Quick hits: Reactions from Vancouver

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Quick hits: Reactions from Vancouver

By MaryPaoletti
CSNNE.com StaffReporter Follow@mary_paoletti
The postgame player quotes were hoarse because of the screaming.

Here are some quick hits that came through from the melee of Boston's Stanley Cup victory:

Canucks goalie and possible playoffs goat Roberto Luongo (21 GAA), was one of the first players to skate through the line of handshakes; Tim Thomas (8 GAA) was one of the last. When they reached each other Thomas leaned in: "Great series, great year, great everything. You're a great goaltender."

Surprising to no one, Thomas was announced winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the player deemed most valuable to his team in the postseason. Thomas finished with a .967 save percentage in the finals and a .940 percentage in the playoffs overall. He also had four shutouts and 16 wins, including three Game 7's.

Thomas: "So special, its a team effort like I said. It's about everyone in dressing room. This is why we play hockey for that Stanley Cup -- for the city of Boston. It means so much to me. Just to be a part of this team that can say we brought it back to Boston.

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara accepted the Stanley Cup from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. After a quick skate, some kisses and unintelligible joy, Chara handed the mug to 43-year old warrior Mark Recchi -- a three-time title winner. Recchi passed the Cup to Patrice Bergeron, second assistant captain, who then got it over to Thomas.

Injured forward Nathan Horton was on the ice for the celebration in full gear, "and smiling. Always smiling," said CSN's Mike Giardi. Horton suffered a severe concussion in Game 3 of the finals on a hit by Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome.

Of the experience: "I couldn't be happier. We all knew we had it in us. People get hurt in playoffs, that's just the way it goes."

Horton on if the trade from Florida to Boston changed his life: "All year it's been an amazing year. its been very special. Obviously this here tops it off . . . Playing in Boston with such great fans."

In an interview between Mark Recchi and NBC analyst Pierre McGuire -- who was an assistant coach of the 1991 champion Penguins when Recchi was on the team -- the Bruins forward announced he will retire. Recchi had 14 goals and 34 assists in 81 regular-season games (5-9-14 in 25 playoff contests). Three Cups with three teams (Pittsburgh, Carolina in 2006) places him in elite company with Joe Nieuwendyk and Claude Lemieux.

In the locker room, champagne covered players, coaches and cameras. Chara first doused his teammates before pouring a generous amount into the Stanley Cup and lifting it to his lips. He topped it off as Recchi took a long drink. The two then shared a longer hug.

Brad Marchand's emotions didn't wait until the final horn to surface. The rookie said after his second goal, "I was starting to tear up there on the bench. We were sitting there with a few minutes left and we knew we had it . . . we accomplish something we wanted our whole life. I'm going to look back on all of this. This is all so unbelievable."

Just 10 minutes after the game ended, Giardi tweeted that there were already reports of trucks being tossed over and burned in Vancouver. "Also a slew of fights." CBC-TV later reported the streets of Vancouver "unsafe" for police and emergency vehicles because the riots of disheartened fans were blocking the way.

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Bruins go for a defensive project late with Daniel Bukac

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Bruins go for a defensive project late with Daniel Bukac

CHICAGO – The Bruins finished up their 2017 NHL Draft class with a bit of a project, but a 6-foot-5 defenseman with some great skating wheels is a pretty good way to go with a seventh round pick. The B’s nabbed Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Daniel Bukac with the 204th pick in the draft, and admitted afterward that he’s an ultra-big bodied player that could take some time in the development process.

Bruins assistant GM Scott Bradley said Boston is more than happy to be patient with Bukac given the tools that he’s working with as an 18-year-old prospect. Bukac had two goals and 17 points to go along with 38 penalty minutes in his first season in North America after coming over from the Czech Republic, and Bradley said that B’s scouts noted that he continued to improve and get comfortable as the season wore on.

"He's raw. He's a project. [He’s a] kid from the Czech Republic that played in the Western Hockey League,” said Bradley. “At the start of the year - he's come leaps and bounds with his development. Talking to the people - the coaches, the management, and the GM in Brandon, they're very excited about him coming back to Brandon. They're expecting big things from him. We look forward to seeing him in camp."

Bukac is starting to garner some good international experience after playing for the Czechs in the Under-18’s and the Ivan Hinkla Tournament, but this weekend it was all about his addition to the talented group of Bruins prospects in the hockey world.

"I'm so excited to be drafted by the Boston Bruins," said Bukac, who described himself as a solid two-way defenseman with a good first pass. "It's an awesome feeling. I'm so glad that I was drafted by Boston."

Bruins take a flier on skilled Victor Berglund in 7th round

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Bruins take a flier on skilled Victor Berglund in 7th round

CHICAGO – While the Bruins went strong two-way defenseman early in the 2017 NHL Draft, they took a shot at a more offensive-minded Swedish defenseman late with seventh-round pick of Victor Berglund.

The six-foot, 165-pound Berglund clearly has a way to go in physical development and will need to get much bigger and stronger before he’s potentially ready for the North American pro ranks, but B’s assistant GM Scott Bradley raved about the Swedish defenseman’s skill set and potential. He also noted that Boston’s entire European scouting contingent, including former B’s forward PJ Axelsson, were fully on board with taking a flier on a talented player that simply needs to develop in the Swedish hockey system.

“Our Swedish guys were on top of Berglund. They think he’s a mobile D, he’s ultra-skilled and he skates well. He’s a six-footer, but [PJ Axelsson, Svenake Svensson and Victor Nybladh] were all pounding the table for him,” said Bradley. “We went along with it and I think we might have something there. Talking to his strength coach after the fact he’s working on putting some muscle and weight on, so we look forward to seeing him at development camp.”

In 62 games at three different levels, Berglund posted five goals and 18 points last season and displayed the kind of speed, creativity and play-making that one needs from their defensemen in today’s NHL.

"I'm an offensive defenseman, who likes to play with the puck, with a great short pass," said Berglund. "I like to follow the rush up ice and want the puck."

It will be a matter of building size and strength and for Berglund to continue developing his game in Sweden for the time being, but the Bruins are certainly happy with him at the 195th pick in Saturday’s second day of the draft.