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Written by Dani Toth | 31 May 2011

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So I asked the boys over at Days of Y'Orr to answer some questions on the series for Benched Whale. They were nice enough to help me out when the Lightning played the Bruins last series, and they were nice enough to help me out again.

They self-proclaim that they are 'just a bunch of Bruins fan schmuks talking about the Bruins like we're drunk at the bar (which is more than likely)', and that sounds like my kind of people. They have quickly become the best Bruins blogs out there. You may know them from the Montreal Canadiens Eulogy on Puck Daddy a few weeks ago or the Sedin gnome photoshops.

Besides checking out their blog for the photoshops, be sure to follow all of them all on twitter: Justin, Jon, Robb, Greg and Patrice Purr-geron (a field reporter who is a cat). I'm sure we'll talk a little smack as the series gets started, so give them a follow on twitter. Many thanks to the guys for taking the time to answer my questions.

What has be the biggest weakness for Boston in this series against the Canucks?


Special teams. Again. Boston has somehow made it through three rounds with a power play so atrocious it makes you sterile just watching it. Against a team like the Canucks the Bruins are REALLY going to need to completely bust their slump on the man advantage if they want to win.

Will Julien play the matchup up game or does he just roll all four Bruins lines?

I'd like to say he'll play the match up game but Julien is a stubborn, stubborn man. I think you'll see him roll four lines for the most part, though towards the end of the third period in Game 7 against Tampa he seemed to be double shifting Krejci and Horton. Would love to see more of that in tight games.

There are so many story lines that Vancouver has going into the series (Malhotra's comback, Bieksa's play, Kesler being unstoppable even on one leg etc), what is the biggest story about Boston that I won't hear about in Vancouver?

You're going to get the obvious stories about Thomas being awesome, Lucic being a home town boy and people in Boston burning Kaberle dolls. What you likely won't hear about, and is kind of corny we admit, is how much of a TEAM these Bruins are. One of the few key things we thought the Bruins were lacking the past few seasons is that sense of togetherness, a team that lived and died with and for each other on the ice. We think they have that now. They're a group of guys that are terribly afraid to let the men on their bench down. We think that is a point that simply can't be overlooked when it comes to winning.

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Three words to describe Kaberle


Overrated. Sloppy. Vomit-inducing

Boston doesn't do a lot of travel out of their own time zone as compared to Vancouver. How will the travel between Boston and Vancouver affect the team?

 This part concerns us a bit. During the regular season the Bruins were known to slump a bit and get tired after a long road trip of excessive travel. Going coast to coast could take its toll, especially on dudes like Recchi. We're hoping the fact that there is not guarantee of being back in the Cup finals if they blow it here is motivation enough to help them fight through it.

Milan Lucic has a lot of family and friends in Vancouver that are also Canucks fans. If you were them, are you putting on a B's jersey or Canucks?

We think you'll see his friends and family pop on some black and gold Lucic jerseys, but not be terribly disappointed when the Sedin twins embarrass Kaberle and score.

Predict the series.

Vancouver is a powerhouse. No denying that. By far the most dangerous team the Bruins have faced, top to bottom. But at the beginning of the season we picked the Bruins to go all the way and we're sticking by that.  The Bruins just keep rising to every challenge in these playoffs. Just when you think they're done or falling, they come back and kick you in the balls and give you a Ference finger. We think it is going to be a long series, with a couple of high scoring games and an early, "demoralizing" Canucks in in Game 1 or 2. But we see the Bruins finding a way to win in another Game 7 to end a drought and send us partying in the streets. no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 29 May 2011

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I've read on some sites that tickets for the home games in Vancouver are going at some astronomical prices. Joe Yerdon from Pro Hockey Talk wrote about it and Katie Maximick ranted about it on the CHB. It seems that talking about the cost of SCF tickets is just one of those things we do in Vancouver, like complaining about the 5pm start times.

I say: that's just the cost of going to a Canucks game if you are going to buy a ticket now.

Look, the cost of Canucks games are high in comparison to other markets, I get that. The cost of facevalue tickets for the playoffs increased as expected as the rounds went by. Obviously the Stanley Cup Finals will be the most expensive, but it's not what everyone is making it out to be. Tickets only cost this much when you are buying it second hand through a ticket broker. It's just based on supply and demand.

