Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Canucks, Bruins reach boiling point

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

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Tim Thomas (30) of the Boston Bruins checks Henrik Sedin (33) of the Vancouver Canucks during Game 3 on Monday in Boston, Massachusetts. (Harry How/Getty Images) Tim Thomas (30) of the Boston Bruins checks Henrik Sedin (33) of the Vancouver Canucks during Game 3 on Monday in Boston, Massachusetts. (Harry How/Getty Images)
By Tim Wharnsby, CBC Sports

Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final was a physical affair, downright malevolent.

There were 145 penalty minutes doled out by referees Dan O'Rourke and Stephen Walkom, 75 to the Bruins and 70 to the Canucks, who dropped an 8-1 decision at TD Centre.

Even Bruins all-world goalie Tim Thomas delivered a hit and was credited with the check on the scoresheet. He put a licking on Henrik Sedin when the Canucks captain skated towards Thomas' crease in the third period.

"He was catching the puck," Thomas said. "That happens a lot in practice off of rebounds and stuff like that, where the guy reaches up to catch the puck. I've learned from practice if you wait for him, he can put it down this way or he can put it down that way. I get scored on in practice if I sit back and try to react to where he sits the puck down with his hand.
"I had 1/100th of a second to make a decision of what I was going to do. That's the way I decided to play it to try to keep the puck out of the net. "

The Thomas check was entertaining, but the game got off its rails, as it often does with one team holding a wide margin on the scoreboard, in the third period.

Earlier in the day, Boston coach Claude Julien was asked to comment on Maxim Lapierre's finger-biting taunts in Game 2. It did not sit well with the Bruins bench boss.

"He not only gets on his opponents' nerves, but his teammates, too. That's why he's been with three teams this year," bilingual Bruins coach Claude Julien remarked in French prior to Game 3 on Monday.

During a stoppage in play, Lapierre stuck his finger inches away from the face of Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron. This was in response to the biting incident in the series opener of the Stanley Cup Final, when Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows bit Bergeron's gloved index finger after the Bruins forward face washed his opponent.

To Julien's horror, he watched two of his players make a similar move in Game 3. Mark Recchi put his finger to the lips of Lapierre in the first period. Lucic followed suit with a version of his own to Burrows face later.

Burrows remarked that he didn't mind what Lucic did, but Julien was upset with his two players. He scolded them in the dressing room and then again in his post-game press conference.

"I said this morning that I wouldn't accept it on our team," the Bruins coach said. "It happened a couple of times tonight. They've been told that I don't want any of that stuff. You got to live by your words. It was disappointing for me to see that happen after what I said this morning.

"But part of it is my fault for not bringing it up to the guys. They did it. Emotions got the better of them. I'm going to stand here and say I'm not accepting it. The guys have been told. I don't want that stuff in our game. I think we have to be better than that. Emotions are running high. It was a very physical game. There was a lot of stuff going on. You can live with that kind of stuff. But the other stuff, as you mentioned, I don't want to see."

Lucic later admitted he was wrong to taunt Burrows and the 43-year-old juvenile known as Recchi also felt a bit of shame.

"I got in trouble for that," Recchi said. "Coach gave me heck for that. We didn't know this morning that he said something. You know, it's emotional out there. But it won't happen again.

"Obviously when it happens to one of your teammates, they kind of mock you a little bit, when it happened in Game 1, it was a little bit -  you know, it's a little bit of frustration on our part. It is what it is, and we'll forget about it and get ready for the next game."