practiced lifting the Cup during goalmouth
scrambles "just to make it challenging".
But before we set our sights on the road to the 2011-12 season, let's take a moment for a look back at this year's Stanley Cup finals. Here's a period-by-period review of one of the most memorable series in a generation.
First period: In an effort to appeal to a younger demographic, the NHL announces that the role of the brooding but misunderstood vampire will be played by Alex Burrows.
Second period: As a neutral fan, you feel vaguely comfortable with the idea of one of these teams winning the Stanley Cup for the last time in the series.
Third period: Raffi Torres fools the Bruins' defence to score the game-winning goal by using a trick play he calls "Shoot the puck like a normal player instead of launching your elbow into somebody's temple".
First period: Manny Malhotra makes an emotional return to the lineup wearing a full face shield, which he will later admit is just an attempt to keep Brad Marchand from yapping in his ear all game.
Second period: In an embarrassing coincidence, the entire twenty minute period is played without a whistle after all 40 players drop to the ice and roll around to draw a penalty simultaneously.
Third period: The Canucks tie the game by scoring their third goal of the series, then quickly remind themselves to slow down and not use up the remaining five too quickly.
Overtime: Somewhere in the building, a Canuck fan who spent $2,000 on tickets returns to his seat 11 seconds late and asks "So, did I miss anything?"
First period: Aaron Rome catches Nathan Horton admiring his pass and delivers a textbook open ice check, but the anti-Canucks media go and make a big deal out of it being a "late hit" just because the pass was from the opening shift of game two.
Second period: The Bruins realize that since the Canucks are apparently planning to hit them late whenever they pass, it would be safer to just shoot the puck into the net every time they touch it instead.
Third period: In hindsight, Bruins coach Claude Julien admits he probably shouldn't have let Bill Belichick talk him into going for two.
First period: Bruins' legend Bobby Orr takes part in the pre-game ceremony, fires up the crowd, and then ruins the good vibe by asking if there's any chance he could be traded to Colorado.
Second period: The TD Gardens maintenance guy starts to worry that he really should have replaced the bulb in the goal light behind Luongo.
Third period: Frustrated Bruins players learn that their advanced scouting report on Cory Schneider is one sentence long and simply reads "Try to get a penalty shot and make his groin disintegrate so Luongo has to go back in".
First period: While sitting in his living room enjoying the series on TV, Tomas Kaberle starts to get the nagging feeling that he was supposed to be somewhere this month.
Second period: After demanding during a fiery intermission speech that the slumping Sedin brothers "look yourselves in the mirror", coach Alain Vigneault realizes that the dressing room doesn't have a mirror and the two brothers are just sitting across from each other staring creepily.
Third period: Roberto Luongo points out that Maxim Lapierre could never have scored that winning goal against him, in the sense that they're teammates.
First period: Bruins fans are widely criticized for mocking Mason Raymond as he lays on the ice with a fractured vertebrae, but in fairness it's the first time they've accused an opponent of faking a broken back in like two months.
Second period: As he sits on the bench, an embarrassed Luongo begins to realize that the start times listed for the road games in this series are probably in Eastern time.
Third period: Bartenders in Boston start to wonder why customers keep trying to pay for drinks with bloody strips of green spandex.
First period: The Bruins score the opening goal, but after a brief discussion NHL officials decide that they might as well go ahead and play the rest of the game anyway.
Second period: As the Bruins build an insurmountable lead, Ryan Kesler starts to think ahead to which winner-take-all championship game in Vancouver he'd like to lose next.
Third period: As the closing seconds tick down, devastated Canuck players console themselves with the knowledge that at least they can still drive home in their luxury sports cars that they parked on the streets outside the arena.