The team everyone loves to hate, the Vancouver Canucks are one win away from the conference finals after taking a 3-1 series lead against San Jose today after a stellar first period PK and a lethal second period PP during three back to back 5-on-3's.
In the east, Boston & Tampa Bay are tied 2-2.
Well, I cant see San Jose winning three games, particularly if Thornton is injured. Sure, the play hasnt been perfect, and on Friday the amount of penalties given up was a joke, but the Canucks deserve to be where they are, no questions they are the best team in this series. The sisters have finally stepped up their game, Luongo while he has to make an obligatory booboo per game has generally been solid and Salo & Bieksa have led from the back and weighed in with goals, and Kesler... well, we dont need to talk about him He defeated Nashville on his own.
In the east, most would have said Boston are favorites, the fact the series being tied aside seems to be a genuine reflection that the teams are pretty evenly matched and this is going to be a tough one to call. First game seemed to be a bit of a surprise that Boston were comprehensively beaten, but they then come back with two wins including a 2-0, a clean sheet is something at this level. But they collapsed horribly in game 4. Does that give Tampa some momentum? Rolason seems to be a weak spot, so Im going with Bruins in 7, you cant always rely on out scoring the ones you let in.
flykev From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2006, 1364 posts, RR: 1 Reply 1, posted (2 years 6 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 2347 times:
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Well I was, and still am rooting for San Jose; however the chances of them winning does appear to be very slim now. I will agree that Sunday nights game certainly showed why Vancouver deserve to be in the final and I am quite happy to see them there. In the east, I prefer Tampa and am holding out that they can and will win 2 more games to make it to the finals.
My prediction now is Vancouver / Tampa with the series lasting 6 games.
I'm usually horribly wrong at these prediction, but we shall see.
Whoever makes it, whoever you are supporting it has to be agreed that this years playoffs have been home to some amazing hockey.
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YVRLTN From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 2243 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2294 times:
Well, Boston are up 3-2 in the series after a 3-1 win in game 5. Some heroics from Thomas to keep them in it, but I dont think theres much between these teams so far. Could easily have been a 2-2 game and the third was an empty netter.
Vancouver just beat San Jose 3-2 on 2nd OT in game 5 to win the series 4-1 and advance to the final for the third time in 40 years and the first time since 1994. SJ dominated in shots, but any doubts in Luongo's abilities have to be squashed after an outstanding performance with 54 saves and a goal from Kesler who seemed to be suffering from an injury to tie the game with 13 seconds left of regular time to take it to OT.
dlowwa From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 7328 posts, RR: 32 Reply 5, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2279 times:
Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 2): Vancouver just beat San Jose 3-2 on 2nd OT in game 5
Fun but stressful to watch...I still have a headache..
Not sure who I'd prefer to meet.. I think Boston would play out more like the Nashville series, and Tampa more like San Jose. Whatever happens, I hope they take it to seven so we can rest up - Kesler looked pretty banged up.
TheCol From Canada, joined Jan 2007, 2031 posts, RR: 6 Reply 7, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 2273 times:
Wow, this could really be our year in Vancouver. This is the first time the Canucks really have a chance at bringing the Cup home.
In any case, and I know a lot of people who hate on him will disagree with me, Lou totally deserves this shot at the cup. Nobody has worked harder and been more dedicated to the team than him. Yeah he had a few rough games getting to this point, but the fact of that matter is that he kept the faith and delivered 9 times out of 10 when the rest of the team gave up and did jack all.
Bottom Line: If any other goalie deserved to go the final more than Lou, than the Canucks wouldn't be there.
YVRLTN From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 2243 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2219 times:
Tampa just beat Boston 5-4 in another high scoring game. So this will go to a game 7 on Friday which is obviously bad for Boston who could have wrapped it up tonight, but good for Vancouver as whoever they get to play will be tired and there will be chances of more injuries getting picked up.
Again, I think there is little to call between these teams and this really could go either way. Both are able to score a lot, but are leaky on the back end with inconsistent goaltenders. I think it will be tough for either to beat Vancouver who are superb defensively and have an in form, confident and very able goaltender in Luongo with the ability to create and score goals from everywhere and each line. I think the Canucks need to get on and take advantage of the tiredness and draw some penalties, use their PP and take a 1-2 game series lead like they did against SJ. Will be very tough to come back from that even with the inevitable rally and as we have seen all season, even if under the hammer and outplayed, they have enough quality and depth to hang on and do the needful, even if its against the run of play, and get it done.
