Manny Malhotra and Henrik Sedin accept 2011 Presidents' Trophy from Kris King

Manny Malhotra and Henrik Sedin accept 2011 Presidents' Trophy from Kris King

Well, Vancouver Canucks’ fans, you seem to have almost everything you’ve ever wanted. Your team won the Presidents’ Trophy during the regular season. You have the reigning Hart Trophy winner on your roster. And you probably have the next Hart Trophy winner on your roster. You have a man many consider as the best netminder in the National Hockey League. But, in about two weeks, you’re not going to be happy. That’s because the Boston Bruins are going to win the 2011 Stanley Cup.

Despite my background, I’m not a stats guy. I’m a “feel” guy. The feel says that the Bruins have it over the Canucks in almost every key area. They’re better in goal, so let’s start there. Entering the Stanley Cup Final,

Bruins' netminder Tim Thomas

Bruins' netminder Tim Thomas has been spectacular in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Expect that to continue in the Finals v. Vancouver.

Tim Thomas’ and Robert Luongo’s numbers are almost identical. It’s spooky, really. Each has a goals-against average of 2.29. Each has recorded two shutouts. Each has played 18 games. Thomas has started 18, Luongo had one mop-up job in relief of Cory Schneider. Thomas’ save percentage is slightly better than Luongo’s – .929 to .922. But here’s the key goaltending question in this series. If you were coaching one of these teams, who would you want in goal – Tim Thomas or Roberto Luongo?

That’s right. You’d want Tim Thomas. A veteran guy who has never – not even once – been referred to as flaky or flighty. Does Tim Thomas let in bad goals? Hardly ever. Does Roberto Luongo let in bad goals? Does Pamela Anderson sleep on her back? Tim Thomas athletic ability is exceptional. Luongo stops a ton of pucks, too. Mostly by being in the right position. But when he’s out of position…yikes! You don’t think the Boston Bruins aren’t going to take advantage of that? Remember Dustin Byfuglien’s in-your-face presence in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs? Get ready for a redux, Canucks’ fans.

Up front, clearly, both teams can score. That’s David Krejci, Nathan Horton, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand in black and gold. On the other side, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Ryan Kesler and Alexandre Burrows can be equally lethal. But there’s a big difference. The Bruins’ forwards, to a man, are mean. Nasty cusses. Once you get past Kesler, Burrows, Maxim Lapierre (who only plays about 13 minutes per game) and Raffi Torres (11 mins per game), you’ve got no toughness left. Are you counting on big hits from Christian Ehrhoff or Alexander Edler or Mason Raymond? Neither am I. IF, capital I, capital F, Manny Malhotra plays for the Vancouver, that will add a spark of energy.

Remember, these are the Stanley Cup Finals. There’s no foolin’ around now. Milan Lucic is going to run the Sedins right out of the rink. One good hit and they’re gone for the night. And Lucic’s Bruins’ brothers are going to back him up. On the blueline, it’s pretty much a wash. For Claude Julien’s  Bruins, Dennis Seidenberg and Zdeno Chara are the keys. Each plays about half the game, and neither has a smile on his face.

Canucks' defenceman Kevin Bieksa

With 9 points in 18 playoff games - including that glorious phantom winner eliminating San Jose - Kevin Bieksa has been "Mr. Everything" on the Canucks' blueline

Canucks’ D-man Kevin Bieksa is turning into a bonafide star. He can score and mix it up.

Mark Recchi provides invaluable Stanley Cup-winning veteran leadership in Boston. In Vancouver, that comes from Mikael Samuelsson – who’s out for the remainder of the playoffs. Behind the benches, neither Julien nor Canucks’ Alain Vigneault has had a glittering NHL coaching career. No matter, by the middle of June one of them will be a Stanley Cup champion. Says here that will be Julien.

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8 Responses to “Bruins will top Canucks in rough, tough Stanley Cup Final”

  1. Melissa W. says:

    The canucks are much better team than the big bad bruins who are going to get their asses handed to them. And the Bruins have only faced the Canucks 3 times in the last three years. The Bruins SUCK!!

