Liveblogging Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Edmonton Oilers at Carolina

NHL Stanley Cup Finals

A screen capture of Carolina Hurricanes captain Rod Brind'Amour raising the Stanley Cup after 16 seasons in the NHL. The Carolina Hurricanes win the 2006 Stanley Cup Championship with a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers in game 7.

Post-game coverage:

- Live postgame video of the press conferences with coaches and players is available at NHL.com. Game 7 highlights should be available on OLN shortly. 22-year-old Cam Ward was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the NHL Stanley Cup playoff MVP.

- Chris Pronger is first in line to congratulate the Carolina Hurricanes in the traditional postgame handshake. Class player. Goaltender Cam Ward tells NBC's Pierre McGuire that it was a great team effort, but captain Rod Brind'Amour is the player most responsible for the Stanley Cup Championship.

- TSN's Jay Onrait is liveblogging the game. Onrait describes the dire situation for Edmonton heading down the stretch.

10:50 EST - Stoll is taking the draw... Markannen is out of the net... it's 6 on 5... and Stoll wins the draw...but the Oilers can't keep the puck in and Justin Williams gets a breakaway with the net empty... he scores... This series has been so close. The fact that the Oilers were able to push it to 7 games is just unbelievable considering they lost Roloson in Game 1. What can you say? Another Alberta NHL team coming up just short in Game 7 on the road.

Another game 7 liveblog from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. CBC also posted an excellent photo gallery of fans attending the final game of the series. Best sign from a fan "The Cup belongs in Canada, when Eric Staal goes home to show his Momma". CBC also resurrected the Blogger Hockey Panel to discuss the series after game 6.

- Edmonton pulls the goaltender for a faceoff in the Carolina defensive zone. The Oilers win the face off and get the puck in along the boards, but Eric Staal gains control for the Hurricanes. He finds Justin Williams breaking down the middle by himself, and Williams scores an empty net goal that could clinch the series.

Edmonton leaves Markkanen on the bench. 15 seconds left until Carolina raises the Stanley Cup.

- Poll from ESPN SportsNation:

1) Home teams are 11-2 in Stanley Cup Game 7s. Which will be more important Monday night?
52.7% Edmonton's momentum after two straight wins
47.3% Carolina's home-ice advantage

2) Who is the top candidate from Carolina to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP?
42.2% Rod Brind'Amour
38.8% Cam Ward

3) Who is the top candidate from Edmonton to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP?
54.9% Chris Pronger
40.4% Fernando Pisani

4) Which goalie would you rather have in Game 7?
74.1% Cam Ward, Hurricanes
25.9% Jussi Markkanen, Oilers

5) How would you rate the overall excitement level of these Stanley Cup finals?
62.3% Extremely high

6) How many finals games have you watched?
63.5% 5-6

7) Which team will win Game 7?
51.2% Oilers
48.8% Hurricanes

Total Votes: 8,001

- Cam Ward makes what could be the save of the game, and save of the series. Legs split wide he still finds a way to extend furthur and block a shot by Pisani. Late faceoff in Carolina's zone is huge.

- Another Game 7 liveblog, from Vancouver Canucks Op-Ed.

VCOE also contributes a link to an inspirational Braveheart/HartfordWhalers video. This is probably an inopportune time to note that I picked Edmonton in 7 games. They have some work to do in order to make that happen.

- Oiler fans buy Carolina Hurricanes season tickets in order to get seats for Game 7. Season tickets for $800? That is one ticket and a small soda at an Oakland Raiders game. Link from Kukla's Korner.

- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper attended game 6 in Edmonton, but refused to wear an Edmonton Oilers jersey? Is he a Calgary fan?

- Edmonton Oilers score. As Andres Cantor would say, goooooooooaaaaaaaaalll. 2-1 Carolina with 18:56 left to play in the third period. Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, and this might come down to the wire.

Fernando Pisani makes an excellent cross-ice breakout pass to Raffi Torres along the left boards. Torres gets the puck in stride, and drives into the Carolina defensive zone. Defenseman Niclas Wallin leaves far too much space between himself and Torres.

Torres wrists a shot on goal, Rem Murray takes a swipe at the rebound and fires a change up on Cam Ward before he is checked off the puck. Pisani comes flying in and knocks the puck in up high, before taking the Nes-T plunge to the ice with his hands raised in the air.

- In the Crease is impressed with the moves made by Carolina head coach Peter Laviolette this postseason.

Speaking of Laviolette... I think we should refer to him as the "master of bold moves" from now on. In the first round, he pulls Martin Gerber for Cam (who?) Ward, a 22-year-old who just happens to be the most level-headed person on the planet. Then, in the conference finals, Laviolette deserts his rookie wonder to go back to Gerber. Gerber nabs a shutout, but then gets pulled in the next game for allowing three goals on 11 shots. Ward lost Game Six on a weak goal by Daniel Briere, but Laviolette has since stuck with him.