Youre telling me. The best team lost on the night, but overall Vancouver deserved the win as the better team of the series. And you know what, this team has been superb since, what, September?? I think they deserve a little bit of luck to go their way too now and again. As always at this level, it comes down to individuals having a moment of brilliance - or stupidity. Kesler is the talk of the town and rightly so, he basically defeated Nashville on his own last series, then he puts SJ to bed by not only coming back on with an injury and basically one leg, but then get down to block a shot then score as he did... you need guys like that to do something like that to get through. Im loving Bieksa's game this season, and what a good thing he was the only guy on the ice who knew where that puck was! Two moments of brilliance right there. Of course, the Sedin's were also excellent and more on Luongo in a sec.
Quoting dlowwa (Reply 5): Not sure who I'd prefer to meet.. I think Boston would play out more like the Nashville series, and Tampa more like San Jose.
Not sure either, and I agree with you. As I said, both have weaknesses in their goalies and what we are seeing in this series apart from game 2 is relying on outscoring their opponents to compensate. You cant do that against Vancouver... that being said, there are no easy games at this level and it will be tough, probably a 7 game series. If they could choose, my feeling is I think they would go for Tampa for the reasons you say. There are some big mean guys in Boston like Chara who the dainty sisters would probably prefer to avoid and I think Tampa would offer more exciting hockey and allow particularly the top line to play the way they like a lot more.
Quoting dlowwa (Reply 5): Whatever happens, I hope they take it to seven so we can rest up - Kesler looked pretty banged up.
Got our wish! Sure hope Kes is OK, more for him than anything else after doing so much to get the team here - Im sure he will insist on playing even if he had an amputation... But its all part of the act, keep the opposition guessing if the star man is going to be there or not, or at least on how many cylinders he will be firing on, and keep the fans slightly more subdued too if they think the same. You can almost guarantee game 1 he will let everyone know he is there - BOOM
Quoting TheCol (Reply 7): Wow, this could really be our year in Vancouver. This is the first time the Canucks really have a chance at bringing the Cup home
Ive tried to avoid comments like this so as not to jinx them, but it really does - its going to be now or another 10+ years. I dont think the teams and fans in the east are that familiar with Vancouver (and vice versa) but we have seen them play like this all season and I think we have become used to how good this team is. Apart from some major hiccups against Chicago, they have carried on with more of the same and the glowing stats that were achieved in the regular season are continuing to be achieved in the playoffs. On paper, they have to be the favorites, but they just cant be complacent, a couple of bad penalties and bounces and its the difference at this level.
Quoting TheCol (Reply 7): In any case, and I know a lot of people who hate on him will disagree with me, Lou totally deserves this shot at the cup. Nobody has worked harder and been more dedicated to the team than him. Yeah he had a few rough games getting to this point, but the fact of that matter is that he kept the faith and delivered 9 times out of 10 when the rest of the team gave up and did jack all.
Bottom Line: If any other goalie deserved to go the final more than Lou, than the Canucks wouldn't be there.
100% agree. He does not get enough credit. He does let in too many goals he should have done better with, BUT when that happens all the other sometimes miraculous saves are forgotten. On Tuesday, yes the twins played well, yes moments of brilliance from Kesler & Bieksa, but Luongo almost single handedly won that game. It was not the first time he did it, he has being doing it all season and you dont go to the final by being a crap goalie. He has an Olympic gold medal and hes now taken his team to the final. Thats a pretty elite group to belong too. He deserves praise and many may disagree, but of the three goaltenders left, I think any coach would choose to have Roberto between the pipes.
Quoting TheCol (Reply 7): Boston is going to be really tough to beat.
Not a good show against them back in Feb. You cant expect this to be easy, be it Boston or Tampa and despite being so good, Vancouver do still have a nasty tendency to make things hard for themselves. The hockey is different in the east and they may not be able to play the same tricks to dig themselves out of a hole at this level. Yes, this is the best chance we will have, but its by no means a done deal and they need to really focus on not getting into any kind of hole. Im thinking there is going to be a boom in heart medication sales in BC...
Not to take a cheap parting shot, but I would like to see less officiating being a deciding factor in these major game outcomes. Call what needs to be called, but do it consistently for both teams. In the SJ OT they let all sorts of stuff, mostly hooks, go from both teams. Let them go at it 5 on 5 as much as possible please...
ferengi80 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2007, 682 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2028 times:
I'm a hockey fan from across the pond, and am a huge Bruins fan. I watch as much NHL action as I can on ESPN America. It's through watching Hockey Night in Canada that I have developed such a love for the Bruins - seeing in the titles the game-winning and Stanley Cup-winning shot from Bobby Orr in game Six of the 1970 Stanley Cup finals.
