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Milan Lucic in his WHL days
Expect to read a lot about Lucic during the buildup to Game 1. Lucic was born and raised in Vancouver and grew up cheering for the Canucks.
He played his junior hockey for the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League and won a championship on home ice when Vancouver hosted the Memorial Cup in 2007.
As a side note, while Lucic never officially played for the Canucks, during the 2004 lockout year, many of the Canucks were skating and practicing with the Vancouver Giants, and they hosted a charity game that involved players from both teams.
Milan Lucic & Cory Schneider
Cory Schneider was born in Marblehead, Mass. and played his NCAA hockey for the Boston Eagles. He was drafted in 2004 by the Canucks.
Milan Lucic was born in Vancouver and played his junior hockey for the Vancouver Giants. He was drafted in 2006 by Boston.
Back in the summer of 2007, there was a widely rumoured trade in the works between the two teams. Boston was looking for another good young goaltender, as Tuukka Rask hadn't made the jump to North America yet after being drafted. The Canucks were looking, as always, to add a power forward.
It seemed like a mutually acceptable trade that would work for both teams, and I'm sure neither player would have minded being traded to their hometown team.
And then Lucic had to go and ruin it by being one of the more dominant forwards at the Summit Series between the Canadian and Russian Juniors in the summer of 2007. He then went on to make the Bruins unexpectedly out of training camp in the fall of 2007, and any prospective deal was off.
Just think what this series would be like if it was Schneider and not Rask backing up Thomas, and if Lucic was riding shotgun with Ryan Kesler?
Will the Sedins continue their scoring streaks?
The Sedins scored in bunches early in the first round against Chicago and were then largely silenced against Nashville. Part of that was due to the defensive due of Shea Weber and Ryan Suter, but it was also widely suspected that Henrik Sedin was playing through a back injury.
In the third round, the Sedins torched the Sharks. A healthy Henrik Sedin put up 12 points in only five games to claim the playoff scoring lead.
Will the Bruins, who only see the Canucks once a year at best, be able to contain the Sedin's unusual cycle play and pinpoint passing? San Jose couldn't figure it out, and they've played against the twins for the last decade in the Western Conference.
Tim Thomas vs Roberto Luongo
The two Vezina Trophy-nominated goalies will duel head to head. Luongo already won a similar matchup against the third nominee, Pekka Rinne of Nashville.
Neither Thomas nor Luongo has a reputation as a playoff goalie ... yet. We'll see if that changes for one or both of them during the Finals.
And wouldn't it be ironic if one of them won the Conn Smythe, but the other ended up with the Vezina?