Undrafted Peverley plays hero

Bruins forward Rich Peverley celebrates his goal against the Canucks with teammate Zdeno Chara...

Bruins forward Rich Peverley celebrates his goal against the Canucks with teammate Zdeno Chara during Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final in Boston, Mass., June 8, 2011. (ERIC BOLTE/QMI Agency)

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:27 AM ET

Two weeks before the NHL entry draft, we take this opportunity to dampen the enthusiasm, if only slightly, of those who are counting on their teams to begin a big turnaround on a Minnesota podium.

At the deadline, Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli traded away two players his team previously selected in the first round to get a minor leaguer and another player who was never drafted from the Atlanta Thrashers.

The undrafted guy was Rich Peverley.

In the exchange, the Bruins gave up Blake Wheeler (first round, fifth overall in 2004) and Mark Stuart (first round, 21st overall in 2003). They received big defenceman Boris Valabik, who Atlanta took in the first round, 10th overall, in 2004. But having only played 80 NHL games in five pro seasons, Valabik can be classified a bust.

Peverley, meanwhile, made both Chiarelli and Bruins coach Claude Julien look very smart Wednesday.

A guy who has filled every other role, Peverley was Julien’s choice to take the spot of the concussed Nathan Horton on Boston’s top unit, alongside David Krejci and Milan Lucic.

He responded by scoring twice in a 4-0 Boston victory against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final.

It took Peverley just 11:59 to strike, using his wheels to break in alone and beat Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo between the legs for the first goal of the night. His second goal, Boston's fourth of the night, chased Luongo to a spot on the end of the bench.

If the four-game suspension Vancouver's Aaron Rome received for sidelining Horton wasn’t enough -- and some of us are still not sure it was -- then Peverley helped even things up a little.

People might even call it sweet justice, especially when Horton was on hand to present the player of the game jacket to Peverley.

Starts and stops

James Duthie’s crackerjack research team on TSN was quick to give viewers this tidbit minutes after the final horn: The combined 12-1 pounding the Bruins gave Vancouver Monday and Wednesday represented the most lopsided two-game score in the history of the Stanley Cup final. How sheepish is Rome feeling this morning? ... Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas stopped 78 of 79 shots the last two games, but what about his night Wednesday? A win, a shutout, and a fight (with Vancouver's Alex Burrows). Wouldn’t that be the goalie equivalent of the Gordie Howe hat-trick? ... Asked by CBC’s Elliotte Friedman why he went after Burrows when he did, Thomas said the Canucks had been hacking at the butt end of his stick, trying to knock it out of his hand for awhile. “I thought it was a good time to send a message,” said Thomas. “That they’re not going to get away with it forever.” The Canucks have to keep doing it, because clearly that tactic bothers Thomas ... The Bruins found a way to whip fans up onto another level of frenzy, all right. They had former Bruins great Bobby Orr serve as honorary banner captain and wave a Horton flag to Audioslave’s Cochise. That must have had the TD Garden walls shaking. You could feel the chills from your living room chair, right?

Between periods

The first shot of the game came off the stick of Henrik Sedin. It was the first shot on goal of the series for the Canucks captain. Yes, he’s a playmaker. But it’s Game 4 and he’s just now putting a puck on net? Even if he is playing with a bad leg, that’s ridiculous ... Wonder what kind of reception Boston's Brad Marchand would get in Sweden these days? He’s been a little thorn in the side, in the leg, in the back, and in the face of both Henrik and his twin Daniel ... Luongo’s head snapped back in the direction of Canucks defenceman Sami Salo as soon as Michael Ryder’s shot hit mesh for Boston’s second goal. That’s doing everything but pointing and screaming, “It’s not my fault, Salo deflected it.”

Back to the point

CBC play-by-play man Jim Hughson was showing his age when he asked, after the Bruins fourth goal, “how in the name of Orland Kurtenbach did that get in the back of the net?” Sure wish I didn’t know who he was talking about ... Ever since he stopped moving his feet in pursuit of Burrows on the OT winner in Game 2, Boston's Zdeno Chara has been outstanding ... How does Vancouver's Keith Ballard go from coach Alain Vigneault’s doghouse to Kevin Bieska’s partner on the first defence pairing? After the way he responded, he’s headed back to the doghouse. Shed no tears for Ballard, however. At a salary of $4.2 million for the next four seasons, he’ll be comfortable no matter where he is ... The famous Green Men made the trip from Vancouver to Beantown and, for Game 4, were sitting about a dozen rows behind the goal Thomas defended twice. Surprised if they weren’t green under the suits, too ... Nice interview Friedman had with a well know Canadian in the crowd, hoopster Steve Nash, who also happens to be the brother-in-law of Vancouver centre Manny Malholtra. Said Nash: “We’re a passing team and Boston is outpassing us. We look a little rattled. Everything seems to hit Thomas in the chest right now.” Stick to basketball, Steve ... In the house representing Canada even better this evening was smokin’ actress Rachel McAdams. She’s even looking better, and blonder, than she did in The Wedding Crashers.

don.brennan@sunmedia.ca


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