So I have to say ....
AF1981 LHR-CDG A380-800 10 July 2010 / AF1980 CDG-LHR A380-800 11 July 2010
Haha...sounds like just another bitter flames fan. Can't say I blame him, I'd be bitter at the world too if Sutter had run my team into the ground after eight years. Feaster has his work cut out for him.
Quoting YVRLTN (Reply 17): Anyway, the Canucks take game one with a 1-0 win 18 secs from the end. Pretty even game, story of great goaltending from both sides. The slightly better team won IMO...
Yup. If Thomas (and Luongo) keeps it up, goals are going to hard to come by - just like I predicted. We'll see, it was only game one.
CXB77L From Australia, joined Feb 2009, 2426 posts, RR: 5 Reply 19, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1962 times:
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I only have a passing interest in hockey, but after having been to Vancouver three times, it's hard not to have a soft spot for the Canucks, even if I wouldn't classify myself as a fan. I won't be watching the game (not on free-to-air in Australia), but I will say ... 'Go Canucks!'
seb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 10720 posts, RR: 16 Reply 21, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1924 times:
Quoting A332 (Reply 16): GO BRUINS! All of Canada, except the loser squad known as the Canucks Nation, is rooting for you!
What was the editorial in the Vancouver Sun? "Dear rest of Canada: Get your own team!"
I remember the two years the Blue Jays were in the World Series. With all the differences between Vancouver and the rest of Canada, they still were Toronto.
Quoting BOStonsox (Reply 9): the Bruins are in for the first time since I was in preschool. Obviously I hope they win!
Hmmmm.... Boston won The Cup when? The city of Vancouver has not seen a Stanley Cup win since 1915. Cry all you want about not winning for a few years, but I think nearly 100 years is long enough drought!
Quoting TheCol (Reply 7): this could really be our year in Vancouver. This is the first time the Canucks really have a chance at bringing the Cup home.
As was 1982. And 1994. But, since it is Boston (and the market) I am guessing the powers that be at the NHL will want and need Boston to win. They don't want to see any Western Canadian team to win. Too much to apoligize for and too much back-side kissing to do. It is just easier for the governers to allow an east coast team to win.
YVRLTN From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 2243 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1905 times:
Quoting dlowwa (Reply 18): If Thomas (and Luongo) keeps it up, goals are going to hard to come by - just like I predicted. We'll see, it was only game one.
Thomas almost stole it for Boston, but he was far their best player and I dont think he can keep up the one man show. He let in quite a few goals against Tampa for example. Shots were about even, but Vancouver had by far the better real chances. I thought the third line was fantastic, and their effort was well rewarded with Torres' goal. Hopefully we have the strength in depth Boston dont.
Quoting seb146 (Reply 21): But, since it is Boston (and the market) I am guessing the powers that be at the NHL will want and need Boston to win. They don't want to see any Western Canadian team to win. Too much to apoligize for and too much back-side kissing to do. It is just easier for the governers to allow an east coast team to win.
I dont want to buy all the conspiracy theories, but you do half wonder sometimes. At least they made 6 calls apiece, including a 5 on 3 apiece then put the whistle away for the 3rd, which produced the best hockey inevitably. They they need to realize thats what people are paying the good money to see. Hopefully the Canucks are good enough to win despite all this as they have done up to now and prove all the naysayers and haters wrong the stats are not all a big fluke.
Im also half surprised Burrows got away with the finger chomping incident for this reason lol
YVRLTN From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 2243 posts, RR: 0 Reply 24, posted (2 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1866 times:
So a 2-0 series lead for Vancouver with a 3-2 OT win after a 2nd goal from Burrows just 11 seconds into OT after Daniel evened it up.
Boston gave it all they had and very nearly did it and outplayed Vancouver in the 2nd period. I dont think Vancouver were clear favorites, but they did what they have been doing all season. Somehow, when 2-1 down, its almost seems inevitable they will come back to win 3-2.
Its going to be tough for Boston to come back from 2-0 down in the series, not that they are not going to win a game or two.
As for those pesky fans some love to hate, there are an estimated 100,000 in downtown Vancouver, and after the first real decent say of summer on a Saturday, maybe, just maybe celebrations may be in order.