Marty Turco's been here before, rookie makes mark, Hawks brush off rant

April, 26, 2011
4/26/11
4:22
PM ET

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The last Game 7 in this building was in 2007 when the Canucks edged the Dallas Stars in a thrilling series that saw Marty Turco and Roberto Luongo duel each other with equally magnificent performances.

Turco said Tuesday morning that being here again for a Game 7 brings back memories, even if he's the backup now.

"Similar circumstances actually since we had come back from 3-1 down to force a Game 7," Turco told ESPN.com. "It doesn't feel totally the same but to be in this building for a Game 7, that was one of those moments in my career looking back now that you just never forget. It was a great series and this one has the markings of an instant classic. Tonight should be as intense and anxious as a crowd environment that I'll ever be a part of."

Rookie impact

When Ben Smith was recalled in early April, few people predicted he'd have the kind of impact he's had. The rookie forward has three goals in the series. After spending most of the season in the AHL, he's trying to soak it all in.

"I'm trying to. It's happened pretty fast," said the 22-year-old. "I'm just trying to put in a solid effort every day. It's been a blast."

Smith, selected 169th overall in the 2008 NHL entry draft, saw his cell phone explode in messages after he scored the overtime winner Sunday night in Game 6.

'I've been lucky to have a lot of support along the way," said Smith. "A lot of coaches, friends and family around the world giving me a lot of support. So I was very grateful for that after the game."

And just how many people phoned or texted?

"It was a bunch," he smiled. "I didn't count them, but they kept coming in and coming in. It was really special."

Gillis fallout

Canucks GM Mike Gillis generated lots of attention when he criticized the officiating in the series, lamenting the fact the Blackhawks had been handed fewer penalties than the Canucks.

Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville was asked for his response to that assertion Tuesday morning.

"We're the second-least penalized team all year long, that's my defense," said Quenneville.

Captain Toews

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews played a mighty big game in this building before: the Olympic gold medal game.

"All the different circumstances -- the pressure, the excitement, the buzz around this game, it all feels pretty similar," Toews said Tuesday morning. "It's not often that it comes down to one game that you can win something big in the game of hockey. But this is what it is."

The buzz and vibe around Vancouver are certainly anxious. Similar to the Olympics?

"I'm not sure," said Toews. "I think the Olympics was a whole different animal. This city was amazing. Pretty crazy," he said. "I was on their side, for once."

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