June 13, 2011 - 2:24 PM
June 13, 2011 - 2:10 PM
BOSTON -- The latest in a string of storylines coming out of the Stanley Cup finals had the Canucks trying to sell television rights for their parade in Vancouver assuming they won.
Several media outlets were reporting that the NHL would not allow the Canucks, who have a 3-2 series advantage going into Game Six, to sell the broadcast rights if they finished off the Bruins tonight or Wednesday. Bruins tonight or Wednesday. Fluto Shinzawa, the fine beat writer for the Boston Globe, broke the story Sunday.
As you might expect, word quickly made it back to the Bruins' dressing room. Boston already was plenty motivated with the Stanley Cup in its building and the Canucks one win away, but the move was certain to give the Bruins a little extra incentive.
"I don't know what to say to that," Bruins winger Michael Ryder told WEEI in Boston after the morning skate. "That's what they did, and that's what they want to do, and we want to rain on that parade and make sure that it doesn't happen, maybe use it to our advantage a little bit and make sure that doesn't happen."
--- Bucky Gleason
June 13, 2011 - 10:57 AM
BOSTON -- The Bruins and Canucks were scheduled to have their morning practices in preparation for Game Six of the Stanley Cup final. No major lineup changes are expected after both teams came through Game Five unscathed and satisfied with their combinations.
Boston reporters caught up with goalie Tim Thomas, who laughed off comments made by Roberto Luongo that were supposedly out of line. Frankly, I thought it was much about nothing and eventually was blown out of proportion by the Bruins and various media outlets.
Thomas made a crack about Luongo's reference about Thomas not praising him after Luongo had been complimentary of his play.
"I have been pumping his tires ever since the series started," Luongo told reporters in Vancouver. "I haven't heard one nice thing he has to say about me."
Said Thomas: "I guess I didn't realize my job was to pump his tires," Thomas said. "I guess I have to apologize for that."
The home team won each of the five games. If the Bruins continue the trend tonight, they will force Game Seven on Wednesday back in Vancouver. It would make for another difficult travel situation for both teams going across North America.
"It’s definitely a different mindset with what they’re going through and what we’re going through," said Bruins forward and Vancouver native Milan Lucic. "We’re fighting to live another day. They’re fighting to win tonight. I know Vancouver and people from British Columbia want the Cup in Vancouver. We’re going to do whatever we can to stop that from happening tonight."
--- Bucky Gleason
Listen to comments this morning from Canucks coach Alain Vigneault
More from Bruins coach Claude Julien
June 13, 2011 - 7:42 AM
Happy Monday. We could have the final game of the 2010-11 NHL season tonight.
*Bucky Gleason is in Boston, and he writes the Canucks are one win from winning their first Stanley Cup in franchise history while the Bruins are looking to force Game Seven. Both teams have won their games at home. You would think at this stage of the series that they would have much more on their minds than postgame comments.
*Even after all the taunts, bites and vicious hits the Vancouver Canucks have thrown at the Boston Bruins the past two weeks, skating the Stanley Cup around the TD Garden ice would be the biggest insult of all. The Canucks could do it after Game Six tonight, when they'll attempt to clinch the testiest Stanley Cup in recent memory. If the Bruins win, the series will be decided Wednesday in Vancouver.
*The Boston Bruins know their hopes of getting back to Vancouver and a chance to win the Stanley Cup ride largely on how they play in front of the Canucks' net. Get traffic in front of goalie Roberto Luongo and start launching pucks his way. It's a simple formula that helped the Bruins go 2-0 at home in the Stanley Cup finals, but hasn't translated north of the border.
*Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome wouldn't change much about the hit on Boston's Nathan Horton that got him suspended for the rest of the Stanley Cup finals. Rome spoke Sunday for the first time about his finals-record four-game suspension after skating with the Canucks in practice heading into Game Six on Monday.
"I've got to play on the edge, and I guess that was a little bit over the edge," Rome said.
*TSN.ca reports that Winnipeg General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff informed head coach Craig Ramsay that he intends on interviewing other candidates for the job. Ramsay, contacted Sunday by the Winnipeg organization, has also agreed to an interview as part of the process.
