Is this the Stanley Cup final or the schoolyard?

A Bruins fan holds up a

A Bruins fan holds up a "No Biting" sign as Canucks forward Alex Burrows skates by during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final in Boston, Mass., June 6, 2011. (ERIC BOLTE/QMI Agency)

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:57 PM ET

VANCOUVER - The Sedin Twins have been dubbed "Thelma and Louise" by Mike Milbury.

Alex Burrows is being called "The Biter" by pretty much everyone.

And Brad Marchand has been labelled "The Rat" by, well, Brad Marchand.

Biting. Name-calling. Bad acting. Flopping. Whining.

Is this the schoolyard or the Stanley Cup final?

At times it has been hard to tell the difference.

The name-calling, in fact, has been front and centre since the puck first dropped on this intriguing series between the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins.

Remember the childhood adage: "Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me."

Maybe they won't. But in the case of Milbury, the names he slapped on Daniel and Henrik Sedin during the broadcast of the Bruins' 4-0 victory in Game 4 have stirred up a hornets' nest on the left coast.

Judging by some of the e-mails received by QMI Agency, Milbury's comments have ignited outrage among some locals who claim the former Bruins player/coach was questioning the sexual identity of the Sedins with his Thelma and Louise crack.

Upon learning of Milbury's words, the Canucks' reaction was understandably terse.

"I have no comment, that's so bad," Daniel Sedin told one of the Vancouver dailies.

Backup goalie Cory Schneider took a shot at Milbury's track record as a general manager.

"Who cares what he thinks," Schneider said. "If he'd been their general manager he would have traded them in their first year, anyway, like he did with everyone else.

"One guy is a Hart Trophy winner and the other is up for it this year, and we have complete faith and confidence in these guys. Who cares what he thinks?"

Defenceman Kevin Bieksa agreed.

"I couldn't care less about Mike Milbury and his analysis," an irked Bieksa said with a snort. "Comments from someone like that are the last thing on my mind right now."

The Sedins will be the first to tell you they've been verbally slagged like this for the past decade. While it's not fair, they've been forced to live with it.

Swedes have been popular targets for the name-calling fraternity dating back to the 1970s.

Remember when the Maple Leafs brought Inge Hammarstrom and Borje Salming into the mix? They heard the term "Chicken Swedes" so many times they lost count.

Once again it was an undeserved label. So what if they didn't want to drop the gloves with Dave (The Hammer) Schultz. Who did?

Burrows, meanwhile, has taken on "The Biter" nickname ever since he nibbled on the glove of the Bruins Patrice Bergeron in Game 1. Prior to that, "The Biter" was a handle that had been associated with former NHL pest Claude Lemieux, who gained notoriety during the 1989 Stanley Cup final for chomping on a finger belonging to the Calgary Flames' Jim Peplinksi.

In Boston, Burrows has gained notoriety thanks to his toothy antics. In fact, black-and-gold placards handed out to fans by a newspaper blared the words "Bite Me!" for Game 4, a message the raucous faithful at TD Garden were eager to shout out at the controversial Canucks forward.

As for Marchand, let's make one slight alteration. He did, in fact, call himself "a rat," not "The Rat." There is a difference. Everyone knows that "The Rat," of course, was former Bruin Ken (The Rat) Linesman.

It has been an entertaining, spicy series, one that has turned vicious at times with both teams taking turns flashing their teeth at each other. The name-calling is just a part of it.

In the schoolyard, saying some of this stuff might land you a detention.

In the 2011 Stanley Cup final, it gets you in the headlines.

mike.zeisberger@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/zeisberger


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