Here is my usual series statistical preview (click to enlarge). It is a regular season comparison of the two teams.
Advantage Vancouver? Not so fast. Matt Sekeres, who covers the Canucks for The Globe And Mail, suggests the Canucks may meet their ultimate test in the Bruins.
Closer inspection reveals that the Canucks struggled against defensive-oriented teams that were strong at even strength. In other words, a team just like the Boston Bruins, their Stanley Cup opponent.Sekeres goes on to add:
Against the 10 best teams in goals-against average, the Canucks were 9-8-2 this season. Against the 10 best teams at even strength, they were 10-8-3.Here's the full story, including recognition that Vancouver did manage to go 8-3 against San Jose and Nashville, both of whom qualify for top 10 status in the aforementioned categories.
Here's a few other links I recommend:
- Sky is the limit for Canucks' Kesler - Yahoo!
- Henrik Sedin relishes chance to bring Stanley Cup to Vancouver - Vancouver Sun
- Canucks, Bruins unfamiliar foes - CBC
- New results, same coach for Boston - Boston Globe
As for my thoughts on the series - I agree this will be Vancouver's toughest test. They somehow need to manufacture power play opportunities. If they can somehow get 10 minutes a game on the PP, they should score a couple of goals. But if Boston can stay disciplined and keep it at 5 on 5, all bets are off.
I do not have a good feel for this series. Usually I do. Perhaps that is because I am emotionally invested in Vancouver. As all Canucks fans know that makes one as apprehensive as excited. I will predict Vancouver to win the series. But I will not allow my hopes to get too high.