*USA Hockey's Board of Directors voted in favor of banning bodychecking at the Pee Wee (11- to 12-year-olds) level during the youth hockey governing body's annual meeting.
June 9, 2011 - 9:46 AM
The New York Rangers plan to buy out the final year of captain Chris Drury's contract, the New York Daily News is reporting.
Drury, the former Sabres co-captain, is entering the final season of a five-year, $35.25 million deal. The buyout window is June 15-30. The Daily News reports buying out the 34-year-old would save the Rangers $3.3 million against next year's salary cap, with a $1.6 million charge in 2012-13.
June 9, 2011 - 8:08 AM
Greetings. Happy Thursday. It sure is in Boston ...
*Bucky Gleason writes the Stanley Cup final was on the verge of becoming a joke. And the joke is over.
For the most part, both teams stopped the monkey business and returned to the business of playing for the Cup. The result Wednesday in Game Four was an entertaining game in which two passionate and talented teams played the way the game was designed.
The Bruins were more efficient and came away with a 4-0 victory to even the series. Game Five will be Friday night in Vancouver after the two teams fly back across the continent in search of hockey's biggest prize.
Remember, that's why we're here.
*Tim Thomas made 38 saves in his third shutout of the playoffs, Rich Peverley scored two goals after replacing Nathan Horton on Boston's top line, and the Bruins emphatically evened the finals.
The Bruins rolled through Game Four on an emotional high that began with a stirring pregame tribute to Horton, who will miss the rest of the series after a late hit in Game Three from Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome, who was suspended for four games.
*The NHL's general managers agreed Wednesday with a recommendation to broaden the league's definition of illegal hits to the head, likely expanding the scope of a rule enacted last year to outlaw blindside head shots.
A panel of former players, including Brendan Shanahan and Rob Blake, has been investigating new ways to protect defenseless skaters from head hits since March. The panel and the GMs agreed the word "blindside" should be taken out of Rule 48, expanding the rule to allow referees to issue bigger penalties on more instances of contact with an opponent's head.
*With the NHL draft fast approaching, Steve Tambellini is open to dealing the No. 1 selection.
The Edmonton Oilers general manager has had discussions with some of his counterparts around the league and remains willing to discuss a trade leading up to the June 24 draft in Minnesota. It's the second straight year Edmonton has held the top pick.
*Kris Draper is doing all he can to stay in shape, hoping Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland will want him back for an 18th season.
"I hope to know within a week to 10 days," Draper said Wednesday after working out with the locked-out Detroit Lions. "If Kenny could've seen me working out here, I think he would've made a decision right away."
*Former NHL star Bill Guerin has joined the Pittsburgh Penguins as a player development coach.
June 9, 2011 - 12:20 AM
BOSTON -- Concussed winger Nathan Horton made a surprise visit to the Bruins' dressing room after watching his teammates roll to a 4-0 victory over the Canucks in the Stanley Cup finals. Horton is out for the playoffs after Aaron Rome unloaded with a blindside check in Game Three.
Horton, a popular player since joining the Bruins last summer, spoke to his teammates afterward and told them he was proud of their effort without him. The Bruins have outscored the Canucks, 12-1, since he was taken away on a stretcher after being knocked unconscious. The series is tied with Game Five set for Friday in Vancouver.
"We didn't know he was coming in," said Rich Peverley, who scored two goals after being bumped to the top line Wednesday. "Everyone saw him and was really excited. Nobody had seen him since everything happened. Just to see him and have a smile on his face was important to us."
Horton presented a teammate, presumably Tim Thomas, with a jacket given to the MVP of the game. He had the jacket after scoring the winner in Game Seven over Tampa Bay in the conference finals. He was in the hosptal and therefore wasn't in the dressing room to present it after Game Three. His teammates decided it would stay with him until he was healthy enough to handle the honors.
