BOSTON - The Big, Bad Canucks?
When asked what he thought about his team's new image as the bad boys of hockey with all that's gone on in this Stanley Cup final -- finger biting and taunting and now a four-game suspension to defenceman Aaron Rome -- Vancouver Canucks captain Henrik Sedin took offence.
"Is that the image? In Boston, maybe," he said. "I know what type of group we have. We're a tight group. We're honest players. There's always guys who are maybe going to cross the line a little bit, again, we're talking about grey areas. I don't think we're the dirtiest team in the playoffs.
"Maybe there's a lot of attention on our team because we are where we are right now. That's the way it's going to be."
The Canucks are rallying around Rome heading into Game 4 Wednesday night after he was suspended for his hit on Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton.
Rome was to go out to dinner with his teammates Tuesday night and they threw their moral support behind him.
"We don't agree with (the suspension)," said Canucks winger Daniel Sedin. "At the same time, you never want to see a guy leave the ice like that. You hope he's OK. At the same time, I still think we have to support Romer."
When it was suggested the Bruins might rally around Horton -- he is out for the rest of the series, which the Bruins trail 2-1, with a concussion -- Daniel Sedin said the Canucks could do the same with Rome.
"We're playing for Romer right now," he said. "He's a hard-working guy, a great teammate and a friend. He's going to be out for the rest of the playoffs. It should be a rallying point for us, too. That won't be a problem.
"He's not happy and neither are we. He's a great guy to have on your team and to see him get punished like that, it's not something we agree on."
The debate over the hit raged, with basically most of the hockey world on one side and the Canucks and their supporters on the other.
"I think over here you say, 'One steamboat, two steamboats,' but I don't think you even had time to say 'One steamboat,'" said Henrik Sedin of the gap between Horton releasing a pass and Rome putting his shoulder into Horton's chin.
"There's a lot of grey areas in life. It's not only hockey. It's a tough thing to make those decisions. We know that. It's always tougher when you see a guy laying on the ice like Horton did. We don't agree with the decision, but we know they have a tough job.
"He was standing still when he made the hit. It wasn't like he came full speed from the blind side. He was stepping up. I thought it was more Horton ran into him. Romer stepped up and made a good hit."