2011 Stanley Cup Final

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A look back at the last time Stanley Cup Final needed a Game 7

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The Boston Bruins won’t have to look far down the bench for a couple of their Game 7 heroes from their 2011 Stanley Cup winning team.

In fact, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand line up on the same line for the B’s, who will contest the 17th Game 7 in Cup Final history at TD Garden on Wednesday night (8 p.m. ET, NBC; Live Stream).

They’re two of five Bruins players (Zdeno Chara, David Krejci and Tuukka Rask) who remain on the team that played in the last Cup Final that needed to be decided by a Game 7, and between them, scored all four goals Boston needed to end a 39-year Stanley Cup drought with their sixth championship.

Looking back, there are some similarities stemming from that series eight years ago. First and foremost, the Bruins needed to rebound from a 3-2 series deficit to even get to that stage.

Trailing a strong Vancouver Canucks team, the Bruins put forth a five-goal effort in a 5-2 win at home in Game 6. That game was highlighted by a four-goal first period, one that came in a span of 4:14. The Bruins chased then-Canucks netminder Roberto Luongo for the second time in the series.

A mouth-watering Game 7 matchup back in Vancouver was further intensified after a total of 54 penalty minutes were dished out in the third period alone, including four 10-minute misconducts.

Let’s take a look back.

First period

The Canucks took it to the Bruins early, with Tim Thomas — the eventual Conn Smythe winner — making a couple of saves that otherwise could have changed the whole complexion of the game.

Then a rookie, Marchand was able to get to a puck off a Canucks faceoff win in their own zone. A couple of turns and some suspect defending by Sami Salo created some space between for Marchand, who slid the puck into the slot. The pass was met by the stick of Bergeron, who swatted his stick at it. The puck rolled back Luongo’s right leg, unbeknownst to the Canucks netminder, to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead at the 14:37 mark.

Second Period

The Bruins would effectively end the game in the middle frame, scoring twice in just over five minutes.

Before that, though, Chara made a crucial block on Alex Burrows shot that got past a sprawling Thomas but not the big man standing behind him.

Marchand nearly doubled the lead earlier just over a minute in when he raised a puck up and over Luongo but couldn’t beat the post.

Marchand wouldn’t be denied, however, and was rewarded with his first goal of the night on a nifty wraparound and a fair bit of self-inflicted goaltender interference by Daniel Sedin at 12:13.

Oh, and Luongo doing himself dirty by knocking the puck into his own net.

Bergeron’s second would come shorthanded, a dagger of sorts for the Canucks.

Gregory Campbell won the draw in the defensive zone for the Bruins and Dennis Seidenberg slammed the puck down the boards. The puck took a funny hop off the glass, falling into the path of Patrice Bergeron who was gifted a partial breakaway.

With Christian Ehrhoff draped all over him, and a penalty pending against the Canucks, Bergeron somehow guided the puck past Luongo. The goal was reviewed, with the Canucks arguing that Bergeron had put the puck in with his glove.

In the words of the great Maury, “That was a lie.”

Third period

The Canucks threw 16 shots at Thomas in the final period, looking desperately for any morsel of momentum in front of a packed Rogers Arena.

Thomas wouldn’t be felled, however, posting a 37-save shutout. Thomas made an excelled save off a streaking Sedin at the midway point of the period to preserve the goose egg. He’d stop Jannik Hansen point-blank with fewer than five minutes left in the game.

Desperate, and with just over three minutes left, the Alain Vigneault would pull Luongo for the extra skater.

The 4-0 goal would come on a clear from the Canucks that landed at the feet of Burrows. Burrows, who bit Bergeron in Game 1 of the series and fought Thomas in Game 4, couldn’t handle the quasi-pass and Marchand was more than happy to cap off his three-point night with his second goal, this time into the empty net.

Chara lifts the Cup

The drought was over.

The Bruins were Stanley Cup champs for the sixth time in franchise history.

Chara’s first pass of the Cup? That went to a Mark Recchi, who won his third Cup in his final NHL season.

Aftermath

The ugliness of 1994’s riots in the streets of Vancouver after the Canucks lost the Cup to the New York Rangers returned 17 years later.

Rioters poured into the streets of downtown Vancouver following the game and all hell broke loose.

The Bruins would make it home safely, with the parade held a couple days later.

Perhaps the best part of that victory march down the streets of Boston was Marchand showing the world he couldn’t rap.

MORE BLUES-BRUINS:
• Bruins push Stanley Cup Final to Game 7 by beating Blues
Blues, Cardinals team up to offer Busch Stadium Game 7 viewing party
Win or lose the Conn Smythe should belong to Rask 
• St. Louis newspaper gets roasted for ‘jinxing’ Blues before Game 6
Bounce back Blues need one more rally


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Stanley Cup photos inside Bruins’ dressing room serve as inspiration

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ST. LOUIS — As he spoke, Charlie Coyle’s eyes darted around the Boston Bruins’ dressing room inside Enterprise Center. There on the walls in the team’s dressing room were photos of Zdeno Chara, Bobby Orr, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci, and Tuukka Rask celebrating their Stanley Cup championships.

For Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, the team’s equipment staff wanted to make it a home away from home and use some of the wall space to inspire.

“Just little reminders,” said Coyle, “what it could be like, what’s here for us at stake and the great opportunity in front of us. You always catch yourself looking around and just kind of taking it in. It’s a good touch.”

Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said that he did not want to hide what could happen after four wins against the St. Louis Blues in this final series. Five current players were on that 2011 Cup winning team. They know the joy of winning. They also know, along with Torey Krug, what heartbreak in the Cup Final feels like after those 17 seconds in Game 6 back in 2013.

“This is what’s at stake, why we’re blocking shots, missing games,” said Cassidy. “This is why you’re taking a hit to make a play. This is what it’s all about. This is, I’d say the start of your legacy, and this helps build your legacy. We’ve talked about that. We don’t want to ram it down their throats, but it needs to be out there. We’re grateful to be playing. We certainly earned our way, and this is the prize at the end of the line. So, I think it’s good motivation.”

[NBC 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

This isn’t the first time the Bruins have used this method to inspire. The equipment staff did something similar during the 2011 Cup Final games in Vancouver using photos of the great 1970s teams featuring Orr, Phil Esposito, Johnny Bucyk, Derek Sanderson and others. It’s no surprise that the leadership on that team eight years ago — Chara and Bergeron — wanted to bring it back for the start of this series, making sure the photos traveled with the team to St. Louis for Games 3 and 4.

The photos are there to hammer home those famous words from former NHL head coach Fred Shero, who told his Cup winning Philadelphia Flyers team before Game 6 of the 1974 Cup Final: “Win together today and we walk together forever.”

David Pastrnak joined the Bruins two seasons after the team’s run to the Cup Final in 2013. This is the furthest he’s been in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and when he sees those photos he wants to be in the next set.

“You can see those guys having memories like that for life,” he said. “It’s definitely something you want to be part of. It’s what you work for your whole life. A picture like this is what you remember the most.”

The Bruins have made plenty of memories during their playoff run this spring. Two more wins and they’ll be able to be part of the next batch of dressing room inspirational photos.

“It reminds us of how close we are to reaching our goal,” said Coyle. “I like it.”

Game 4 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final airs on NBC at 8 p.m. ET on Monday (stream here).

MORE BLUES-BRUINS GAME 3:
Bruins blast Blues, take 2-1 lead in Stanley Cup Final
Blues special teams continue to be sour note 
Berube keeping the faith in Binnington after rough Game 3

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Bruins to visit White House, meet Obama on Monday

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On Monday, the Boston Bruins will celebrate winning the 2011 Stanley Cup by visiting the White House and meeting with President Barack Obama.

It promises to be an exciting day for Bruins players, coaches and management, though it should be mentioned Lord Stanley’s Mug isn’t the only thing being celebrated. During the ceremonies, Obama will highlight the Boston Bruins Foundation, which has raised and donated more than $7 million to various charitable organizations in the six New England states.

The Bruins will be the third NHL team President Obama has welcomed to the White House since assuming office in 2009 — the others were the Penguins and Blackhawks — and the first Boston team hosted under his tenure. President Bush was still in office when the Celtics visited the White House after their NBA Championship in 2008.

In closing, we look forward to reading your “Did Lucic pass the security screening?” jokes in the comments section.

Recchi on Vancouver: “22 years…The most arrogant team I played against”

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Ex-Bruins forward Mark Recchi appeared on Boston sports talk radio today, discussing last year’s Stanley Cup victory and what he thinks of the B’s this season.

Oh yeah, Recchi also ripped the Vancouver Canucks to shreds.

In speaking with “Gresh & Zo” on 98.5 the Sports Hub, the Wrecking Ball slammed the team Boston defeated in the Cup final.

“[In] 22 years they are the most arrogant team I played against and the most hated team I’ve ever played against,” Recchi said. “I couldn’t believe their antics, their falling and diving. It was very frustrating, but at the same time as the series wore on we knew we were getting to them and we knew our physical play and our skating, I think it caught them off guard a little bit.”

There are two ways of looking at Recchi’s comments. The first is “no big surprise” — the Bruins and Canucks totally despised each other by series’ end. Also, being retired allows Recchi to speak more freely than if he was still a Bruin (and he was pretty outspoken as a Bruin to begin with.)

But there’s also a “really, he said that?” angle — mostly because of Recchi’s standing in British Columbia. Born and raised in Kamloops, he played his junior hockey with the WHL’s Blazers (a team he now owns). He was named Kamloops’ Male Athlete of the 20th Century and even had a street named after him.

Kamloops is real Canucks country — something Recchi knows all about.

“We all grew up Canuck fans [in Kamloops],” Recchi told the Vancouver Sun back in June. “I grew up watching Stan Smyl, King Richard [Brodeur] and it was exciting when that group of guys got to the finals [1982]. I was a big Vancouver fan.”

Keep in mind Recchi was only speaking about last year’s Canucks team as the most arrogant/hated ever. And he did appear on a Boston-centric radio show which, as Milan Lucic showed earlier in the week, doesn’t exactly strive for objective coverage.

That said, his comments only confirm that Vancouver is the NHL’s most despised team — by a longshot.