Thomas stopped 78 of the 79 shots he faced during the two games in Boston. Roberto Luongo gave up 12 goals over the same span and was chased from the net after surrendering Peverley's second goal Wednesday night. Remember, Luongo was benched for Game Six in the opening round against the Blackhawks but came back when Cory Schneider was injured.
Is it time for another hook?
--- Bucky Gleason
June 8, 2011 - 5:49 PM
June 8, 2011 - 3:46 PM
BOSTON -- Just a few tidbits before Game Four of the Stanley Cup final, compiled by the NHL stats experts.
* The Bruins victory in Game Three improved the home team's record to 26-8 (.765 winning percentage) in the finals since 2006 and 14-2 in the final round over the past three years. The home team is 282-228 (.556 winning percentage) in all other playoff series since 2006.
* Boston's 8-1 win Monday was just the third time a team won a finals game by seven or more goals since 1927, when NHL team began competing for the Cup. Pittsburgh had an 8-0 win over Minnesota in 1991 and Colorado blew out Florida, 8-1, in 1996.
* It also marked the third time Roberto Luongo allowed eight goals in a game. He gave up nine goals to Pittsburgh during the 1998-99 season when he played for the Islanders and surrended eight goals while playing for the Canucks last season in a loss to Los Angeles.
* Henrik Sedin has been held without a point in the finals. With one more, he'll tie Pavel Bure for second place in franchise history with 65 career points in the playoffs. Daniel Sedin has 60 playoff points. Trevor Linden leads the Canucks with 95.
* Boston's two shorthanded goals (Brad Marchand, Daniel Paille) made it the first team since Minnesota in 1991 to score two shorties in the same game. The North Stars lost that game to Pittsburgh.
* The Bruins snapped a five-game home losing streak in the finals with the win Monday. Their last previous victory at home was May 21, 1978, when they played in the old Boston Garden.
--- Bucky Gleason
June 8, 2011 - 1:31 PM
Here is some audio from today:
Canucks forward Manny Malholtra
Download the audio and take it with you
Bruins forward Brad Marchand
Download the audio and take it with you
Canucks coach Alain Vigneault
Download the audio and take it with you
Bruins coach Claude Julien
Download the audio and take it with you
June 8, 2011 - 12:14 PM
BOSTON -- Look for the Bruins and Canucks to clean up their acts tonight in Game Four of the Stanley Cup finals after senior vice president and interim dean of discipline Mike Murphy warned both teams they would be penalized if the shenanigans continued.
Murphy said referees would start calling penalties if player kept sticking fingers near the mouths of their opponents and other carried on with other extracurricular "garbage." One reason it continued, of course, is because Alex Burrows wasn't punished for biting Patrice Bergeron in Game One. If the NHL suspended Burrows, it would have ended there.
Both teams agreed they had been making headlines for all the wrong reasons and wanted to get back to playing hockey. That's why we're here, right?
The Canucks promised a much better effort tonight in Game Four. It shouldn't be a problem because they couldn't play much worse in Game Three. Their power play is 1-for-16 in the first three games, strange considering its been the best in the league. The Bruins have five goals on special teams, including two shorthanded scores.
I plan to bring you updates and audio from the Cup throughout the day. That's the plan, but nothing is guaranteed with the wireless network in TD Garden. Putting it mildly, it's not very effective. In Game Seven against Tampa Bay in the conference finals, they lost wireless for more than an hour after it ended while writers were on deadline.
--- Bucky Gleason
June 8, 2011 - 11:14 AM
Check back to the Sabres Edge blog for audio from today's news conferences and more updates from News NHL Columnist Bucky Gleason prior to Game Four of the Stanley Cup final tonight.
Issues with the wireless setup in TD Banknorth Garden have limited multimedia updates this morning.
Also check back and join Gleason in a live chat at 7 p.m. leading up to tonight's opening faceoff.
June 8, 2011 - 8:31 AM
Happy Wednesday. It's going to be sunny and hot, thankfully. If you complained about the spring rain or the long, dreary winter, no complaining today.
*Bucky Gleason writes the shenanigans in the first three games of the Stanley Cup final, after what many expected would be a tight and entertaining series between two teams with distinctly different styles, were an embarrassment to a league already fighting credibility issues. Is this the NHL or the WWE?
