The 2011 Stanley Cup Final between the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks was one of the more thrilling matchups in NHL history. The Bruins ended up winning their sixth Stanley Cup in franchise history in seven games against their Western Conference counterparts.
It was an impressive finish to the series for the Bruins, who outscored Vancouver 12-1 over the final two games to claim victory, as the Canucks held a 3-2 advantage in the series heading into Game 6, which was played at TD Garden.
During the series, Bruins legendary defenseman Zdeno Chara alleges that he and his teammates saw members of the Canucks' roster practicing raising the Stanley Cup and how they would hand it to one another on the ice at TD Garden. Chara stated that this motivated the Bruins throughout the remainder of the series.
"After losing two games in Vancouver, we saw players from Vancouver coming on the ice in the Garden, and they were actually practicing how they would be lifting the Cup and handing off the Cup to each other," Chara said during a recent appearance on the "Games with Names" podcast with Julian Edelman and Sam Morril. "And we found out about these things and we were like 'f--k this, we are not going to allow this to happen.' It just fueled us."
Chara, who announced his retirement from the NHL in September, also says that the Canucks reached out to the league to see how many family members and friends that each player was permitted to have on the ice for the Stanley Cup celebration.
As Chara's comments make made the rounds, former Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa adamantly denied Chara's claims and told Sportsnet's Jeff Marek that these premature celebrations "never happened.....100% didn't happen."
Bieksa spent 10 of his 13 seasons with the Canucks and was an integral part of Vancouver's blue line during the 2010-11 campaign. He registered 10 points (five goals & five assists) in 25 games during the Canucks' run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2011.
We may never know which party is telling the truth in this situation, but it certainly ended up being a phenomenal Stanley Cup Final with a fair share of physicality between both sides.
"I wouldn't say dirty, they were just like maybe a little bit too, how should I say, maybe cocky is not the right word, but they were having a chip on their shoulders," Chara said. "They had some players that had some reputation of being role players and agitators, and not really backing up the way they played. But they were good players, it was like they did some stuff that really really fueled us."