Some quick thoughts going into game 5 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals tonight:
- According to various reports, 21-year old Chris Tanev will slot in tonight in place of Keith Ballard.
- Every team has jerks in its fanbase, but it’s disappointing to hear about the lengths some Bruins fans went to make life miserable for visiting Canucks fans. Never mind the bars that refused to serve Canucks fans, I’ve heard first-hand accounts from friends who made the trip to Boston that Bruins fans dumped beer all over them in the stands and called them all sorts of racist names on the streets. I’ve only seen a couple of news clips about other, similar incidents, but in each one, the Bruins fans interviewed all brushed them off. One fan went further and said, “What do they expect when they come here?” I know this isn’t a reflection of all Boston fans – and I would never dare paint all of Beantown with the same bad brush – but it’s disappointing to hear these stories nonetheless.
- Mike Milbury’s track record as the Islanders’ GM is everything you need to know about his credentials as a hockey analyst. Among his moves include: trading Zdeno Chara and the second overall pick that turned into Jason Spezza for Alexei Yashin, and trading Roberto Luongo and Olli Jokinen for Oleg Kvasha and Mark Parrish. Of course, there are others. When you hear him call the Sedins, Thelma and Louise, take it with a grain of salt.
- Speaking of Milbury, I find it hilarious to hear a guy who once beat up a fan with a shoe talk about how Maxim Lapierre denigrates the game.
- Last point on the mudslinging in the media. Besides Milbury, Stan Fischer also called the Sedins ” a pair of Raggedy Anns” and Barry Rozner wrote a gutless piece on the Chicago Daily-Herald. Even as a blogger, I realize it’s one thing to be critical of a team or its players I follow and a completely different thing to make personal attacks on them. It’s baffling to me that these so-called professionals don’t see the difference. Rozner, especially, has written multiple, similar hit pieces, and should considered exhibit A as to why the ongoing MSM vs. blogger debate must end. I mean, given what Rozner has written, is the Chicago Daily-Herald really more reputable than some of the good Blackhawks blogs out there?
- I heard Elliotte Friedman on TEAM 1040 this morning as he talked about how Boston fans at the TD Garden made a big difference in game 3 and 4. With all the talk about how quiet it is at times inside Rogers Arena, I hope Canucks fans can get as loud and give the boys in blue a big boost.
- Some stats to chew on courtesy of Joey Kenward: the Canucks have won 5 straight playoff games at Rogers Arena and the Bruins have lost 4 straight away from the TD Garden. It’s often said a playoff series doesn’t turn until after a team loses on their home ice. That hasn’t happened yet and the Canucks, needing 2 wins to win the Cup, potentially, have 2 home games left.
- A couple of articles I agree with: Jim Jamieson calling game 5 the biggest game in the history of the Canucks and Tom Benjamin calling this season the potential to be both the greatest season and greatest disappointment in Canucks history.