So far, the finals haven't been about hockey. It's been about biting, head shots, street justice and everything else wrong with hockey. Is that what the league is selling?
*Michael Ryder and Keith Ballard both realize the Stanley Cup finals have reached a tipping point, and they've each got a chance to push the series in their club's favor.
Either Ryder's Boston Bruins will ride the momentum from their blowout victory and even the finals in Game Four tonight, or Ballard's Vancouver Canucks will rediscover their dominance with a third victory, earning the chance to parade the Stanley Cup around their own rink two days later.
"It's a big game, a big point in the series," said Ballard, a healthy scratch in the first three games. "Both teams know what's at stake in this one."
*Even without an owner and with the NHL running the team, the Phoenix Coyotes were hopeful of re-signing free agent goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. When it became clear they weren't going to be able to reach a deal, the Coyotes backed out and decided to let Philadelphia give it a go.
Frustrated with what it felt was a high asking price, Phoenix sent Bryzgalov's negotiating rights to the Flyers on Tuesday for a third-round draft pick in 2012, forward Matt Clackson and future considerations.
The Philadelphia Inquirer writes that four years ago, the Flyers had success in dealing for pending free agents, signing Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen. However, they were unable to sign Evgeni Nabokov and Dan Hamhuis after acquiring their rights last year, though they did move Hamhuis' rights to Pittsburgh for a third-round pick in this year's draft.
*The Ottawa Citizen writes it wasn’t what he wanted to do and he spent months in a rehab program trying to avoid it. But in the end, Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson decided that if he wanted to continue playing in the NHL, he’d have to have surgery to correct a nerve problem in his lower back.
General manager Bryan Murray delivered the news on Tuesday afternoon: Alfredsson will have surgery on Friday. The recovery time will four to six weeks, which will take him to the beginning of August, about six weeks before the beginning of training camp.
*Ryan Keller scored a power-play goal at 9:09 in the third period and Robin Lehner made 33 saves as the Binghamton Senators defeated the Houston Aeros 3-2 Tuesday night to win the American Hockey League's Calder Cup championship.
The success of Binghamton, which eliminated the Portland Pirates in the second round, has delayed Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray's decision on hiring a new coach, writes the Ottawa Citizen.
*The Carolina Hurricanes have named former captain Rod Brind'Amour and former NHL head coach Dave Lewis to their coaching staff.
*The Chicago Cubs drafted the son of the Great One. Trevor Gretzky, the son of hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, was selected in the seventh round by Chicago. The younger Gretzky knocks in runs -- not goals -- as a left-handed power-hitting California high school first baseman.
June 7, 2011 - 1:53 PM
Here is audio from today's news conferences:
Bruins coach Claude Julien
NHL Senior VP Mike Murphy
June 7, 2011 - 12:28 PM
BOSTON -- Bruins forward Nathan Horton suffered a severe concussion and is sidelined for the rest of the Stanley Cup final after Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome drilled him with a blindside hit in the first period of Game Three in TD Garden.
Rome was handed a four-game suspension, ending his season, in a decision handed down by the NHL this afternoon. Senior Vice President Mike Murphy, who is serving as chief disciplinarian in this series, made the decision and meeting with Rome today.
It was a stiff penalty but one that should have been expected given the crackdown in recent years on hits to the head. Rome's hit met virtually all the criteria for Rule 48, which was added with the intent of eliminating such hits from the game.
Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed in a statement released by the team that Horton will not return before the best-of-seven series is decided. Horton was carted off the ice on a stretcher and spent the night in Massachusetts General Hospital. The Bruins already were without Marc Savard after he suffered a severe concussion.
The Bruins had their media availability this afternoon at Boston University. The Canucks are scheduled to meet with reporters later this afternoon.
--- Bucky Gleason
June 7, 2011 - 10:55 AM
Listen to Bucky Gleason detail the Bruins' 8-1 victory over the Canucks in Game Three of the Stanley Cup finals:
June 7, 2011 - 9:51 AM
The bark continues long after the bite.
