Tag:2011 NHL Playoffs
Posted on: June 7, 2011 6:09 pm

Answering questions in Rome suspension

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome was suspended four games for his collision with Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday. CBSSports.com’s A.J. Perez runs down exactly why the league decided to impose the record punishment announced on Tuesday.

Q: How close was Rome’s hit to being legal?

A: A few fractions of a second. The suspension was for interference, not the rule that was adopted last season to punish blindside hits to the head. “If it was immediate after he released the puck, it would be a legal hit,” Mike Murphy, the NHL’s senior VP of hockey operations, told reporters. 

Q: Did the fact that Horton had a severe concussion and is lost for the rest of the playoffs enter into the decision?

A: Murphy said that the fact that Horotn was injured did play a role. “We review the medical report,” Murphy said. “I spoke with the medical people in Boston this morning. It doesn't look good for Nathan right now to come back and play in this series. The play speaks for itself.”

Q: How many games would Rome get if this occurred in the regular season?

A: Murphy said there’s not set formula, but it would certainly be more. Even though Rome is considered a first-time offender under league rules, he may have seen double the ban in the regular season.

Q: Who did Murphy consult with before making the decision?

Murphy said he spoke with numerous people, including Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke. Burke was in charge of supplemental discipline from 1993 to 1998 before Colin Campbell took over. Brendan Shanahan, who will be in charge of league discipline next season, was also consulted. The one person that Murphy said he couldn’t talk to was Campbell, who has recused himself since his son, Gregory, plays for the Bruins.

What was Rome’s defense in Tuesday’s hearing?

A: Murphy refused to go into much details, but he said Rome felt it was “a hockey play that went bad.” He added that Rome was “apologetic and contrite.”

Q: What happens if the series is wrapped up in less than seven games?

A: The remaining games will be tacked onto the beginning of the 2011-12 season.

Q: Will Rome be allowed on the ice to celebrate with his teammates if the Canucks win the Cup?

A: Yes. He will be allowed to dress and join the on-ice festivities if Vancouver claims its first title.
Posted on: June 7, 2011 5:10 pm

NHL official wants "garbage" to end

BOSTON -- Beyond the league’s attempts to eliminate head hits, the NHL's fill-in disciplinarian wants the shenanigans -- like the ones that occurred at the end of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final -- to disappear.

“I will be speaking with both general managers and coaches before the day's over about the crap that we are seeing, the garbage that is going on [and] some of the issues,” said Mike Murphy, the NHL’s senior VP of hockey operations.

Nine game misconduct penalties were called, all over the final 14 minutes of Monday’s 8-1 Bruins victory. That’s not counting the game misconduct Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome received for his first-period check that left Boston’s Nathan Horton with a severe concussion. In total, there were 145 minutes worth of penalties.

Bruins coach Claude Julien, who chastised his players for taunts in Game 3, expects the series to return to some form of normalcy in Game 4.

“What you see with the extra pushes and shoves after whistles are things you see in the playoff finals with the intensity,” Julien said. “The referees have done a pretty good job of controlling that. I don't see an issue there.”

Murphy has stepped in for the league’s normal disciplinarian, Colin Campbell. He had to recuse himself from the series since his son, Gregory, plays for the Boston Bruins. Kris King, another member of the hockey operations staff, has also been involved in policing the finals, Murphy said.

Canucks defenseman Sami Salo said while things may have devolved late in Monday’s rout, he doesn’t think officials have lost control.

“All the three series that we played so far have been hard-fought,” Salo said. “Things happen all the time, so [it’s] nothing that crazy.”

-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: June 7, 2011 12:51 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 2:20 pm

Canucks' Rome suspended four games

BOSTON --- Vancouver Canucks defenseman Aarom Rome was suspended four games as result of the blindside hit delivered to Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton in Game 3, the league announced on Tuesday.

That effectively puts Rome out for the rest of the playoffs. He received a five-minute interference major and was ejected for the collision, which occurred five minutes into Monday’s game. The Bruins announced earlier Tuesday that Horton suffered a severe concussion and will miss the rest of the Stanley Cup Final, which resumes at TD Garden on Wednesday.

