This is it.
Starting tonight, an entire season of work will be validated. The proverbial blood, sweat, and tears will flow for the next 4 to 7 hockey games. Game 1 starts tonight at 8 EST, and what follows will likely become a new addition into hockey lore.
Both the cities of Boston and Vancouver have gone a long time without a championship. The Bruins last won in 1972 with the great Bobby Orr. Vancouver's was in 1970, when the local minor league team, also called the Canucks, won the Western Hockey League.
Before history can be made, before any team can think about drinking champagne from the top of the best trophy in sports, they must deal with Game 1.
Both teams face a lot of uncertainty in Game 1, for they are not familiar with each other. The Canucks and the Bruins faced each other only once during the regular season (3-1 Boston).
Despite the uncertainty, winning the first game of a series is vitally important. It gives the winning team a boost, psychological edge that the other team can be beaten.
For the home team, a Game 1 win can provide momentum going into the next home game. For the away team, a win can swing home ice advantage.
I think that Vancouver will win this series. It starts with what I predict to be a win in Game 1. Here are 5 reasons why.