2011 Stanley Cup Preview

Tim Thomas in action in net against the Canucks. (Getty Images)
Yes, after 82 grueling regular-season games and 3 spirited and emotional playoff rounds, it has ultimately come down to the last four wins for either team; the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins. While the Bruins clashed with the Lightning, the Canucks were resting from their swift defeat of the San Jose Sharks in 5 games. The Bruins proceeded to oust the Tampa Bay Lighting in game 7 last Friday night in an electric TD Garden to secure the Prince of Wales Trophy, but as Yogi Berra put it, "It's not over until it's over".

This series will ultimately come down to goaltending. By the numbers, both Tim Thomas and Roberto Luongo have 12 wins and a 2.29 GAA average, yet Tim Thomas has a minuscule 7 thousandths of a point advantage over Luongo in the save percentage department. Tim Thomas played spectacular throughout their series with the Lightning and was pushed to his limits last Friday night to post a 1-0 shutout in a action-packed game 7. Luongo's performance was also superb during the Vancouver vs. San Jose series, finishing off the Sharks in 5 games.

Throughout the regular season and post season, the Canucks have proved to the league they are number 1 in offense, defense and special teams. Considering how Tim Thomas has been playing lately Thomas has the upper hand over Vancouver's Roberto Luongo. Despite Boston's incredible goaltending, their ability to score goals on the power play has struggled profusely, with only 5 power play goals in their entire playoff run, while the Vancouver Canucks have poured on 17 power play goals on 60 opportunities. If the Bruins do not score more goals while on the power play, Vancouver's dynamic power play unit will crush Boston's hopes of lifting La Coupe Stanley.

This series will be quite interesting to watch based upon both teams strengths and weaknesses. In the end, the West is still the best. I anticipate the Canucks hoisting the club's first ever Stanley Cup in 6 games.

No comments:

Post a Comment