Vancouver's Alex Burrows bit Boston's Patrick Bergeron in Game One of the Stanley Cup final. After Burrows avoided suspension, Vancouver forward Maxim Lapierre taunted Bergeron about the incident in Game Two, pointing his finger near Bergeron's mouth as if daring him to bite it.
Prior to Game Three, Boston coach Claude Julien said the actions made a mockery of the game ... then during Game Three, Boston's Mark Recchi and Milan Lucic did the same thing.
"I said this morning that I wouldn't accept it on our team," Julien said after Boston's 8-1 victory Monday. "It happened a couple of times tonight. They've been told that I don't want any of that stuff. You've got to live by your words. It was disappointing for me to see that happen after what I said this morning, but part of it is my fault for not bringing it up (enough) to the guys. They did it. Emotions got the better of them."
June 7, 2011 - 8:54 AM
Happy Tuesday. As a San Francisco Giants fan, I found it classless when GM Brian Sabean said of Florida's Scott Cousins (the player who ended catcher Buster Posey's season and the Giants' chance of repeating as World Series champions), "If I never hear from Cousins again, or he doesn't play another day in the big leagues, I think we'll all be happy."
That said, if we never hear from career minor-leaguer Aaron Rome again, I think we'll all be happy ...
*Bucky Gleason writes when reserve defenseman Aaron Rome unloaded with a senseless, filthy blind-side hit that sent Nathan Horton halfway into next week, it meant two things: The Bruins were without one of their top forwards in the biggest game of the year, and their goaltender needed to come through for them when they needed it most.
Horton's teammates woke up in the second period and took care of the rest in an 8-1 laugher before a sellout crowd in TD Garden that poured into the streets knowing the Bruins can even the best-of-seven series with another win in Game Four on Wednesday night. Remember, they dropped the first two games against Montreal before storming back in the first round.
Darned right it can happen again.
*Andrew Ference and David Krejci each had a goal and an assist during Boston's four-goal second period, Tim Thomas made 40 saves, and the Bruins beat the Canucks.
*The Bruins and Canucks amassed the most penalty minutes in a Stanley Cup final game since 1990 when they combined for 145 PIM in Game Three.
*Jerry Sullivan writes we've been told that Terry Pegula will spare no expense in building the Sabres into a champion. All right, a big free agent just hit the street. Rick Dudley has been fired as general manager by the new Winnipeg franchise. Pegula should waste no time and offer Dudley a job in Buffalo's hockey department.
*Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom and Phoenix Coyotes winger Shane Doan have been named as finalists for the NHL Mark Messier Leadership Award. Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller and Doan lost to Sidney Crosby last year.
*Craig Hartsburg has been named associate coach of the Calgary Flames.
June 6, 2011 - 9:21 PM
BOSTON -- The Canucks were looking to win the all-important third game and take a commanding 3-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup final over the Bruins. The 1942 Maple Leafs were the only team in professional sports to come back from a 3-0 deficit in a championship series to win a title.
The Bruins first needed to find a way to beat Roberto Luongo after scoring just twice in the first two games. They quadrupled their two-game outcome in the second and third period alone, sending a sellout crowd into the streets with an 8-1 victory over the Canucks.
Boston's power play had been atrocious in the playoffs, converting just six of 70 in the 20 games before scoring three times with the extra man in Game Three. Luongo had been 11-3 after getting benched in the first round against Chicago after he gave up 10 goals over two games. He should have been pulled from this one before the third period rather than staying in the crease and giving up four more.
Game Three had all the elements required for an intense series. The two teams have come to dislike one another in short order, evidenced by the 25 penalties called against the two teams. The biggest was Aaron Rome knocking out Nathan Horton with a blindside hit. Rome is almost certain to be suspended for Game Four.
Vancouver has been the better team overall, which is why they have the lead. Luongo has been superb in net, going 11-3 in his last 14 games since being benched in the first round.
