Michael Chiklis is a Massachusetts native, so it’s not surprising hockey is a huge concern for him right now.
With the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks tied at two wins each in the Stanley Cup Finals, the Emmy-winning veteran of FX’s “The Shield” and ABC’s “No Ordinary Family” is watching closely as the Bruins — playing in the championship for the first time in 21 years — head into Game 5 of the season-capping NHL series, which NBC will broadcast Friday (June 10) from Vancouver.
“Prior to this series beginning, everybody was talking about how bad-ass Vancouver is,” Chiklis tells Zap2it. “Not to negate that, but I think they got away with two [wins] at home. They beat us with 18 seconds left, then they beat us in overtime … both decided by a goal. Frankly, at home, we’ve beaten them soundly in both games. If I was a Canucks fan, I’d be nervous. I’m going to be nervous anyway.
“The nature of the game is that these guys can beat each other on any given day, but the momentum has definitely shifted toward us. We go there knowing they got away with a couple. I’m watching like a hawk.”
Chiklis adds that “a bush-league play” — such as the hit suffered by Bruins right-winger Nathan Horton from Canucks defenceman Aaron Rome, resulting in a severe concussion that has forced Horton to sit out the rest of the finals — “can completely inspire a team to have at the other team and really provide inspiration. You don’t want to give a team that inspiration.”
Depending on how much longer this year’s Stanley Cup rivalry lasts, Chiklis may travel to root for the Bruins on-site. “We’re still trying to work it out,” he reports. “This team really has gotten me back into hockey after my sort of laying off it for a while. I have to admit I was remiss in following them for quite a number of years, but this team has captured my imagination again. The level of play, I think, has been pretty exceptional. I don’t have a fingernail left.”
In any event, Chiklis will be back in Boston soon: He’ll host CBS’ annual “Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular” holiday special Monday, July 4. The actor also is a musician, and he reflects, “Some of my earliest, most exciting memories are of going to see [then-conductor] Arthur Fiedler and the Pops at the Esplanade, and [later Pops leader] John Williams after that.
“I’m a huge fan of the Pops, so to actually host that evening and to be able to sing with the Pops, it’s hard to explain the feeling. It’s one for the books.”