"Two factors were considered in reaching this decision," said Mike Murphy, the NHL’s senior VP of Hockey Operations, in a statement. "The hit by Rome was clearly beyond what is acceptable in terms of how late it was delivered after Horton had released the puck and it caused a significant injury."

If a team clinches before the seventh game, the remainder of the suspension will be added to next season.

"I want to express my concern for Nathan's well being and wish him a quick and full recovery," Rome said in a statement released by the team. "I try to play this game honestly and with integrity. As someone who has experienced this type of injury I am well aware of its serious nature and have no desire for another player to experience it. I will not take away my teammates' focus on the task at hand and intend to speak at an appropriate time in future."

-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: June 7, 2011 1:04 am
Edited on: June 7, 2011 1:06 am

Lucic, Recchi show Bruins aren't above taunts

BOSTON ---- Maybe the Boston Bruins shouldn’t act so pious.

Midway through the third period, cameras caught Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic mocking Vancouver’s Alex Burrows. Burrows, as has been well-documented by now, was accused in Game 1 of biting the finger of Patrice Begeron, although the league found no conclusive evidence and no suspension was handed down.

Lucic, however, gave Burrows another chance to bite a digit as he stuck his fingers in Burrows’ face during the scrum.

“I said this morning that I wouldn't accept it on our team,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “It happened a couple of times tonight. They've been told that I don't want any of that stuff. Like I said, you got to live by your words. It was disappointing for me to see that happen.”

Lucic said he feels shame.

“It’s something that this team isn’t about and that I’m not about,” he said. “ It’s definitely a classless move. Claude talked about it. He definitely gave me some heat after the game about it. You regret doing it but, heat of the moment type of thing, things like that will happen.”

The other incident involved veteran Bruins forward Mark Recchi, who beside scoring twice in Boston’s 8-1 victory mocked Vancouver’s Max Lapierre early in the game. In a payback to Lapierre’s Game 2 taunt of Bergeron, Recchi shoved his fingers in Lapierre’s face.

“I got in trouble for that,” Recchi said with a smile.”Coach gave me heck for that. We didn't know this morning that he said something. You know, it's emotional out there, but it won't happen again. You know, it's an emotional game.”

-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: June 6, 2011 8:34 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 5:19 am

Bruins' Horton hospitalized after collision

BOSTON --- Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton was taken off the ice on a stretcher after a blindside hit delivered by Vancouver Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome five minutes into Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.

Horton was moving all his extremities and he was admitted to Massachusetts General Hospital, the Bruins announced near the end of the first period. The team had no futher update on Horton after the game.

"I know I've got the same things that you guys got," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "He  was obviously moving around. That's all that I've been told. I don't have any more to share with you guys."

Horton, who is tied for the second on the team in points in the playoffs, had just crossed the blue line where he delivered a pass to teammate Milan Lucic when Rome initiated the collision with his shoulder. Horton's head made contact with the ice and he appeared to lose consciousnesss.

Rome, who initially went to the penalty box, was given a five-minute major for interference and a game misconduct. A hearing is set with NHL officials on Tuesday morning. 

"I think what I would call it is a blindside hit that we've talked about taking out of the game," Julien said. "He made the pass. [The hit] was late. He came from the blindside.":

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault agreed that the hit may have been late, but they parted when it came to whether the hit was of the blindside variety.

"That hit was head-on hit [and Horton was] looking at his pass," Vigneault  said. "It was a little bit late. I don't think that's the hit that the league is trying to take out of the game. This is a physical game, you have big guys. Fraction of a second to decide what's happening out there."

The home fans booed loudly after as the replay finally displayed on the scoreboard moments before play resumed. They cheered later in the period when Horton's condition was displayed.

The Bruins did not score on the ensuing power play.

The collision reintroduced the topic of head shots on the game’s biggest annual stage. The league has taken steps over the last several months to limit concussions as standouts like Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Boston's Marc Savard missed significant time this season. The Bruins were also without Patrice Bergeron for the first two games of the conference finals after he suffered a concussion in the second round.

Rome certainly appears to be in jeopardy of a suspension under Rule 48, which was put in place late last season to punish players who deliver hits to the head of an unsuspecting opponent.

