Stanley Cup Finals Preview 2011
This year's Stanley Cup Finals has the potential to be a great series. Boston and Vancouver are two well-balanced teams backed by stellar goaltenders. Vancouver's Sedin twins define finesse and chemistry. Boston relies on its premier powerforwards to knock pucks in.
Boston was tied for second in fighting majors this past regular season with 71. Whether or not Shawn Thornton plays, their lineup will still be filled with players like Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton, Adam McQuaid and Gregory Campbell.
Vancouver, a top 10 FM team in 2009-10, dropped to 23rd this season with 29 FMs, after trading Darcy Hordichuk at the beginning of the year, and losing Rick Rypien for much of it. That didn't stop Tanner Glass or Kevin Bieksa from name-dropping the site (Glass, Bieksa) on Hockey Night in Canada, so we still have a soft spot for them on hockeyfights.com.
Glass' interview, done in-between the first and second period of the one game the two Finals teams played against each other this season, is on-target as he answers questions about Boston's toughness. The game was light on penalties, but filled with hard hits as the Canucks wanted to prove they could play a tough game. Vancouver led 1-0 in the first, but Boston tied it in the second and went ahead for good in the thid.
Our standard breakdown after the jump.
#1 Vancouver Canucks vs #3 Boston Bruins
Vancouver: 54-19-9 (117 pts) Home: 27-9-5 Away: 27-10-4
Boston: 46-24-11 (103 pts) Home: 22-13-6 Away: 24-11-5
How they got here
Feb 26, 2011 Vancouver 1 @ Boston 3
Boston won the only meeting between the two teams.
Scoring: Edge Vancouver
Defense: Edge Vancouver
Grit: Edge Boston
Game 1: Wednesday, June 1 at Vancouver, 8 p.m. NBC, CBC, RDS
Game 2: Saturday, June 4 at Vancouver, 8 p.m. NBC, CBC, RDS
Game 3: Monday, June 6 at Boston, 8 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS
Game 4: Wednesday, June 8 at Boston, 8 p.m. VERSUS, CBC, RDS
* Game 5: Friday, June 10 at Vancouver, 8 p.m. NBC, CBC, RDS
* Game 6: Monday, June 13 at Boston, 8 p.m. NBC, CBC, RDS
* Game 7: Wednesday, June 15 at Vancouver, 8 p.m. NBC, CBC, RDS
* if necessary
Jamie's pick: The only way Boston can slay the beast is if there's a lot of 5-on-5 hockey. On paper, Boston has the lineup to do it… if they really play to their potential. The Bruins need to play the perfect series. I'm going with the safe bet in Vancouver in 5 games. Should be a good series, could get pretty nasty out there. Hopefully the refs let the teams decide it.
David's pick: It's hard to deny Vancouver's dominance throughout the entire season, but if Boston can stay out of the box, they can wear the west coast team down. If predicting game 7 overtime isn't legit, hoping for it is. Vancouver in 7, in the most unsure, non-invested prediction I've made to date.