I am a Canucks ticket holder and I have been one for just under 10 years now. I share my pair of tickets with some friends and had to draw to get the SCF ones. 17,000 of the 18,860 seats in Rogers Arena make up the season ticket base and from I've heard that there is about about a 5-7 year wait when you are on their Blue Line list. The rest of the seats will be released in the next day or two and will likely get snapped up in about 5 minutes. So there is a demand for tickets, a huge demand. The majority of people who own their tickets will want to go to the Stanley Cup Finals. But really, tickets are not in the $1000+ range that these articles are making them out to be, mine were under $200.

Of course tickets cost this much when you are buying them through places like Stubhub. If I were to sell my tickets, I would only sell them if I would make a killing for them. But I'm not going to sell my tickets, because like other people who are not willing to sell their tickets, I really, really want to go to watch an SCF game in person. And thus there is no supply for this great demand.

For people who say that they can just watch it on TV, well yes you can, and yes you'll see the replays and the angles better, but you don't get the experience. You don't get the experience of being in the arena watching it happen. The feeling you get with the other 18,859 people with you watching THE game. I don't want to brag here, but I was lucky enough to be surprised with semi-final tickets to watch Canada play Slovakia during the Olympics. It was one of the greatest games I've ever been to. It was the experience of being there with my Dad, the excitement and cheers that erupt when your team scores that make it all worth it. I can't imagine the feeling of what it would have been like to be at the gold medal match.

So if you want to go buy a ticket through a ticket broker, then yes, tickets are going to be expensive. But that's just how it is, if you want to end up buying tickets now for a Stanley Cup Final game because those people that are selling their tickets to you are only doing it because the money is worth it for them not to go to the game themselves. I'm not one of those people that will be selling my ticket to you, even if the current Stubhub.com price puts that at about $1000 per ticket.
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Written by Dani Toth | 28 May 2011

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All times are Eastern so start making up reasons why you need to leave work early. no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 27 May 2011

On Tuesday night, me and ticket holder buddy R had tickets to Game 5.

Even though we both had an exam the next day, we were troopers and went to the game hoping it wouldn't go to overtime. As we all know, it did. Well I'm glad to say we both did well on our exams, and now that I've had some time to sort through the photos, here are some from the night:

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Arriving at Rogers Arena, even at 5pm, it was super busy.

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It's amazing that if there's a both with a mascot on stilts, people want to take a photo with it.

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Written by Dani Toth | 22 May 2011

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Tonight Today is a huge game. Things will either go one of two ways, 1. The Canucks will give themselves that 3-1 edge in the series giving them a chance to win it at home on Tuesday or 2. The Sharks do what the Lightning did last night and tie it up making for an exciting but nervous series.

Before we jump into the game itself, let's all acknowledge that we hate the noon start time. Ok, maybe hate is a strong word, because I really don't mind eating my brunch this Sunday, while it rains outside, watching the hockey game. Obviously having this at night would be better, because then I could actually do something with my day, but really it's not that big of an inconvenience. But thinking for the players being creatures of habit, no fan loves this. We want optimal scenarios for the team to perform their best. My recollection of previous day games says that the Canucks do not perform well, in fact they injure themselves (think: Pens game where Luongo injured himself). But whatever, NBC is airing the game and like yesterday, they wanted this to be a day game so no amount of complaining will change the start time. Just think, the start times will get even uglier in the SCF.

Lots of stuff went wrong on Friday night, some were in our control, some not. Things not in our control: injuries. The Canucks will be without Christian Ehrhoff and Aaron Rome today due to injury. But that's the reason we carry like 40 defencemen right? So, next up on our depth defencemen has Andrew Alberts and Keith Ballard making up the 3rd pairing.

This article by Tony Gallagher talks about how Ballard is hard on himself for a lacklustre season and the end, Ballard goes on to say that he still has his 'confidence'. The article makes it seem like its just a line he's telling himself and the media, but I hope through all of these games he's had to play with AV that he really hasn't lost his confidence. Christ Tanev joined the team just before practice yesterday in a just in case scenario, but is not expected to jump the depth chart and play.

As for the stuff that went wrong on Friday that was within our control, well that was obviously the penalties that the Canucks took. After praising Bieksa for his play in Game 2, Bieksa just went ahead and took three penalties. He's not the only one either since the team itself took 10 penalties and one game misconduct. And the reason that was a problem was because the Canucks PK couldn't kill any of them off. The Sharks were like 5/5 on penalties bringing me back the PK horrors of the LA series last year. The Canucks finally killed some PK's off, and hopefully this means an end to the Sharks' PP goals.

