VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA (AP) - Boston is quickly becoming a bad _ and banned _ word in British Columbia.
Not only did the Boston Pizza restaurant chain quickly change its name to Vancouver Pizza when the hometown Canucks drew the Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals last week, but an entire town has removed Beantown from its handle.
Boston Bar, a community of about 800 people located 130 miles northeast of Vancouver, has renamed itself Vancouver Bar, ordering replacement signs for June.
Even in such a tiny town, there’s a Tim Hortons restaurant down the road _ but you won’t be able to buy any Boston Creme doughnuts.
The beloved Canadian doughnut chain started by the former Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman of the same name is no longer selling products in B.C. with the name “Boston” in them.
Please enjoy a Vancouver Creme instead.
HALLO DEUTSCHLAND: Another German is about to get his name etched into the Stanley Cup.
“We talk a little during the season, and when it’s over, we try to go out for coffee after the games,” Ehrhoff said. “This time of year, though, we’re not really talking.”
The 28-year-old Ehrhoff and the 29-year-old Seidenberg have known each other since their days on a German under-18 national team. They’ve played together on three Olympic teams for Germany, even forming a defensive pairing in the Vancouver Games last year.
“We’ve played together since we’ve been 17, at all national tournaments,” Seidenberg said. “We get along well off the ice, but right now we don’t really talk.”
“It’s pretty big, but right now they’re all talking about Dirk Nowitzki playing in the NBA finals,” Seidenberg said with a grin. “There’s a little room for us, though.”
Nowitzki, whose finger-roll won Game 2 of the finals for the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night, even recorded a congratulatory video message for the Canucks and Ehrhoff that played on the Rogers Arena scoreboard during Game 1.
“I saw it, and it was awesome,” Ehrhoff said. “Obviously he’s cheering for the Canucks, so it’s good.”
The shaggy-haired 7-footer might not be the biggest fan of German hockey, however: When he was asked about excluding Seidenberg from his message, Nowitzki acknowledged he had no idea who Seidenberg was _ which makes Seidenberg laugh.
“I follow him a lot,” Seidenberg said. “Obviously, he’s a superstar. I still think he’s a great player. It doesn’t change anything.”
Seidenberg has blossomed into a strong NHL player in his first full season with Boston. He scored a career-best 32 points in the regular season before teaming up with captain Zdeno Chara in the first playoff round to form a shutdown defensive pairing that’s logging plenty of ice time against Vancouver’s Sedin twins.
Both Ehrhoff and Seidenberg played for Krupp when he coached the German Olympic team in Turin, and they have fond childhood memories of Krupp’s triple-overtime goal that won the Stanley Cup for the Colorado Avalanche in 1996.
“I was asleep when it happened, but I saw it right when I woke up,” Seidenberg said. “Everybody was proud of that.”
EX-BRUIN BACK: Canucks defenseman Andrew Alberts played for Boston from 2005 to 2008, but doesn’t think the familiarity will help him overcome a one-month gap between games if he replaces Dan Hamhuis in Game 2 on Saturday.
“So much has changed since I left,” Alberts said, noting that only a handful of players remain from his time with the Bruins. “You know, a couple tendencies here and there, but nothing major. They have a new identity.”
At 6-foot-5, Alberts creates a bigger physical presence than other possible replacements, such as Keith Ballard. The biggest challenge for Alberts will be shaking off rust.
The six-year veteran played 42 games in the regular season, but has only three playoff appearances _ none since May 3 in the second round.
“Just getting used to the speed out there,” Alberts said. “Keep things simple, try to get a hit in early so you relax a little. Make the smart plays, keep the game easy, don’t try to do too much.”
POWERLESS PLAYS: With all the attention on a Boston power play that continues to sputter along, Bruins coach Claude Julien suggested the Canucks were getting off easy after also going 0 for 6 in Game 1.
Canucks forward Daniel Sedin didn’t disagree with Julien’s take on his power play, although Vancouver’s chances weren’t quite as juicy as Boston’s missed opportunities.
The Canucks had a 5-on-3 advantage that only lasted 8 seconds, Boston had a two-man advantage for 1:32. The Bruins started the game with a fruitless four-minute power play.
“We haven’t played Boston as much, so we didn’t know much about their penalty kill,” Sedin said. “When we’re standing around on the power play, we’re pretty easy to stop. We’re at our best when we’re unpredictable and moving the puck.”
As for the Bruins’ power play, which is down to 7.5 percent effectiveness in the playoffs after a 1-for-20 skid in the last six games, Julien liked some of the chances it created in Game 1, including nine shots on that early four-minute chance.
Judging by practice on Friday, the Bruins plan to keep 6-foot-9 defenseman Zdeno Chara parked atop the Canucks’ crease rather than use his 100-mph slap shot at the point. Julien first used that tactic late in the Eastern Conference finals.
“We have way better chances now,” first-line center David Krejci said. “We’re shooting the puck more because we know he’s a big body and it’s tough to see around him for (Roberto) Luongo. Me and (Nathan) Horton have to get down there and help him out and play a 3-on-2 down there and try to out-battle them.”
NOTES: Teams that have taken a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup finals have won 42 of the 46 ensuing series. Detroit blew a 2-0 lead over Pittsburgh in 2009. … Boston C Milan Lucic says he isn’t reading the papers or watching sports coverage on television, yet he still has opinions about it. “It’s clear that you guys aren’t giving us much of a chance,” the Vancouver native said in a news conference. “Obviously we can’t control what you guys say. That’s why we try not to watch or read too much of what you guys say.” … Canucks rookie C Cody Hodgson, who has played 12 playoff games but averaged just 6:45 in them, wasn’t at practice Friday, but coach Alain Vigneault said it was a matter of having too many players on the ice. … Although Vigneault said the Canucks wouldn’t change any routines during the Stanley Cup finals, Vancouver stayed in a hotel before Game 1.
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