It wasn’t supposed to end this way.
Tears of pain have inexplicably replaced tears of joy as the Vancouver Canucks dropped Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final 4-0 to the Boston Bruins at Rogers Arena.
Now, as I type this from the press box, hundreds of people are on the ice, including the Bruins, celebrating the team’s sixth Stanley Cup victory. Boston players are being interviewed left and right as their kids scamp around in oversized Bruins jerseys, their wives wearing 2011 Stanley Cup Champion hats while Celebration by Kool & The Gang blares; it’s a horrible mess of black and yellow.
I assume Gary Bettman handed the Stanley Cup to Zdeno Chara, but I didn’t stay to see it.
No, I was in the Canucks dressing room following the most painful loss in franchise history.
Vancouver’s equipment wasn't supposed to be neatly hung on hooks in each player’s stall, it was meant to be scattered all over the ice like a poorly planned yard sale.
There wasn’t supposed to be a mere seven reporters and three cameras covering Alain Vigneault’s post-game press conference.
The streets of Vancouver were to be gleeful with the biggest celebration in the city’s history, not engulfed with angry fans, a few of which caused and are probably still causing mayhem.
Are there any words I could write that would ease the despair we're all feeling? I’m borderline too numb with pain to put sentences together, let alone detail what happened on the ice in a game the Canucks simply could not lose.
The Bruins scored first, which hurt, because in this series the team scoring the first goal of the game won every game.
Stats like that were not kind to the Canucks throughout the Stanley Cup Final and in the finale they were as bad as ever. The four-goals scored by the Bruins puts them in a three-way tie for most goals ever in a Game 7. Not only that, the Canucks are just the fourth home team to ever lose in Game 7 and the first ever shutout on home ice.
Fitting that Tim Thomas was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the Final because he again shut the door making 37 saves to finish the playoffs with 798, the most ever made, on 849 shots, the most ever faced.
An emotional Kesler summed it up best, “we didn’t score.”
Kesler and teammates were understandably at a loss for words encircled by inquisitive media looking for answers.
“It’s tough,” said Kesler. “I really thought we were going to win. I can’t put it into words right now.
“It’s Game 7, no excuses, you’ve got to lay it out there. I’m proud of our guys, we laid it out there, we had everything we had, a couple of bounces, that’s the difference. It’s tough right now, it’s really tough.
“I’m a leader on this team and I did everything I possibly could today. I can hold my head up high, but it hurts, it definitely hurts right now.”
The ice is now cleared, the Bruins are currently swimming in champagne in the visitors locker room.
Fans of both teams have cleared out of the arena, a neon green sign that reads “40 years, It’s Our Time” is all that remains in the seats.
That sign says it all.
It wasn’t supposed to end this way.
You can find the original article Here
Game Six ... of the Stanley Cup Finals
Monday June 13th 2011
Vancouver, B.C. – President and General Manager Mike Gillis announced today that forward Mason Raymond sustained a vertebrae compression fracture. He is expected to be out of the lineup for 3-4 months.
Game Five ... of the Stanley Cup Finals
Friday June 10th 2011
VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks received a heroes' sendoff at YVR on Saturday and one of their heroes from Friday's Game 5 victory, centre Maxim Lapierre, was trying to keep his feet on the ground.
It was difficult, he admitted, getting a good night's sleep after his third-period goal proved to be the winner in Vancouver's dramatic 1-0 triumph over the Boston Bruins, moving the Canucks to within a single win of the Stanley Cup championship. Vancouver leads the best-of-seven series 3-2 with Game 6 going Monday (5 p.m., Team 1040, CBC) in Beantown.
“It was a little bit tough to sleep,” Lapierre said with a smile while excited Canuck fans chanted his name a few feet away. “It wasn't because of the goal but because of the chance we have on Monday to win the Stanley Cup. I mean, it's going to be hard. Boston is going to come pretty hard at home and we're going to have to be ready for the challenge,”
Lapierre, who only joined the Canucks at the NHL trading deadline, wasn't about to take sole credit for being the difference maker in Friday's win. He scored the goal at one end and netminder Roberto Luongo didn't allow any at the other and that was the ballgame.
Asked if he felt like a hero, Lapierre noted the entire team performed heroically.
