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STANLEY CUP FINAL- GAME 7: The best kind of game there is! Although with Vancouver being undefeated at home in the Stanley Cup finals, many prognosticators had already given the cup to the Canucks. I was confident about the Bruins chances on Wednesday night thanks to a very unconventional indicator that worked out pretty well in Boston's favor when a certain Boston team was playing a clinching game.
After Boston tied the series and forced a decisive Game 7 with a 5-2 win at Boston's TD Banknorth Garden on Monday night, the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks would go at it one more time on Wednesday night to see who would bring home the Stanley Cup.
The Bruins got out to the early lead late in the first with a goal from center Patrice Bergeron, and never looked back from there. Brad Marchand would get an even strength goal at just over 12 minutes into the second period before Bergeron tallied a shorthanded goal to make it a 3-0 Boston lead.
Marchand finished off the scoring with an empty-netter late in the 3rd after Vancouver pulled goaltender Roberto Luongo for an extra attacker with just under 3 minutes to go in regulation to put the game away by a 4-0 final.
Bruins goalie and former Vermont Catamount Tim Thomas turned away all 37 shots faced in Game 7, while Vanucks netminder Roberto Luongo gave up 3 goals in his evening's work. The shuout comes despite the Canucks outshooting the Bruins by a 37-20 margin.
Thomas, who started his NHL career with the now-defunct Quebec Nordiques, was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy as MVP of the Stanley Cup finals and is considered a favorite for the Vezina Trophy (the NHL's best goaltender) for the 2010-2011 season. The Game 7 win was his 4th-ever career playoff shutout.
43 year old winger Mark Recchi also took the occasion of hoisting the Stanley Cup to announce his retirement after Game 7. Recchi had earlier indicated that he would like to go out on top as a finale to his 22 year NHL career. Recchi was acquired by the Bruins in a March 2009 trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning and re-joined the club by agreeing to a series of 1-year contracts. Recchi had 3 goals and 4 assists in the Stanley Cup Finals this year.
While Nathan Horton wasn't cleared to play, he travelled with the team to Vancouver and was in uniform for the presentation of the Stanley Cup by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman.
Sgt. D A Dorken of Canadian Forces Afghanistan showing his love for the Bruins circa 2007[On a personal note, I cannot tell you how happy I am for the Bruins players, head coach Claude Julien, President Cam Neely and Bruins fans and alumni on both sides of the border who have been waiting nearly 40 years for this. Do any of you remember Ray Bourque being traded to Colorado for one last crack at a championship? It was absolutely the right call, but a damn shame he had to leave Boston to go out a winner. How about the Joe Thornton trade? Or the epic collapse against Philly last year? Fuhgeddaboutit- that shit is old news now!- NANESB!]
The win itself and the ceremonies afterward were a thing of beauty, but what happened outside wasn't.
Vancouver Sun- PhotosUnfortunately, almost as soon as the game was decided, Vancouver fans decided to express their displeasure with the outcome of Game 7 by torching cars, smashing shop windows, looting and clashing with police.
Riot police fired rubber bullets and flash bombs in downtown Vancouver Wednesday night to try to disperse angry rioters who set cars on fire and taunted police officers after the Canucks' 4-0 Stanley Cup final loss to the Boston Bruins.
Police declared the downtown fan zone area near the CBC building and the central post office a riot zone. Anyone not leaving the West Georgia Street area immediately could be arrested, they warned.
Police were using batons and also turned police dogs on the rioters, slowly pushing the crowd back along Georgia Street from Hamilton Street to Cambie Street.
Officers in riot gear were also trying to disperse a smaller crowd on Granville Street, about six blocks from the original riot scene.
Two police cars were set on fire in a parking lot on Cambie Street near one of the areas where police were being confronted by a few dozen people among the hundreds present who were throwing debris at officers.
There was a riot in the city of Vancouver during June 1994 under similar circumstances when the Canucks lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final to the New York Rangers.
RED SOX- While all eyes were seemingly on Vancouver tonight,
Josh Beckett threw a complete game one-hit shutout against Tampa Bay at Tropicana field on Wednesday night, allowing only a hit to Rays SS Reid Brignac. Run support came late for Beckett in the form of a Kevin Youkilis 3-run bomb that plated Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez. Beckett was pretty efficient on the night, throwing all of 97 pitches in his 9 innings of work, striking out 6 and walking none.
On Tuesday night, Rays starter James Shields went the distance in a complete game of his own, shutting out the Sox by a 4-0 margin, interrupting Boston's 9-game win streak. Thursday's rubber game will have Clay Buchholz [5-3; 3.59 ERA] up against David Price [7-5; 3.51 ERA]. First pitch is at 7:10 ET and the game will be televised on both NESN and the MLB network.
NBA: I'm a few days behind on this, but congratulations to the NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks, who stunned the Miami Heat with their win Sunday by a 105-95 margin to win the NBA Finals by a 4-2 margin. Dallas stunned the basketball world by sweeping the LA Lakers early in the playoffs and then dispatching the Oklahoma City Thunder in fairly short order.
Although he got off to a slow first half in Game 6, Mavs Forward Dirk Nowitzki would go on to be named NBA Finals MVP.