A few leftover thoughts while still basking in the glow of an amazing Game 7 win and incredible night on Friday:
- First, this being Memorial Day, thank you to all who have ever served this country. You are the true heroes, and it is because of you, we all get to enjoy everything we enjoy.
- As the Canucks and Bruins prepare for Game 1, there are some heavy hearts in Vancouver (and across the hockey world) as the three-year anniversary of the death of Canucks’ defenseman Luc Bourdon was Sunday. Bourdon, who was drafted No. 10 overall by the Canucks in 2005, was killed in a motorcycle accident. His memory remains for the Canucks, and for everyone else, he will forever remain 21 years old. Continue to Rest in Peace, Luc.
- There were points during the season where Nathan Horton looked like he might be a bust. However, Horton has more than earned his stripes as a Bruin during the playoffs, scoring 8 goals and assisting on 9 others to lead the team with 17 points (tied with linemate David Krejci). More importantly, he has three game-winning goals, including two in Game 7s. The Bruins will need him to play big if they are to win their first Stanley Cup since 1972.
- Everyone seems to want to change Boston’s lines. I say, stay the course – at least for now. You’ve won three rounds and are four wins away from the Cup. I say stick with what got you here to start the series, and make adjustments as necessary. Claude Julien did this quite well in Game 7, as Rich Peverley took quite a few shifts with the second line, and he also scattered in Michael Ryder, Tyler Seguin, and Gregory Campbell in different spots.
- Looking for unsung heroes out of Vancouver? Here’s two: forward Chris Higgins and defenseman Kevin Bieksa. Higgins has just 4 goals, but 3 have been game-winners, while Bieksa has 5 goals and 4 assists while posting a plus-10 rating.
- Who to hare on the Canucks? Alex Burrows (7-7-14) is always a good choice, as he can play and likes to get in a scrap now and again. But a bigger villain would be Raffi Torres, who plays more like Matt Cooke. Torres has been suspended a number of times for hits to the head and dirty play.
- Old friend Rick Bowness is the associate coach with the Canucks. Bowness coached the Bruins to the conference finals in 1992, falling to Pittsburgh. And for those who think Julien is safe by reaching the final, remember Bowness was canned after the playoffs ended that season.
- Tickets for Games 3, 4 and 6 go on sale at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Fans are invited to see the team depart for Vancouver Monday (today) at 1:15 p.m. at TD Garden.