NBC Sports presents Stanley Cup Final Week on NBCSN, reliving classic Stanley Cup Final games and original films and shows from the past decade across seven nights. Today, we give our memories from the the 2011 Cup Final between the Bruins and Canucks.
JAMES: When you think of an indelible hit from a Stanley Cup Final, you probably conjure up memories of Scott Stevens landing a savage check on Paul Kariya. (And then you probably picture Kariya’s breath returning, and fogging up his visor.)
The Aaron Rome hit on Nathan Horton feels like a not-so-distant cousin to its more famous relative.
Much like Stevens on Kariya, the Rome on Horton check reverberated — and not just literally.
Consider the revenge factor to start. While Kariya scored a hat trick he couldn’t remember, Horton didn’t get to return during the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. Horton’s Bruins did, however, win the Stanley Cup.
Both Kariya and Horton would go on to see their careers marred by injuries. While neither hit could be considered the sole causes of such issues, both loomed over their respective careers.
Maybe the biggest difference boils down to the fates of the two hitters.
Stevens’ Devils ended up winning that series, and Stevens is a Hall of Famer and a hockey lifer.
Rome? The NHL suspended him for four Stanley Cup Final games, an unprecedented number in the league’s championship round. Rome’s Canucks lost the series, with some wondering if that hit served as the turning point. Basically any “Where are they now?” Rome story will revolve around the hit on Horton.
Rome even suffered a broken hand during the same preseason game when Horton returned to action.
When a colossal hit happens, we understandably focus on the player who received it. Those collisions affect both players, though — heck, even Stevens retired due to concussions after handing out who knows how many.
In the case of Rome’s hit on Horton, both players felt the impact for a long, long time.
SEAN: This one had everything you’d want in not just a playoff series but a Stanley Cup Final. It went seven games, went back-and-forth, and had plenty of hatred.
The ending of Game 1 was fantastic. Roberto Luongo and Tim Thomas were Vezina Trophy finalists in 2011 for good reason. Their goaltending duel was fun to watch in the opening game of the series. And it took until the very end of the third period to determine a winner, thanks to a lovely play involving Ryan Kesler, Jannik Hansen, and the goal scorer, Raffi Torres:
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JAKE: The hero from Game 1 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final was Vancouver’s Raffi Torres, who scored the game’s only goal with less than 20 seconds remaining in regulation to give the Canucks an early series lead against the Boston Bruins.
But the enduring story from that game was the altercation between Alex Burrows and Patrice Bergeron at the end of the first period.
Here’s a summary: Bergeron alleged that Burrows bit him. Burrows denied doing so. The league found “no conclusive evidence” that Burrows intentionally bit Bergeron. Burrows was not suspended. You be the judge:
In the next game, Burrows had three points, including the OT winner, as Vancouver took a 2-0 series lead.
But he did not escape punishment from the hockey gods.
Burrows was then held without a point over the final five games, including a -3 performance in Game 7, when Bergeron scored twice in leading Boston to a Stanley Cup championship.
NBC Sports presents Stanley Cup Final Week on NBCSN, reliving classic Stanley Cup Final games and original films and shows from the past decade across seven nights, beginning on Monday, June 8.
Programming will also stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.
Wednesday, June 10 – NBCSN
• Skates & Plates – 4 p.m. ET
• 2011 Stanley Cup Final Game 6: Vancouver vs. Boston – 4:30 p.m. ET
• 2011 Stanley Cup Final Game 7: Boston vs. Vancouver – 10 p.m. ET
• 2011 Boston Bruins Championship Film – 11:30 p.m. ET
• 2011 Stanley Cup Final Game 7: Boston vs. Vancouver – 1 a.m. ET
• Top 10: All-Time Records – 2:30 a.m. ET