The league’s general managers were against an all-encompassing rule that would ban any type hit to the head, but the league did establish new protocols for players who suffer concussions. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman also established a blue ribbon panel headed by former NHL player Brendan Shanahan. That panel is scheduled to present their findings to at the general managers meeting here in Boston on Wednesday.

Mike Murphy, the NHL’s senior VP of hockey operations, would make the final decision on whether Rome will be suspended. The league’s normal disciplinarian, Colin Campbell, isn’t involved on issues linked to the Bruins, who count his son, Gregory, as one of their players.

Shanahan will take over supplemental discipline decisions next season.

-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Getty Images 

Posted on: June 6, 2011 8:07 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 8:10 pm

Thornton back in Bruins lineup as Seguin sits

BOSTON --- Boston Bruins opted for some added muscle as forward Shawn Thornton was inserted into the lineup for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night.

Thornton replaced rookie Tyler Seguin, who hasn’t had a point since Game 2 of the conference finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning. While Seguin has speed, Thornton can play a much more of physical game.

“We know he’s won a Stanley Cup and I know that when he did win it, he had to miss some games as well,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said earlier in the day. “We’re in a position now where we have to make decisions based on our needs.”

Thornton, who won the Stanley Cup as member of the Anaheim Ducks in 2007, has played in 13 games this postseason. He became a healthy scratch beginning in Game 3 of conference finals as Patrice Bergeron returned from a concussion. Thornton has one points (an assist) so far in the playoffs.

--- A.J. Perez
Posted on: June 6, 2011 1:37 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 1:39 pm

Lapierre’s antics wouldn't last in Boston

BOSTON --- Maxim Lapierre’s act wouldn’t last long in Boston, Bruins coach Claude Julien said before Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday.

“If it's acceptable for them, then so be it,” Julien said. “Certainly [it] wouldn't be acceptable on our end of it. I think you know me enough to know that. Not much I can say on that.”

Lapierre mocked Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron, who accused Vancouver’s Alex Burrows of biting one of his fingers in Game 1. Lapiere attempted to put his fingers in Bergeron’s mouth during Game 2.

Minutes after Julien’s comments, Lapierre set the land speed record for use of the phrase, “I’m not going to comment on that.”

“I’m not going to comment on that,” Lapierre said when asked if he had a reaction to Julien’s statement. “Everybody is trying their best to win the games. What happened on the ice, happened on the ice. I’m not going to comment on that.”

Lapierre did stray off script when asked if he enjoyed being an agitator. A little.

“I think everybody has their role,” Lapierre said. “We are trying to work as hard as we can to win a game.”

-- A.J. Perez

Posted on: June 5, 2011 8:29 pm

Burrows, Lapierre set to enter hostile waters

BOSTON --- There are anecdotal reports floating around that hundreds of Vancouver Canucks fans have made the trip east and are purchasing seats for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final at a steady pace.

That likely won’t have any impact on the reception Alex Burrows and Maxim Lapierre get at TD Garden on Monday night. Burrows not only avoided a suspension even though cameras appeared to show he bit Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron on the finger in Game 1, but he also scored two goals in Game 2 --- including the game-winner in OT.

“I expect this crowd to be behind their team,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said on Sunday when asked what kind of reception Burrows will get. “I mean, this is an Original Six city. [They are] passionate for their hockey. I'm sure their fans are going to be real supportive, just like our fans are in Vancouver.”

While Vigneault danced around the question, there will be no avoiding the reception both Burrows and Lapierre will get here. Lapierre, already disliked from his days in Montreal, was caught on camera trying to stick his fingers into Bergeron’s mouth on Saturday, mocking the incident in Game 1.

Burrows wasn’t made available to reporters on Sunday, but Lapierre did talk.

“I have nothing to insert on that one,” Lapierre said when asked his Game 2 machinations and what he expects for Game 3. “Everybody has their own judgment and that’s alright. That’s what makes it fun. I played a lot in Boston in the past when I was with Montreal. I know how it is. They have great fans. It’s going to be loud and exciting game. “

Vigneault said he isn’t worried about how Burrows will react to the hostile crowd.

“I expect him to respond the way he's done all throughout the year and how he did last night,” he said. “I mean, he's going to focus on what he needs to do on the ice. He's going to play the same way, which is very intense, physical.”

-- A.J. Perez
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com