Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Bruins' Bergeron moving on

Categories: Boston Bruins, Stanley Cup Final, VAN vs. BOS, Vancouver Canucks

Story Tools

Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron, right, tussles with Vancouver forward Alex Burrows, left, during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron, right, tussles with Vancouver forward Alex Burrows, left, during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press

Bergeron maintains Burrows's bite

Upon the conclusion of his media obligations at the University of British Columbia's Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron put his right index finger on display. The tip of the finger was red, the result of Canucks winger Alex Burrows's bite at the end of the first period in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday.

Bergeron reiterated that Burrows bit him and that the finger was bleeding after the incident.

But Burrows was not suspended for the bite, and Bergeron said he's moving on.

"I'm over it," Bergeron said. "I'm looking forward for the next game. We have to get back in the series. It's the league's decision. I'll let them make the call, make the decision."

Had Burrows been suspended for Game 2, the Canucks would have been missing their top-line right wing. Burrows has been a key contributor at both ends. He's been skating on the No. 2 power-play unit. In the playoffs, Burrows is averaging 3:06 of penalty-killing ice time per game, most of any Vancouver forward.

"We saw what happened," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. "As far as I'm concerned, the league has made a decision on it. We move on. I think what's more important for us is to prepare for the next game more than to put all our attention on something that's already been ruled. Let's move on here. We're not the type of team that whines and cries about things like that. We just move on. That's what we're going to do."

Thomas stakes claim to real estate

After Game 1, Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault noted the aggressive play of Boston goaltender Tim Thomas when he's out of the crease and challenging shooters. Vigneault questioned the tripping call on Burrows, which came with Thomas out of the blue paint.

"Our goaltender always plays in the blue and stays in his ice," Vigneault said. "Their goaltender is always out of the blue and comes into other people's ice. We're going to need a little bit of clarification there, especially when he's initiating contact with our team."

A day later, Vigneault reiterated how far Thomas comes out of the crease.

"Ninety per cent of his saves are where he's outside the blue paint," Vigneault said. "A lot of times he does initiate contact. That's the way he plays."

Being a smaller goaltender, Thomas has to attack shooters to cut down angles.

"I just play my game," Thomas said. "It's not always in the blue. Sometimes it is. You've got to do what you've got to do."

Chara earns coach's approval

Based on Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara's power-play performance in Game 1, it's a good bet the Boston captain will be back in front of the net during five-on-four  situations in Game 2.

"There's not much to like about Zdeno Chara," Julien said. "When you've got him on your team, you appreciate him for everything he does. On the power play, he's given us a different look. I thought he did a pretty good job.

"When you get put in that position, there [are] always things you can better yourself at. He's moving around pretty good at trying to be a screen in front and not trying to get sucked into penalties. They were pretty hard on him yesterday at times. He just got back up and did his job. I anticipate he'll only get better at that position as we use him there."

Because Chara is considered one of the stronger players in the league, Vancouver's game plan was to front the 6-foot-8, 255-pound behemoth. Chara was free to screen Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo because the Canucks didn't waste time trying to move the defender from the front of the net.

"When you have such a big body like that in front of the net, there's no sense in getting in a pushing match," Vigneault said. "We let Roberto play where he is. He can't look on top of him because he's so tall. He's got to look around him. That's what he did last night, and he found the pucks."

Bruins fuel explosive ratings

In Boston, Game 1 drew a 25.5 rating on NBC. It was the most-watched Game 1 in 12 years.

"It's great news. It's awesome," Bergeron said of the interest in Boston. "Back home, we could feel it. The whole city was really behind us. They still are behind us throughout the playoffs and the season. It means a lot to us. Obviously we want to do it for them. We can feel all the support.
That's something great."

The Boston Red Sox were originally supposed to play a night game at Fenway Park on Saturday against Oakland. They moved the game to 1:10 p.m.

"That's the respect that there is in Boston as far as the Red Sox are concerned," Julien said. "They're big fans of ours. We're big fans of theirs. That's certainly something that's been going on for a long time now. That's what Boston's all about. They're supportive of all their teams."