pressure was at an all-time high.

It’s not really fair to compare any goalie to Thomas at this point, but the differences between their overall work in this series is still pretty stark. Luongo fell apart a handful of times in the Cup finals series while Thomas received excessive criticism for two of the three game-winning goals he allowed.

Winning it all will help immortalize his 2011 performances

While Thomas already looked like a shoo-in to win the playoff MVP even before Game 6 (let alone tonight’s deciding contest), there was the worry that his historic playoff run would get swept under the rug in defeat. Tonight’s 37-save shutout came when the entire hockey world was watching – not to mention a ton of fans with a limited interest in the sport – so any doubt regarding Thomas’ amazing work should be washed away.

If he faces any doubters, he can simply point to his trophies from 2010-11: the Conn Smythe Trophy, all of the records he broke, a Stanley Cup ring … and most likely, the Vezina Trophy as well. It’s natural to want to go over-the-top when praising the “next big thing” but in the case of the year Thomas had, it might be the only reasonable thing to do.

Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand take over first two periods, give Boston a 3-0 lead

Boston Bruins v Vancouver Canucks - Game Seven

There were plenty of possible heroes going into Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals. Some were obvious choices, such as goalies Tim Thomas and Roberto Luongo or the Sedin twins. Others ranked as possible “no-name heroes.”

Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand might rank somewhere in between. Bergeron is far from anonymous among hockey diehards, but his mixture of solid scoring aptitude and heady two-way play probably won’t register as strongly with casual fans. Marchand wasn’t even supposed to be the best Bruins rookie (not when the team kept Tyler Seguin at the NHL level), yet he’s been the best rookie of the 2011 playoffs.

Both players were big reasons why the Bruins made it this far, but a lot of people will just remember them for their efforts tonight. They’re probably fine with that.

Boston 3, Vancouver 0 (end of second period)

Marchand made the first goal happen by sending a great pass Bergeron’s way, then he scored a wraparound goal in the second period. Some might look at that tally as a symbolic moment for embattled goalie Roberto Luongo since the puck went off of him after he seemingly made the save.

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The Canucks frequently put Tim Thomas and the Boston Bruins in peril, sending 13 shots and plenty of great chances his way in the second period. That didn’t matter, though, as the Bruins goalies has stopped all 21 shots so far.

Vancouver drew the first penalty of the game when they were down 2-0 and better yet, Zdeno Chara was the man who went to the box. Many people will criticize Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault for opting against a timeout to take advantage of this opportunity, which was already looking bad when Vancouver was failing to keep the puck in the offensive zone.

A situation that was already disappointing turned downright toxic when Bergeron crashed his way to the Canucks net, seemingly creating an opportunity for a penalty shot. That penalty shot proved unnecessary, however, when it was clear that the puck slipped past Luongo in the first place. The NHL reviewed the goal briefly (possibly to see if it went off of Bergeron’s hand in an illegal way) before deciding that it stood as the 3-0 goal.

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Bergeron has two goals (one shorthanded) while Marchand scored a goal and assist, ranking them alongside Thomas as the Bruins’ Game 7 heroes through two periods.


It’s hard not to wonder if the Canucks are already done. Thomas only allowed eight goals over the last six games, so why should we expect him to allow three in just 20 minutes? Vancouver needs only to focus on tying the game up – they can deal with tally No. 4 in overtime – but that’s obviously a tall order against a great goalie and some tough defensemen.

Join us for the third period (and maybe beyond) by taking part in the Game 7 Live Chat, which is going on right now.

Bruins strike first, take 1-0 lead through tight first period


Going into Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, history seemed to be on the Vancouver Canucks’ side. The vast majority of home teams have won Game 7’s in the final round and they’ve been a much better team in Rogers Arena than in Boston during this series.

After one period of play, the numbers are leaning every so slightly toward the Boston Bruins instead. They scored the first (and only) goal of the first period, which some might look at as a prerequisite to victory since the team who scored the first goal won every game of this series. Of course, the home team also won every game of the Stanley Cup finals so far, so one trend will be erased by the time the silver chalice is raised in the air.

Boston 1, Vancouver 0 (end of first period)

The Bruins’ depth forwards were creating some of their team’s best chances (Shawn Thorton, Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell put a shot on goal apiece), but it was a usual suspect who set up Boston’s goal. The Canucks’ top line won the faceoff but Brad Marchand managed to get the puck, create some space and then send a nice pass into the pile. Patrice Bergeron then sent a shot that Roberto Luongo had no chance of seeing into the net to make it 1-0. As I said in the chat, Marchand has been just effective in his pest-scorer role for Boston as Alex Burrows has been for the Canucks (if not more).

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While the Canucks tested Tim Thomas plenty of times, the all-world goalie was up to the task by making all eight saves. Vancouver remains very much in this game right now, but they probably don’t feel great about spotting Thomas a 1-0 lead, especially considering the fact that the Claude Julien is just as eager to go into “trap mode” as Alain Vigneault can be.

In case you’re wondering about the officiating angle, neither team drew a penalty in the first period. It didn’t seem like anything egregious went by the officials’ whistles, but we’ll wait and see if there are any controversial calls as this tight game goes along.

The Canucks have traditionally been stronger as the games go along, but aside from an early meltdown in Game 6, the Bruins also did their greatest damage to Luongo in second periods. We’ll keep you updated as this game continues on NBC.

Join the PHT Game 7 Live Chat here.