John Tortorella knows something about losing to the Boston
Bruins in the postseason but talk about the 2011 Stanley Cup finals
is off limits to him.
The Vancouver Canucks coach has chosen Roberto Luongo as his
goalie Saturday night when the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins
visit Rogers Arena for the first time since that series in a
matchup of streaking teams.
Boston (22-8-2) has pleasant memories of its last game at
Vancouver, winning 4-0 in Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals
that set off rioting in the city.
Tortorella wasn’t coaching the Canucks then, but his ill-fated
tenure with the New York Rangers ended with a five-game loss in the
Eastern Conference semifinals the last time he saw the Bruins last
The coach made clear his disdain for talking about that epic
“That’s all you guys talk about is Boston,” said Tortorella
after his team’s 4-0 home win over Edmonton on Friday. “Didn’t that
happen about 20 years ago? We’ll play the game hard. They’ll play
the game hard and we’ll see what happens in 60 minutes.”
Luongo will face Boston for the first time since he was one of
the scapegoats for that Cup finals defeat with a 4.67 goals-against
average in the final five games.
He made 19 saves for his 65th career shutout Friday – one behind
Patrick Roy for 14th on the all-time list. This is the Canucks’
seventh set of back-to-back games. Luongo has started both of them
just once previously, beating Columbus on Nov. 22 and losing 2-1 to
Chicago the next day on goals nine seconds apart in the third
“I think it’s just a fun game to play in,” said Luongo about
Saturday’s contest. “It’s been a few years now and I think we’ve
all moved on but that being said, there’s a history there and those
are the type of games you want to be playing in.”
Vancouver (19-10-5) is one of the hottest teams in the NHL,
seeking its first seven-game win streak since March 22-April 3,
2012. Boston is looking for its first five-game win streak and a
four-game sweep of this Canadian road trip.
It’s unclear if Tuukka Rask will start opposite Luongo after he
sat out Thursday’s 4-2 win at Edmonton due to the flu, with Chad
Johnson taking his place.
The Bruins are also without injured players in Chris Kelly
(broken leg), Loui Eriksson (concussion), Adam McQuaid (lower-body
injury) and Dougie Hamilton (lower-body injury).
Boston also found out earlier Saturday that forward Shawn
Thornton was suspended for 15 games without pay for punching and
injuring unsuspecting Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik a week
ago. Thornton has already served three games of the ban.
The short-handed club used a fast start to prevail against the
Oilers, taking a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes. The Bruins were outshot
27-13 the rest of the way.
”It’s a road win, and we have to be happy with it,” said Brad
Marchand, who had two goals and an assist in the Game 7 win. ”We
know we are not going to put our best game on the ice every night,
but we want to keep building. With all of the injuries we have
right now, every win is huge.”
The Canucks have killed off all 17 penalties during their win
streak while the Bruins are 3 for 7 on the power play on this
The Sedin brothers combined for five points in the 2011 Stanley
Cup finals and have totaled just one in the Canucks’ last three
games, but their coach isn’t putting any extra emphasis on this one
as Vancouver tries to sweep its five-game homestand.
“We respect Boston, it’s a good hockey club but this is just
another game in our schedule,” Tortorella said. “We talked about
this homestand, we’ve gotten four of them, now we’ve got to get
ready to play another good team.”