Laviolette pulled another trick out of his bag in Game Six of the Finals, when Erik Cole suddenly appeared in the lineup after not playing since Mar. 4. He hadn't been taking contact in practice; he had a broken vertebrae in his neck for crying out loud. But there he was, inserted in the lineup for the injured Doug Weight.

- Shortly after a hooking penalty by Niclas Wallin, Aaron Ward takes another penalty for Carolina clearing the puck into the stands. The Oilers will have a 5-on-3 power play for 1:56. Edmonton is 0-4 with a two man advantage in this series.

...Ryan Smyth takes a penalty to make it an Edmonton 4-on-3. Carolina successfully kills the man advantage. One minute, 30 seconds left in the second period. Carolina Hurricanes up 2-0.

- The annual "State of the Sharks" event will be held at HP Pavilion tonight at 7PM, which should coincide with the start of the third period in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Not a display of good scheduling.

Last year's "State of the Sharks" report is here. Scroll up from that post for Best Damn Sports Show boxing, Danica Patrick taking a few laps in San Francisco, and one of the last San Jose Earthquakes regular season games against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

- Frantisek Kaberle scores a power play goal for the Hurricanes to make in 2-0, 4:18 into the second period. The goal was assisted by Cory Stillman and Matt Cullen. Edmonton is 0-1 with 2 minutes on the power play, Carolina is 1-4 with six minutes and eight seconds on the power play.

- 4.1 seconds left in the first period. A backhand shot by the Carolina's Justin Williams bounces up over a prone Markkanen and lands just shy of the blue line. Edmonton defenseman Steve Staios dives to cover the puck. Although Staios's body obstructs the overhead camera view, it looks like momentum carries him across the blue line. NBC announcer states definitively "if this is not a goal, this is a penalty shot". Refs are discussing the play.

No penalty shot. Ethan Moreau gets a high sticking penalty for Edmonton which will carry into the start of the second. Big break for the Oilers. [Update: At intermission, Williams tells NBC that it was a delayed penalty on Edmonton. As soon as they touched the puck, play was stopped.]

Carolina Hurricanes RBC Center

More Stanley Cup playoff flickr photos from Ottawa vs Buffalo in round 2 from Grizlee. She uses a Canon Rebel XT and emailed to say the Sabers won that game in OT 3-2. Very cool.

- Eric Staal runs into Jussi Markkanen behind the net and draws the first goaltender interference penalty of the game.

- Carolina defenseman Aaron Ward scored on a point shot through traffic 1:26 into the first period. Eric Cole started the play with a hit on Steve Staios along the boards in the neutral zone. The Canes cycled the puck behind the net, passed the puck to the point, and Ward made it 1-0 to start Game 7.

- Game Seven Lineup Thoughts from Casonblog. No pressure from the Edmonton side.

- The News and Observer's Lord Stanley Blog notes that Carolina captain Rod Brind'Amour did not meet with the media on Sunday prior to game 7. Brind'Amour chose to spend time with his family on Father's day instead and let teammates field questions from the media.

Carolina Media Relations Director Mike Sundheim notes on his blog that 280 days after it began, after 115 pre-season, regular season, and playoff games, the Stanley Cup Championship will be decided with a game 7 tonight.

The Detroit Red Wings, the NHL's top team during the regular season, couldn't stop them. Neither could a 0-2 series deficit to the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference semifinal or a wicked bout of the flu during the conference final against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Losing Conn Smythe Trophy candidate Dwayne Roloson in Game 1 of this Stanley Cup final, then falling behind 0-2 hasn't stopped them either, even though it stood to reason it should.

- Are the Oilers Unstoppable? - Edmonton Sun.

The Detroit Red Wings, the NHL's top team during the regular season, couldn't stop them. Neither could a 0-2 series deficit to the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference semifinal or a wicked bout of the flu during the conference final against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

Losing Conn Smythe Trophy candidate Dwayne Roloson in Game 1 of this Stanley Cup final, then falling behind 0-2 hasn't stopped them either, even though it stood to reason it should.

- Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight at 5:30PM on NBC, the Edmonton Oilers at Carolina. NBC poll: Who will win Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals? Edmonton is leading Carolina 69% to 31% with 4384 votes cast.


Stanley Cup Finals - Edmonton Oilers at Carolina, Game 1 tonight on OLN

Stanley Cup Finals OLN Edmonton Oilers Carolina Hurricanes

The Edmonton Oilers and Chris Pronger travel to Carolina to face the Hurricanes and Eric Staal tonight on OLN at 4:30PM [PT] for game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Six-time Stanley Cup champion Mark Messier will join the OLN studio crew of Bill Clement, Keith Jones, Brian Engblom and Neil Smith during games 1 and 2.

A complete series television schedule is available here.