Here are some post-game reactions following Wednesday’s 4-0 victory by the Boston Bruins over the Vancouver Canucks in the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Finals, giving Boston its first Cup since 1972.
Alain Vigneault, Vancouver coach
Q. Alain, is it more difficult because you were the best team all season, the best scoring team, the best defensive team and you get to the end and it doesn’t work out? Does that make it more difficult?
COACH VIGNEAULT: I think anybody in our situation right now would feel real disappointed, whether you’re the favorite or not. We battled real hard. I know we gave it our best shot, but in this one game, they were the better team. It’s that simple.
Boston coach Claude Julien
Q. Claude, you’ve had a lot of good goalies at your disposal in your coaching career. Can you talk about the performance that Tim Thomas had through these seven games?
COACH JULIEN: Yeah, certainly would not think about saying anything negative about the goalies that I’ve had because I’ve had some great ones, Marty Brodeur and others. But Tim Thomas in these playoffs just totally dominated. That’s the sign of a great goaltender.
He was on top of his game from start to finish, and especially in this final round. He was outstanding every game. I know everybody expected him to have an average game at some point. Never came. He was in the zone, focused, never let anything rattle him and never questioned his style of play. What’s happened to him right now is so deserving and so proud of him and obviously the rest of the team.
Q. Coach, it wasn’t too long ago that you were here down 2-0. Talk about the battle back.
COACH JULIEN: Again, we talked to the players and we had been down 2-0 to Montreal losing both games at home, so we had been through it and probably in a tougher situation. But at least now we were going back home, and really as you hear coaches say, you need to take a look at the small picture in order to get back in that series. We had to win Game 3 and if we did that, well, I told the guys momentum would take over and other things would take care of themselves. They did.
You know, we came out Game 4 and played a strong game at home, also. We missed Nathan when he got hurt, you know, guys really felt like they wanted to rally around that situation and be supportive of a guy who came to us from Florida and put everything on the line. And, you know, they wanted to win it for themselves, but even more so for him.
They really rallied around that situation. I think it was great the way our team just looked at the small picture. Every game, all we talked about was going out there and earning it.
It wasn’t ours to have, it was ours to earn.
Boston goalie Tim Thomas
Q. Tim, throughout your whole career you’ve had to prove yourself time and time again. Do you think you’ve done that now?
TIM THOMAS: For now. I know the game, and I know the way that it is, you know. Winning the Stanley Cup is huge. It’s the biggest accomplishment of my career thus far.
Q. Tim, such a great old classic trophy is yours. What does it feel like to win that?
TIM THOMAS: The Conn Smythe? It’s quite an honor. The Stanley Cup is the biggest one. That’s the one that you’re shootin’ for. Conn Smythe is completely an honor. I just sat down here and started to read some of the names on it and it’s an honor to be mentioned in the same Maple leaf. Patrick, Ron Hextall, Ken Dryden, those are the three goalies that I can see on this side facing me, it’s amazing.
But everybody knows in this game that you have to continuously prove yourself. I’m sure if I were to, for example, start out the season bad next year that I probably, with the Cup, would have bought myself a little bit of leeway, but it won’t last forever unless I turn my game around.