I expect that all of the Canucks fans that travelled down to San Jose to watch Game 3 will also be at Game 4. Even with the reduced numbers of Sharks fans there on Friday night, when the Sharks scored, the tank was LOUD. Like crazy loud. I'm quite impressed with them. The KB has some really great videos on the number of Canucks fans that were there in San Josesome video of Sharks fans and they also give some props to the Sharks fans as well.

So Game 4 Canucks, let's DO IT no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 19 May 2011

Today more than one guy asked me what I thought of the flasher girl from Game 2, everyone from my co-workers to the Fedex guy at my office. When I came home today, my roommate asked if knew if she had been kicked out after the incident (I have no idea) and some of my blogger friends joked and asked if that was me (it was not). This really has gotten a bit overblown.

I have no idea why she did it. Really, I don't. I have no idea if she was kicked out, but she probably should have been.

My thoughts on what happened:

It was low classy. I don't really know why she decided to flash Ben Eager while he was in the penalty box, but she had to have some idea that she was going to get on camera for it. So maybe she was doing it for show, or maybe she was really drunk. Whatever the reason, it was uncalled for. Why? Because hockey games have kids that attend them. This is not some bar where everyone is an adult, no, this is a hockey game that had kids at it and kids watching it at home.

Now, Puck Daddy was able to track her down through facebook today (complete with a photo of what she looks like) and requested her to do an interview with them. She declined and requested that they blur out her face on the photo that they posted on their website. She has since deleted her facebook account according to PD.

WHAT?

After exposing yourself during a hockey game in a place in the arena that you know will be picked up by camera's you want a website to blur out your face? A photo that Getty images is distributing? It ain't gonna happen so just want to deal with the consequences. Seriously, if you were going to flash someone while at an NHL game and know that there was going to be a good chance you'd end up on camera or someone you would take a photo of you, learn to deal with it.

But I think there is a certain level of appropriateness of what you do at a hockey game and this was not appropriate. Flashing Ben Eager made you an embarrassment.

I only feel sorry for the people that care about this girl who had to watch their daughter's topless photo spread like wildfire over twitter last night and end up on the sports blogs this morning. no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 18 May 2011

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When Aaron Rome scores one of the seven goals scored by Vancouver...you know it's going well. According to Kevin Bieksa, that was a set play*.

The Canucks have gone up 2-0 in the series that heads back to San Jose on Friday. Game 2 had everything going well for the Canucks. The Sedins scored, the 3rd line scored, Mason Raymond scored, Bieksa scored on a breakaway, I could go on...and again, Aaron Rome scored.

Outside of their PK ability, this game had lots of positives for the Canucks. One of the biggest things I saw was how the team was able to keep their composure throughout the game. Even though Bieksa did fight Marleau, the Canucks stayed focused during the whole 60 minute effort.

Even for a player that I thought could be a liability in the playoffs because of his past, Lapierre has blown me away. He's worked so well on the third line and has been such a key player in the faceoff circle for the team. And this is all without his previous antics from years past that had him taking penalties. Lapierre did make some funny faces at Ryan Clowe tonight, but that's where it ended.

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On the Sharks front, Ben Eager may have lost the game for the Sharks single-handedly. Or at least it seems like he did as he is deflecting enough attention from the players from the Sharks who didn't show up in Game 2.

If I were a Sharks fan, I wouldn't be as worried about Eager's antics as I am at the lack of scoring by players not named Couture and Thornton. If it was just Eager, McCellan could just scratch him in Game 3, but this loss it not rightfully all due to his credit. Whatever Eager did tonight, will just deflect attention from the Sharks being outworked in two games straight. They've been pinned in their zone, have made some really sloppy turnovers in the neutral zone and can't seem to get a hold on the Canucks break-out pass. It is possible that this is the fatigue that comes from having played 7 games against the Wings in Round 2, but whatever it is, it's allowing the Canucks to take advantage of the situation.

The real test for the Canucks is the two games coming up in San Jose. Now we head to their rink and see if the Canucks can put themselves up 3-0 on Friday which I imagine will require every bit of effort it took to dominate Games 1 and 2.

*Bieksa just keeps getting better every interview these playoffs
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