Game Seven. The sweetest words in all of sports. Although I am not certain Canucks fans can stand it this time around. Why must the Canucks torture us so often?
History and home ice are on the Vancouver Canucks side. Most of the series statistics and all of the swagger (and some will say the officials, too) are on the Boston Bruins side.
Despite the injuries, despite the officiating, I'm still thinking Vancouver can win. I notice that I am not saying Vancouver will win. The Boston Bruins have beat them up badly. Everything seems to be going against the Canucks. And the pressure is immense. But here they are, on the verge of greatness. Even though Tim Thomas seems destined to snatch it away.
I am hoping that the bad taste that is in all of the fans mouths after game 6 resonates with the Canucks players so badly that they realize how awful that feels, too. And that they do not want to have that feeling all summer long. Hopefully that will motivate them enough to persevere through the pain and injustices and get the job done on Wednesday night.
This has been perhaps the most bizarre series in the history of the Stanley Cup. The home ice advantages. The poor officiating. The dirty animosity and the casting of villains. The Jekyll and Hyde goaltending of Roberto Luongo. The struggling Sedin Twins. The ineffectiveness of Ryan Kesler. And, in what I believe is the key problem for Vancouver, the complete disappearance of the Canucks power play.
For all the wackiness of the 2011 Stanley Cup, the defining moment of this series has not yet come. That defining moment will come in game 7. Someone will be the hero. Someone will be the goat. Careers and legacies will be defined. The fallout, either way, will be fascinating.
Yes, the Stanley Cup will be awarded on Wednesday. But ultimately so much more is on the line.
Here's some Pucks On The 'Net:
- This will be the 16th Game 7 in a Stanley Cup Final. The home team has posted a 12-3 record in the 15 previous games. The Canucks have made one appearance, dropping a 3-2 decision to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden in 1994. The Bruins have never contested a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final.
- Of the 15 game 7s in SCF history, 7 have been decided by 1G, 3 shutouts, 2 games went into OT
- Including all preliminary series, the Canucks are 6-4 in playoff game 7s in history. The Bruins are 11-10.
- Canadian teams hosting a game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final are 4-0.
- The Boston Bruins join the 1993 Toronto Maple Leafs and 2002 Colorado Avalanche as the only teams to play in three game 7s in the same playoffs. Toronto and Colorado both lost in their respective Conference Championship.
- Roberto Luongo's career game 7 stats: 2-0, 0.96 GAA and .962 save %
- Tim Thomas' career game 7 stats: 2-2, 2.50 GAA and .917 save %
- Canucks best performers in game 7s: Henrik Sedin (5GP) 2 goals, 2 assists; Daniel Sedin (5GP) 2 assists; Alex Burrows (2GP) 2 goals.
- Max Lapierre is a perfect 4-0 in game 7s.
- Bruins best performers in game 7s: Mark Recchi (10GP) 3 goals, 4 assists; Milan Lucic (5GP) 3 goals, 1 assist, Andrew Ference (8GP) 1 goal, 3 assists.
- Zdeno Chara is 2-5 in 7 career game 7s.
Remember to enjoy the moment everybody.
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May the Hockey Gods smile on the Canucks and their fans tonight! GO Canucks GO!
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