With a 1-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night, the Canucks found out their opponent for the Stanley Cup Final. That opponent, of course, are the big bad Boston Bruins. While the Lightning probably have more star power, I think this matchup will provide a little more sizzle given that the Bruins are an original 6 franchise.
I was twelve years old when Jim Robson famously called “the Vancouver Canucks are going to the Stanley Cup FINAL!” after Greg Adams’ famous goal in 1994. And now 17 years later, a new generation has a iconic call of their own (give kudos to John Shorthouse, he wasn’t fooled). It wasn’t pretty, but the Canucks were the best team in this series versus the Sharks, and deserve it. This team keeps winning, and they keep doing it in different ways. Lets review how it all went down last night:
The 1994 Vancouver Canucks had a reunion on Monday, with the likes of Linden, McLean, Courtnall, Adams and others on hand. It will be 17 years ago to the day on Wednesday that Greg Adams scored in double overtime in game 5 of the conference finals at home to send the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Final. Tuesday night, the Canucks get a chance to match that feat and the whole city of Vancouver is ready to party.
You’ll notice that the title of this blog entry does not end with a question mark. That’s because I know what went wrong in game 3 for the Canucks. Here’s what it was:
With a 3-2 win in game 1, the Canucks are 7 wins away from their first Stanley Cup, but surprisingly it’s not all positive news the day after. There are more than a few misconceptions that are spewing from the mass media today. Maybe it’s because there’s a two day break, maybe it’s cause they’re bored. Maybe it’s something else.
With their thrilling 3-2 game 7 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, the San Jose Sharks avoided a collapse of epic proportions and booked a ticket to Vancouver for the Western Conference final. Sharks… Canucks… Get excited Vancouver!
We’re now two games into the Predators-Canucks series and it’s become clear that goal scoring will be at a premium. Both teams have combined to score 2 goals each in 8 periods of hockey. A series for the ages? Not likely… So where has all the goal scoring gone? Well, in game 1 it was the Nashville Predators who failed to show up and rode the coattails of Pekka Rinne to keep them in the game. In game 2, it was the Canucks’ turn to fail to show up through 60 minutes, putting up a pathetic 15 shots on goal. Meanwhile, Roberto Luongo stood on his head for 59 minutes, before letting in a stinker from behind the net.
One of the great things about this year’s Canucks has been the way the players have absorbed each other’s best qualities. Malhotra’s faceoff skill, Ballard’s hip checks, Sedin body positioning, and Bieksa’s tenacious yet positionally sound defence have been picked up by the entire team. The stud in the shared skills stable though is certainly Kesler’s sizzling every-inch-matters brand of intense puck pursuit. Even twinkle toed Mason Raymond has turned into a fore checking menace!
As the second round begins Thursday evening, here’s a few quick hits on what to watch for as the Canucks try to move on to the third round for the first time since 1994…
I’ve been to two game sevens now. My record stands at .500, but both times, a flair for the dramatic has kept Canucks fans’ hearts pumping non-stop, clammy hands clenched, and knees and feet shaking uncontrollably. My first game seven was in 2004, when the Canucks played the Flames (the game where Matt Cooke scored shorthanded with five seconds left, only to have the Flames respond on the same PP in OT), but that will have to wait for another time. My second, was tonight.