June 11, 2011

One Win Away

Remember when I said history doesn't matter. I lied.

It is true that all the statistics in hockey's past really do not affect the game before us, or it's participants. But history does hint at what to expect in the future. Maybe that's why I had a quiet confidence that the Canucks would win game 5.

Fact: Teams in Stanley Cup Final history that won games 1 and 2 at home and subsequently lose games 3 and 4 on the road have a perfect 10-0 record in game 5. Make that 11-0 now.

However, that does not ensure a series victory. Teams in that situation are 8-2 in the series. Only in 1971 (Chicago) and in 2009 (Detroit) did the teams not hoist the Cup over there head.

Here's some more Pucks on the 'Net:
  • On Twitter I said that the series defining moment would come in the third period of game 5. As happy as I am that Maxim Lapierre scored to win the game, I'm not so certain that the defining moment still awaits us.
  • Lapierre was skating like Pavel Bure in the 2 or 3 shifts following that goal.
  • When Tanner Glass completely flubbed his shot for an easy goal, I had horrible memories of Nathan Lafayette's goal post in 1994. 
  • Seriously, what was with the refereeing in game 5? I am not one to complain about refereeing. But following some really odd and missed calls in game 4 against Vancouver, Stephen Walkom and Dan O'Rourke let Boston have the first four power play of the game and let a couple of really obvious calls against Boston slide. You almost have to wonder. But I won't. 
  • I still can't believe how many insane people were calling for Cory Schneider to start that game. Roberto Luongo looked strong in posting his 4th shutout of the playoffs, and his 2nd shutout of the Final. Only New Jersey's Martin Brodeur (2003) and Toronto's Uclers McCool (1945) have had more shutouts in a Stanley Cup Final with 3. 
  • Both of Luongo's shutouts came by 1-0 scores. McCool did the same in 1945.
  • How about rookie Chris Tanev? He was outstanding and cool as a cucumber under incredible pressure. Last training camp he was the guy no one heard of. Now he's playing in the Stanley Cup final!
  •  I've got to hand it to coach Vigneault, as he found strong D-pairings tonight. Alex Edler and Kevin Bieksa should have been together since Dan Hamhuis went down to injury. And Andrew Alberts looked quite a bit better in game 5.
  • Manny Malhotra - Mr. Faceoff - scared me late in the game, losing 4 straight crucial defensive zone draws. I believe all were won by Patrice Bergeron - the most underrated superstar in the league. I was surprised he did not get more ice time in game 5.
  • While I thought Vancouver - as in game 1 and 2 - were stronger than Boston, it was not by much. And again, with a bounce or two their way, Boston could be up in this series 5-0!
  • Two off days coming up. I had said Vancouver would win game 5, but Boston would win game 6, forcing a game 7. I have no reason to change my prediction. Though I sure hope I'm wrong for game 6! 
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