Roberto Luongo and Kevin Bieksa throw shade at Zdeno Chara on Stanley Cup Final intermission panel

Photo credit:Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
1 year ago
Remember when longtime Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara claimed that members of the Vancouver Canucks were practicing a Stanley Cup celebration midway through the 2011 Final, which Boston ultimately won?
“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 on a podcast back in December. “We found out about these things and we were like, f*** this, we were not going to allow this to happen.
“You know, it just fuelled us.”
Ex-Canucks defenceman and current Sportsnet TV panelist Kevin Bieksa refuted Chara’s claim at the time. And during the Sportsnet broadcast of Thursday’s Stanley Cup Final game between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Florida Panthers, Bieksa and Co. welcomed a special guest from the Panthers organization to discuss the series — and, eventually, they drifted back toward 2011.
Vegas entered Thursday’s game up 2–0 over the Panthers in the 2023 Final. Of course, the Canucks took a 2–0 series lead over the Bruins in 2011 before losing in seven games, a fact Luongo and Bieksa were quick to acknowledge on the panel.
“We know what it’s like to be up 2–0 in the Final,” Bieksa said. “You’re pretty comfortable still, right?”
“Yeah, I think we’re OK,” Luongo responded. “You remember when we were practicing lifting the Cup after the game?”
It seems Bieksa, Luongo, and the rest of the 2011 Canucks haven’t exactly forgotten about what Chara said about their team. But, of course, Chara got the last laugh — he has the ring.
Luongo currently serves as a special advisor to Panthers general manager Bill Zito, so he’s got some serious skin in this current Final and would love his Panthers to follow the same script as the Bruins did in 2011.
They took the first step toward reaching that goal last night. Carter Verhaeghe scored the overtime winner to help the Panthers capture a 3–2 win, cutting the Golden Knights’ series lead to 2–1.

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