Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Luongo, Sedins join in on war of words

Categories: VAN vs. BOS

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Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo, left, stated to reporters that he would have stopped Maxim Lapierre’s game-winner because he stays in the crease more than his aggressive Boston counterpart. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press) Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo, left, stated to reporters that he would have stopped Maxim Lapierre’s game-winner because he stays in the crease more than his aggressive Boston counterpart. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

By Tim Wharnsby, CBC Sports

BOSTON - Whether it was Vancouver Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows biting the gloved index finger of his Boston Bruins opponent, Patrice Bergeron, in the series opener, or the back-and-forth taunts about the bitten digit between Vancouver's Maxim Lapierre and Bruins forwards Mark Recchi and Milan Lucic in the next two games.

Or think of Boston's Brad Marchand dusting his hands while skating past the Canucks bench after a late-game incident in Game 4.

There's no shortage of silly sidebars in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final that the Canucks lead 3-2 with Game 6 at the TD Garden on Monday (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET).

The latest episodes include Henrik and Daniel Sedin's response to former general manager-turned-analyst Mike Milbury's insensitive remark when he called the twins "Thelma and Louise," and Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo's comment about his Bruins counterpart, Tim Thomas, after the Canucks 1-0 victory at home on Friday.

Luongo stated that he would have stopped Lapierre's game-winner because he stays in the crease more than the aggressive Thomas and therefore would have been in position when Kevin Bieksa's shot caromed off the end boards to Lapierre.

"That's not hard if you're playing in the paint," Luongo said. "It's an easy save for me. But if you're wandering out and aggressive like he does, it's going to happen. He might make some saves I won't, but in cases like that, we want to take advantage of bounces like that and make sure we're in a good position to bury those."

This is the sort of comment that could come back to haunt the Canucks. When the Bruins returned to Boston for Games 3 and 4, a reporter asked Thomas if he should change his aggressive nature because he got caught out of the net on Burrows wraparound overtime winner in Game 2. Thomas chuckled at the suggestion and since then has yielded only two goals in three games.

"Everybody is entitled to their opinion," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "Anybody can say what they want.

"I don't think Timmy is going to make much of that comment. I think you guys are making more out of it than Timmy will. Either way, his stats, you know, are proof itself. He's given up six goals in five games [in the series]. The guy that made the comment, I'm not quite sure how many he let in. I think you guys have a good idea, so I don't think he's going to lose sleep over that."

Luongo, Thomas could earn MVP honours

Luongo has allowed 14 goals in five games, but also pitched a pair of 1-0 shutouts in the series opener and again on Friday. If he could record another shutout to give the Canucks their first Stanley Cup in the 40-season history of the franchise, there is a good chance Luongo could win the Conn Smythe Trophy.

If Thomas comes up with another strong effort to extend the series to a seventh game back in Vancouver, he could very well win the playoff MVP award.

"Obviously [Luongo] is good goalie, we all know that," Boston forward Chris Kelly said. "It's unfortunate that he is commenting on another good goalies' performance. I don't think Timmy has commented on his style.

"Obviously, Timmy has been unbelievable for us. We wouldn't be where we are if it wasn't for him so that's really all you can say about that. Obviously at this point of the year I don't think you need extra motivation to get up for the next game."

The Sedins played better in Game 5 after Milbury's remarks, but they were even more proficient with their remarks directed at Milbury following the game.

"That wasn't too much fun," he told the Ottawa Sun. "My son told me a man was making fun of me and Uncle Danny on TV. I said that can't be true because that's what usually happens in kindergarten. That's what happened. Sometimes grown-ups have low self-esteem and get on guys and say stupid stuff.

"I think he has to be happy with his career. He did a great job on Long Island. I'm sure he is happy with that."