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Best and worst moments of the finals

In the latest Cross Checks Blog, Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun discuss the best and worst moments of this year's Stanley Cup finals.

Burnside: Well my friend, we are back in Boston readying ourselves for the potential series-clincher Monday night. It's been a wacky series, though, and if it ends Monday with the Vancouver Canucks raising the big trophy for the first time in franchise history, there will be lots of memories, good and bad, from this final series.

Let me begin with the one image that will stay with me: Nathan Horton lying on the ice, his arm stretched up in grisly fashion after being laid out by Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome early in Game 3. The hit may yet prove to be a seminal moment in this series as the Bruins went on to win both home games by a cumulative 12-1 count. More importantly from my perspective was the swift judgment by acting NHL disciplinarian Mike Murphy in suspending Rome for four games, the stiffest suspension in Stanley Cup finals history. Hard medicine for a dangerous play.

What about you, my friend, what has amazed or mystified you about this series thus far?

LeBrun: I won't soon forget seeing Bobby Orr raise a Bruins flag with Horton's number on it before Game 4, the TD Garden crowd going bananas. Similarly, it was beyond cool when B.C. native and NBA star Steve Nash got the crowd going Friday night at Rogers Arena. Manny Malhotra's brother-in-law was into it to say the least.

But to me the moment of this series at this point, and I think we're in store for a few more, is Roberto Luongo stepping up on the eve of Game 5 and showing the kind of leadership teams need to become champions. With the hockey world once again questioning his own play, as well as the confidence of the Canucks as a team, Luongo put the team on his shoulders and assured all assembled that he would be fine and the team would be fine. Then he backed it up with one of the most important victories of his career. I don't think I'll forget that one for a long time.

To read the entire story, click HERE.