After the Boston Bruins’ unprecedented opening 10 minutes of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final, it’s difficult not to reflect on one of the more unforgettable movies of the past 20 years.
Dumb and Dumber.
In an all-time performance, Boston Bruins legend Cam Neely — cast in the role of the redneck Seabass — gets hit with a salt shaker tossed by Jeff Daniels’ dim-witted Harry character. He responds by spitting on Harry’s burger.
That’s exactly what the Bruins did in Game 6.
They hawked a big Beantown loogie on the Canucks’ Stanley Cup celebratory meal.
Want Farrelly brother-style comedy? The game produced madcap elements like big-mouthed Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo getting the early hook, Bruins forward Brad Marchand speed-bag punching one of the Sedin twins in the face, 6-foot-9 Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara forechecking on a penalty kill and the topper, 43-year-old Bruins forward Mark Recchi chipping in three assists, then complimenting CBC’s Elliotte Friedman post-game on his choice of neckwear.
Rushing back to Vancouver, the Canucks have a couple of crutches: This has been a homer series to the max and vital Bruins D-man Dennis Seidenberg is banged up.
But for all of Luongo’s queasy road stats and the team’s woeful power-play percentage, one number stands out.
That’s the year 1994.
It’s when Dumb and Dumber was released. It’s also when the Canucks last played — and lost — a Game 7 for the Stanley Cup.
On the fly
It feels weird the NBA final ends before the Stanley Cup is handed out. Hockey needs to start wrapping up way before mid-June ... Big difference between hoops and pucks: Miami Heat forward LeBron James brought his talents to South Beach to try to win a championship. Luongo, the former Florida Panthers goalie, had to get his talents shipped out of there to have any shot at winning one ... Chara gets a lot of credit for his shut-down defensive play, but no one talks about how he’s quite adept at keeping the puck in at the offensive blue line, too. Another big benefit of the monstrous frame. ... Hard to feel sorry for suspended Canucks defenceman Aaron Rome after he admits he probably would’ve hit Nathan Horton the same way if given another opportunity. Wow, he really learned his lesson ... The Conn Smythe-voting writers have to redeem themselves after electing Jonathan Toews last year. Sure, it’s for the MVP of the playoffs as a whole, but a guy has to do something in the final series, too. No sense complicating matters: Vancouver defenceman Kevin Bieksa if the Canucks win and Boston goaltender Tim Thomas if the Bruins hoist Lord Stanley. Giving it to a guy on a losing team is a slap in the face to the champs. And really, if Vancouver wins another tight one at home, can you really give it to Thomas despite dropping four nail-biters in one series?
If Game 7 goes to overtime Wednesday, all eyes will be on the linesmen once the winning goal is scored. That’s a no doubter after the debacle over Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane’s Cup winner a year ago still hasn’t produced a puck for Chicago. In crunch time, get that isolation camera on those guys in stripes ... The last two Game 7s for Boston this spring, Nathan Horton scored the winning goal. Bruins coach Claude Julien knows one thing: ‘We can’t say, ‘Hortsie, go score the goal.’” Boston’s last three Cup winners were scored by a Bobby (Orr twice, Bauer once). Alas, no Bobbys on the Bruins this time around ... Vancouver's Manny Malhotra, one of the best reasons to feel good about the Canucks, deserves comeback player of the year for what he’s done in getting back from a gruesome eye injury.
Talking it up
Gold-jacketed Don Cherry predictably called the Bruins to win. Boy, he wasn’t really going out on a limb there since the home team has won every game. But he pointed out again how nothing much is going right for Vancouver's Henrik Sedin this series. Cherry noted the importance of the first goal in every game. In the first minute, the Canucks captain had a carbon-copy chance of teammate Max Lapierre’s Game 5 winner. He couldn’t bury it. Of course, the Bruins ended up striking first on a Brad Marchand puck Luongo should’ve stopped. CBC’s Glenn Healy said, matter-of-factly, it would’ve been a different game if Sedin scored that quick gimme.
“Was at Bruins bench in warm up to interview (Andrew) Ference pre game. Usually (Tim) Thomas shoots 1st puck into own net. He fired it at Canucks net.” — Darren Pang, Versus
“Roberto Luongo is not going to give TD Banknorth a good review on Tripadvisor.” — @Bobby_BigWheel
“I am in an abusive relationship with the Vancouver Canucks.” — Jessi Cruickshank, MTV
Why all the secrecy surrounding the Canucks’ playoff motivational tool? It’s a board with a mountain and a picture of the Stanley Cup on top and the words, ‘No shortcuts to the top’. It's reminiscent of the old ‘Cliffhanger’ game with the yodeler on The Price Is Right. In that one, Bob Barker called the play-by-play until the hiker either halted for a heart-stopping win or tumbled over the edge. Exactly how Game 7 will feel.