13:01 remaining: Daniel Sedin and Andrew Ference are given misconducts, a good move by the officials before this game gets out of hand. It has been chippy since the Bruins' fourth goal and could get ugly.
12:02: Shawn Thorton is given a minor for roughing and a misconduct. He heads to the dressing room rather than come out for the final two seconds that would have remained in this penalty.
8:44: Milan Lucic, Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler are sent to the box with minors and misconducts, ending their evening after a scrum behind the Boston net. Was Lucic sticking his fingers near Burrows' mouth? Yes, he was.
9:22: Bruins 5, Canucks 0. Paille scored with on wrist shot that bounces off Luongo's glove and lands in the net. This is getting ugly. They need to get Luongo outta there.
6:07: Bruins 5, Canucks 1. Jannis Hansen swats a pass from ex-Sabre Raffi Torres past Tim Thomas, breaking the shutout bid. There's not enough time for a full comeback in this one.
2:31. Bruins 6, Canucks 1. Mark Recchi scores his second goal. The floodgates have been opened.
1:54: Bruins 7, Canucks 1. Chris Kelly just scored, adding the extra point.
0:31: Bruins 8, Canucks 1. Michael Ryder completes the scoring. Luongo should have been pulled a long time ago out of mercy.
0:00: Bruins win Game Three, bringing them within 2-1 in the series and ensuring a fifth game back in Vancouver.
19:49: Bruins 1, Canucks 0. Andrew Ference scores through a screen after Alex Edler loses his stick. The shot from the point appears to bounce off Edler before finding the net. Luongo had no chance. The goal came 11 seconds into the period. Remember, Alex Burrows needed 11 seconds to win Game Two in OT. It's a good sign for Boston, which is 8-1 in the postseason when scoring first.
15:28: Bruins 2, Canucks 0. Mark Recchi scores his second goal in two games. This one came when his cross-pass for Michael Ryder bounces off Ryan Kesler and slips between Luongo's legs. They initially gave the goal to Ryder before making the correct change.
8:30: Bruins 3, Canucks 0. Brad Marchand scores unassisted after stealing the puck in the neutral zone, skating around Kesler and beating a sprawled Luongo with a shot into the top corner. The Canucks appears to be unraveling. Plus, they're down to five defensemen after Aaron Rome was tossed.
4:13: Bruins 4, Canucks 0. David Krecji scores from the left circle after picking up Michael Ryder's juicy rebound. Ryder skated into the zone and unloaded with a hard wrister that handcuffed Luongo before Krecji found the open side. Is it time to pull Luongo?
0:00. Bruins 4, Canucks 0. Now, we have a series. Canucks fans should start prepping their voices for Game Five.
19:29 remaining: Luongo stops Patrice Bergeron from the slot on a neat backhand. It could allowed Luongo to get his feet under him and settle into his crease on the road.
14:53: Nathan Horton appeared to be knocked unconscious by a senseless, if not filthy, hit from defenseman Aaron Rome at the blue line. Scary scene with Horton apparently out cold before waking up and wrestling briefly with the medical staff. They had the stretcher out there quickly, presumably after having similar scares with Bergeron and Marc Savard.
Horton was moving his extremities before being taken to Massachusetts General Hospital. Rome was given a major for interference and a game misconduct. He can expect to be suspended for at least one game if not several for the hit, which goes to the heart of Rule 48. That's the rule prohibiting hits to the head from the blind side.
12:41: Luongo makes a terrific save after Milan Lucic's pass for David Krecji bounces off defenseman Alex Edler.
9:53: The Canucks kill off the major penalty, allowing six shots in the five minutes. Jannis Hansen does a great job blocking shots.
8:19: Adam McQuaid is sent to the box for delay of game after swatting a loose puck into the stands in his own zone. Vancouver's PP doesn't look much better than Boston's.
1:10: Tim Thomas makes two great saves on Mason Raymond, who had forehand and backhand chances in succession. Thomas has been giving up more rebounds.
0:00: End of first period. Bruins 0, Canucks 0. If you're scoring at home, the Canucks win the period as they have for most of the series.
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John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.
About Sabres Edge
Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.
Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.
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