It doesn’t get any better than this—Game 7 for the Stanley Cup!
BY MIKE LOPRESTI | Afternoon Sports Club June 15, 2011 12:35PM
Things should get heated between the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks tonight in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. | AP
Updated: June 15, 2011 6:10PM
Ladies and gentlemen and non-hockey watchers everywhere, step right up!
See the most topsy-turvy, the most screwball event on this week’s sport midway! Game 7 of the Stanley Cup! If you ever wanted to spend one night with the stick-and-puck set, this is it!
See the player who had his finger bitten by a guy on the other side! See the goalie who can put his whole skate in his mouth! See the team that has been plastered in three games 8-1, 4-0 and 5-2, but still might end up champion!
See two contenders who have put in more miles the past two weeks than the space shuttle!
OK, carnival barking is over.
But this is can’t-miss theater. Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Wednesday night on NBC, Boston at Vancouver. Don’t have a clue what icing is? Couldn’t pick out one of the players in a phone booth? Doesn’t matter.
This is all you need to know, even if you’ve seen more of the Home & Garden channel on cable the past fortnight than you have of the Stanley Cup.
Game 1. Bad hygiene. Boston’s Patrice Bergeron gets his glove a little too close to the teeth of Vancouver’s Alex Burrows, who momentarily treats it like a slice of sausage pizza.
Vancouver wins with a goal with 18.5 seconds left.
Game 2. Bad jokes. At least one of the Canucks taunt Bergeron by waving his finger near his mouth. You think you’d see this stuff in the World Series?
Canucks win with a goal 11 seconds into overtime, which is like an NFL team returning the sudden death kickoff for a touchdown.
Game 3. Bad temper. Boston’s Nathan Horton gets carried off on a stretcher after being leveled by Vancouver’s Aaron Rome.
Horton has a concussion. Out for the series. Rome is suspended. Out for the series.
The Bruins smash the Canucks 8-1. The third period includes 98 penalty minutes. There have been sides with U.N. peacekeepers between them that have shown less rancor.
Game 4. Bad response. Vancouver needs to answer after getting blown away, and prove it’s not to going to always show up as mousse on the road. The Canucks get blanked 4-0.
Game 5. Bad idea. The Canucks win 1-0, and afterward, Canuck goalie Roberto Luongo comes up with the bright idea of suggesting he would have stopped the shot that Boston’s Tim Thomas did not. Though his full quote is generally harmless and describes the difference in style between the two goalies, the operative ready-for-bulletin board phrase lands like a snowball in the face: “It’s an easy save for me.”
Game 6. Bad showing. Luongo is shredded for three goals in the first period, and gets relieved, like a starting pitcher gone in the second inning.
Boston’s Brad Marchand takes a punch at Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin. Later, he is asked why. “I felt like it.” And he’s a rookie.
All they did in the NBA Finals was make fun of the other team’s star’s cough.
Vancouver has been outscored 19-8 in the series, but is still tied in games 3-3. That’s because the Bruins have lost three away games by a combined score of 5-2, but won three home games by a score of 17-3.
Anyone here heard of the 1960 World Series? The New York Yankees outscored the Pittsburgh Pirates 55-27, but lost in seven games.
Also, this series has required four cross-continent trips of 2,500 miles each. It is an event best appreciated by migratory birds.
And now, Game 7. The only professional sports team to win Game 7 on the road of a championship round in 32 years is the Pittsburgh Penguins, at Detroit in 2009. The home team is 19-1 in that span.
Which, by the way, is why the Dallas Mavericks had to win Sunday night. Had the Heat pushed it to Game 7 in Miami, maybe LeBron James isn’t being carved today like a Thanksgiving turkey.
Bites, fights, flights and history, too. You’ve never watched an NHL game?
Watch this one.