  2. Nick c says:

    i don’t think you have really watched a Canucks game at all saying that edler doesn’t hit, and you obviously didn’t pick up on the lack of depth after chara and seidenberg on the bruins defense; Kaberle is slow he will get smoked by the speedy line of kesler raymond and higgins. chara long flights can cause players to dehydrate and boston to vancouver with two games in between well you saw what happened the opening round he also plays 30 min a game and that fatigue is going to increase after the Canucks intentionally ice the puck a couple times but with their speed touch it up 75% of the time watch the san jose series a couple more times. chara also has a mean streak a temper if you will and the penalties the bruins take will be the death of them. this scf will come down to discipline and speed. you also over rate the bruins offense i mean come on 240 goals against in the season thats a lot when compared to 185 watch for the spread of most games to be 2-3 goal affairs in favor of the Canucks 24 goals on the series with Boston’s win at home in OT to hold off elimination but Canucks in 5. A lot of stuff I could’ve gone more in depth into but look at this way the ice is gonna be tilted and its gonna be a while to the bruins get another shot with detroit moving to the eastern conference after 2011-2012 season

  3. Bob says:

    You clearly have not watched the Canucks enough. The Bruins MAY win the final, but they’ll need a lot of things to align perfectly to pull it off. The Canucks are much tougher than you give them credit for. In goal, Luongo has been better than Thomas for the last two series. On defense, sure, Boston has an excellent shutdown pair (probably not as good as Keith and Seabrook or Weber and Suter, who are in the Canucks’ rear view mirror), but from one through six, the Canucks are simply better. On offence, there is no comparison. Three of the Canucks you call equal to Boston’s top line are, in fact, the most dangerous offensive line in the National Hockey League, as they demonstrated against San Jose. And the fourth (Kesler) scored 41 goals this season.

    The Canucks are the fastest and most disciplined team in the National Hockey League. Their transition game from defense to offense and their ability to activate the defense will be a major challenge for the Bruins. And Chara and Seidenberg can’t play against both of the Canucks’ top two lines, let alone their amply dangerous third line.

    One more thing. If the Bruins take many penalties, this will be a very short series. Again, Boston could win – maybe the big bad Bruins are back. But when you really break it down, that is not the most likely result.

    Enjoy the games!

  4. E says:

    Wow have you even watched a Canucks game in the last couple years? The Canucks lead the league in hits, with 151 more than the Bruins, so obviously the hits are coming from somewhere. Did you watch Alex Edler in the first round? He was laying out Blackhawks left and right. Glass, Ballard, Hamhuis, Oreskovich, and Bolduc to name a few are also more than capable of taking the body but they aren’t mentioned. Besides toughness alone doesn’t win series, the Canucks have much more speed a
    and it’s hard to hit someone if you can’t catch them. As for the Sedin twins being soft, maybe 5 years ago that’s a valid argument but if you have watched them recently they are very hard to knock off the puck. Even when they got knocked down they usually spring back up, often still holding onto the puck. Daniel Sedin got destroyed on a dirty hit by Ben
    Eager in round 3, couldve easily been seriously injured but got right up.
    He scored 2 goals that game. You could say that Luongo has let in quite a few soft goals, but I have seen plenty of soft goals allowe by Tim Thomas as well. I’m not saying the Canucks will win the cup for sure but I’m just pointing out the many flaws in the article.

  5. eddy alex says:

    ALEX EDLER IS A BEAST.

  6. Even though Vancouver won the first game, I am still very excited the bruins are in the Finals. One of the original NHL teams. The last time that team were even in it was in Bourque’s days with them.

  7. Fred says:

    Shouldn’t you now be saying “I told you so?” Nice prognostication sir!

  8. Big Mouth says:

    I don’t like to say “I told you so”…so I’ll go with “I feel very comforted that I was able to pretty much see that coming.”

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