Stanley Cup Finals: Vancouver Canucks vs Boston Bruins

For the past couple of seasons, the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins have been building to reach the Stanley Cup Finals. With draft picks, trades and other moves to build depth filled rosters, both teams have been determined to reach the Finals.

Last night as the Boston Bruins clinched the Eastern Conference Championship, the dream that both teams had became a reality as the Bruins will meet the Canucks in the Stanley Cup Finals starting on Wednesday.

For the fans in Boston, getting another shot at the Stanley Cup has been something they have waited for a long time. The Bruins have not hoisted the Cup since 1972 and have not reached the Finals since 1990. Several head coaches and draft picks later, the Bruins have reached the Finals to earn their first shot at a Stanley Cup in 21 years.

For Canucks fans, this is the third time the team has reached the Finals in team history and they are hoping it will be the charm. The team most recently lost a seven game series in 1994 to the New York Rangers and these fans have been waiting to see the team get another shot at hoisting the Cup.

Even though Boston’s powerplay has been skeptical, their defense has helped them in the playoffs and will keep the games close against the offensive powered Canucks. When playing his best, goaltender Tim Thomas has proven to be a reliable goaltender and he will need to be at the top of his game when facing Ryan Kesler, the Sedin twins and many of the other offensive weapons Vancouver has. The Bruins defense last night proved to be a crucial part in last night’s game as they prevented Tampa Bay from getting a shot on net with seconds left to go in the game. Zdeno Chara and Andrew Ference have been key parts to Boston’s defense and limiting shots on net will be needed to play well against the Canucks.

On offense, the Bruins struggled at times against the Lightening and cannot afford to struggle against Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo. The Bruins will need to put shots on net against Luongo, create opportunities and take advantage of every opportunity they are given. Luongo is a solid goaltender but will give up goals under enough pressure early on. The Bruins will need to put as many shots on net as possible early on in each game and create their own opportunities.

On the other side of the ice, the Vancouver Canucks have fought hard offensively to reach the Finals but cannot afford to let down against a defensive-minded Bruins team. The Sedin twins struggled in the series against the Nashville Predators and the Canucks will need both of them to create opportunities in front of the net. Thomas and the Bruins defense proved last night how unstoppable they can be and having lackluster offense will not win games in the Finals against them. The Sedin twins will need to create opportunities in front of the net and the Canucks can expect some scoring from Ryan Kesler.

Against a Bruins offense that has found ways to win in the playoffs, the Canucks will need to step it up on defense and should expect that Boston will play physical to create opportunities. Canucks enforcer Raffi Torres has proven he can lay out hits in this playoffs but will need to stay out of the penalty box. Even though the Bruins have been skeptical on the powerplay, they have found ways to put the puck in the net and giving the multiple opportunities to do so will be costly. As Tampa learned during the series, if you give the Bruins too many opportunities in front of the net, they will find a way to put it in and take a game away.

For the past several years, both teams have been building for this series and with how they match up, it will probably go to seven games.

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~ by jeffrsabo on May 28, 2011.

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