“Everybody did good [Friday night],” he said. “I would not have had the chance to score that goal unless everybody played that way. Did we celebrate last night? Not really. We'll celebrate when it's time to celebrate. Sure it's fun to see all these people at the airport but we haven't won anything yet.”Read more Here
Game Two between our Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins was definitely more exciting than game one. First and foremost, as unlikely as it seemed a short while ago, Manny Malhotra rejoined the team after being off the ice since his devastating eye injury back on March 18th of the regular season.
Comments from defenceman Kevin Bieksa following the injury, offered valuable insight into how highly regarded centre Manny Malhotra is among his teammates and how crucial his play and leadership has been to the success of the Vancouver Canucks this season.
"You could even call him our most valuable player for the season," Bieksa said of Malhotra. "With all the things he does, he's a leader in the dressing room and off the ice, and on the ice with face-offs and penalty kill, and he's a voice on the bench. He does a lot things, but I think first and foremost we hope he's okay heath wise and he has a full recovery."
Welcome back Manny.
Tonights game was a hard fought battle by both teams. Lots of hits and end to end action had the Canuck fans on their feet and out of their seats for half the game. I stated earlier, that the Canucks have mastered the OT goal through the course of the season and tonight proved that fact once and for all. One Boston bobble at the blue line handed the puck to Alexandre Burrows and 11 seconds into the OT period he buried it in the net.
The goal was a spectacular ending to an incredible game and the Canucks now have two wins at home and are halfway to realizing the dream. The boys head to Boston in the morning for the 3rd game in the series and in a perfect world ... will come back home with another win or two.After waiting 40 years, it would be great to see the boys win it all on home ice ... but ... I don't care where or when it happens, as long as we see those all important 4 wins. All the best to our Canucks ... bring it home boys ... bring it home.
Game One ... of the Stanley Cup Finals
Wednesday June 1st 2011
Game One between our Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins was perhaps not the most exciting game as it remained scoreless after nearly 3 full periods of play and sitting at 0 and 0 ... it looked like we would be heading into yet one more OT period. The Canucks however, have mastered the OT goal through the course of the season, so for the Canuck fans this merely meant another period or two to enjoy.
However, with only 17 seconds or so left on the regular 3rd period time clock, a brilliant heads up play from Ryan Kesler at the blue line, gave Raffi Torres an opportunity to bury the puck and he took full advantage which resulted in the game winning goal. It was a goal that those of us watching the game could only hope for and with that one goal ... our Canucks have taken win 1 and more ever closer to their goal.
Both goalies were at the top of their game ... with neither making any mistakes which made that one goal even more to savor. Both teams are playing for keeps and looking to take Lord Stanley home to their city, which means this is most likely going to be a tough round for both teams.
Our Vancouver Canucks ... this team built over the course of the last few years are likely one of the very best teams ever assembled on our home ice. They are imposing, they are fast and they are hungry for the win. They have played a stellar season, breaking club record after club record, coming out on top, placing first in the NHL. With the home ice advantage and yes ... I believe Lord Stanley is finally coming home ...
This is the Game 7 Overtime winning goal by Alexandre Burrows ...
what a great shot and a well deserved win for our boys in blue.
Sounds of Vancouver moving on to Round 2
For the first time in 17 years, the Vancouver Canucks advance to the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
For the first time since 1994, the Vancouver Canucks advance to the Stanley Cup finals.
Sounds of Vancouver moving on to the Stanley Cup Finals
Defenceman Kevin Bieksa was probably overstating things just a tad, but his comments offer valuable insight into how highly regarded injured centre Manny Malhotra is among his teammates and how crucial his play and leadership has been to the success of the Vancouver Canucks this season.
"You could even call him our most valuable player for the season," Bieksa said Thursday of Malhotra. "With all the things he does, he's a leader in the dressing room and off the ice, and on the ice with faceoffs and penalty kill, and he's a voice on the bench. He does a lot things, but I think first and foremost we hope he's okay heath-wise and he has a full recovery."
Malhotra's status remained fuzzy Thursday, a day after he took a puck in his left eye early in the second period of a game against the Colorado Avalanche. The Canucks said he had surgery late Wednesday night and was scheduled to see a specialist some time on Thursday.
Coach Alain Vigneault would not speculate on the seriousness of the injury, suggesting it may take a couple of days before the team knows Malhotra's prognosis for recovery.
"I couldn't speculate at this time until the specialist sees him and more tests are done," Vigneault said. "It's too early for any of us to speculate one way or the other."
Vigneault did not offer any details on what type of surgical procedure Malhotra had late Wednesday.