Boston Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup – a Different Perspective With Views of a Canuck’s Fan
Game seven on the road. The Boston Bruins took on the Vancouver Canucks in the last game of the 2010-2011 NHL season at Rogers Arena. After 39 years, the Bruins were once again Stanley Cup champions – a moment that Bruins’ fans can remember fondly despite the ill-fortunes of the current team.
While Bruins fans look at the 2011 season and remember a happy outcome, fans of the Vancouver Canucks clearly have a different take on things. This article looks back on the 2010-11 series with the Bruins from a Canucks perspective. Sarah Laug of Nucksaid.com helped out by answering some questions to give a perspective that Bruins’ fans don’t typically get.
When looking back at the 2010-11 season, many remember the Bruins overcoming the odds and beating the Canucks. What’s often left out of the narrative – as is often the case over time, was the fact that the Canucks had a phenomenal 117 point campaign which was far-and-away the best mark in the league that season. With a President’s trophy win, the Canucks looked primed and ready for a deep playoff run – one they certainly delivered on.
Question: How did it feel seeing the Vancouver Canucks make it to the Stanley Cup Finals after such a strong season?
“It’s no secret that the Vancouver Canucks 2010-11 season was an incredible run for the franchise. Seeing them make the finals as a result of that strong season was euphoric. It had been a possibility that they could make the finals that year but seeing it actually come to fruition was an unreal experience.
The entire city was electric with each game that got them closer and when they got that double overtime goal to send them to the finals, you could hear the cheers city-wide. Everywhere you went in the city, you could feel the anticipation and excitement building when the Canucks made their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance in 17 years.”
While the Canucks made a name for themselves around the league as President’s trophy winners, there’s no doubt that many Bruins fans were widely unfamiliar with the team that Vancouver had on the ice. Similarly, fans of the Canucks had that same unfamiliarity with a Bruins team that played a few tough series to make their ways to the finals.
Question: What was your initial thought knowing they were going to be playing the Boston Bruins?
“My initial thoughts on facing the Bruins was uncertainty. It’s a team they hadn’t had much history against prior to that series. Honestly, I spent the days before the finals doing as much research as possible on the Bruins and their players. I knew a little bit beforehand having seen some of their regular season games – when they happened to be on (television) before the Canucks, and some of their playoff games – because who doesn’t love some good playoff hockey?
I knew they would be a challenge and that they too had some incredible moments heading into the series. Tim Thomas with his Vezina-worthy season was sure to be on his game – as he had been in the Bruins previous three series. Luongo had been stellar through the Canucks first three rounds (as well). The Bruins had intangibles, the Canucks had intangibles, and in the end, it could have gone either way.
Initially, I was nervous but excited to see how the series would play out.”
Many will remember the exchanging of words between Thomas and Luongo in interviews during the series. From critiques of styles to “pumping tires,” both goaltenders took shots at one another that made for an instant classic memory for fans of both franchises.
Question: Thoughts on the classic back-and-forth between Tim Thomas and Roberto Luongo in that series?
“Mostly, I loved their back and forth with the media and on the ice. They both had some incredible moments both on and off the ice. Thomas knew just what to say and how to play to get the under the opposition’s skin.
Luongo wore his heart on his sleeve and was lights out when he was at his best. Both of them simply wanted to win it all for their respective clubs. Thomas did just that and deserved his Vezina and Conn Smythe trophy wins.”
For Bruins fans, the series between Boston and Vancouver will forever live in infamy. The animosity may not necessarily be at the level it was, but there’s no denying that the two franchises will forever be linked. Even years later, however, there remains some bad blood between the two franchises on the ice.
While Marchand “hoisting the cup” and “kissing his rings” was probably in poor taste two years after the victory, it was still a harmless act. In 2015, then-Canucks forward Brandon Prust took it upon himself to bring some violence back to the series.
Question What do you think the turning point of the series was?
“Honestly? While injuries played a part on both sides, I think the turning point came with the late hit by Aaron Rome. I’m not saying he did or didn’t deserve his 4-game suspension, but that hit changed the tone of the series. After the suspension, it turned the series on its head.”
The hit in question, of course, came when Aaron Rome hit Nathan Horton square in the head at the Canuck’s blueline in game No. 3 of the eventual seven-game series.
Rome received a suspension that kept him out of the lineup for the remainder of the postseason, and Horton was also forced to miss the remainder of the playoffs.
Question: Do you hold any ill-will towards the Bruins, six years later?
“Initially it was hard for me to look back on the series, and yes, there are moments in deep debates that bring me back to the thrill and upset of that entire series. All in all, though, personally no ill-will towards the Bruins.
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Does seeing Brad Marchand still bring me back in time and make me cringe at times? Absolutely, but I appreciate what he does for his team each game as a pest to his opponents and knack for scoring timely goals. Did I wish the series had ended in
Did I wish the series had ended in favor of my Canucks? Absolutely I do, but I also know that in the end, as much as it pains me to admit it, the Bruins deserved to win the Stanley cup in 2011. Six years later, I can look back on it knowing that it was one heck of a series with moments of sheer awesome and heartbreak on both sides.”
Question: Out of the players who are no longer on the Canucks, who would you most like back, if anyone?
“Where do I begin?
Roberto Luongo. He deserved a better ending than the one he was given with his chapter with Vancouver. And he certainly is not solely to blame for the Canucks losing the finals though he was given most of the blame from the media and fans.
Rick Rypien. He was a heart and soul player that was never afraid to stand up for his teammates no matter the size of his opponents. It breaks my heart that we will never see him play another NHL game.
Manny Malhotra. Penalty killing, faceoff wins and those oh so timely goals. It was terrifying when he got injured and not knowing for a while if he would or even if he could play again. I would have loved if he had been able to finish out his playing career with Vancouver but I am ecstatic that he’s back with the Canucks helping with the development and mentoring of younger players.”
As Bruins fans know, the Vancouver Canucks’ general manager, Jim Benning, has ties to the Bruins. In the 2006 offseason, Benning was hired by the Bruins to be their assistant general manager. He was hired by the Canucks in May of 2014 as their new general manager and has held that role every since.
Question: Jim Benning used to be a member of the Boston Bruins’ front office – How do you feel about his line of work so far in Vancouver?
“Ah yes, Jim Benning, a former Bruin. I know there a lot of people who tear apart every decision he makes in his role as general manager, as well as his “background in drafting”.
I feel like he takes a lot of flack because he does not make the flashiest moves. It may not always be obvious to the fans or the media, but he does always make the decision that he thinks is best for the Canucks. Initially, most people hated the Granlund and Baertschi trades but now both players are flourishing. He takes what he has to work with and makes the deals that
Initially, most people hated the Granlund and Baertschi trades but now both players are flourishing. He takes what he has to work with and makes the deals that perhaps initially seemed a little odd, but over time the bigger picture is revealed little by little with each move he makes.”
Causeway Crowd would like to thank Sarah Laug for taking the time to answer some of these questions. In general, it’s always good to have a spirited conversation about hockey. In this case, gaining perspective on a Stanley Cup victory from the opposition enlighten’s Bruins’ fans about the situation in a different light.