NHL Playoffs 2011: Boston Bruins vs. Vancouver Canucks, the Cup Is on the Line

Aaron BrouwerContributor IIMay 30, 2011

BOSTON, MA - MAY 27:  The Prince of Wales trophy is presented to the Boston Bruins by Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly after they defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 1 to 0 in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 27, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The conference finals went exactly as I predicted—well, almost. 

I called the Boston Bruins in seven and the Vancouver Canucks in six. I was correct, except that the Canucks won in five.  Overall, I am 11-for-14, hope your playoff predictions have worked out for you.

So we are down to two teams playing for the Stanley Cup.  These teams are fairly close as both have a Vezina-nominated goalie, both have a solid defensive group, both teams have three scoring lines and both teams' No. 1 line are rolling.  This series has the potential to be one of the best.

Don’t read too much into the regular season meetings between these teams as they only play once a year.  There are several analysts that are saying the Canucks are in trouble because the Bruins are 3-0 over the last three seasons, Tim Thomas has posted a 0.33 GAA and the Sedin Twins have zero points and a minus-five rating. 

It is impossible to predict how a team will do based on one game a season over three seasons.  (*) notes games if necessary.


Vancouver Canucks (No. 1) vs. Boston Bruins (No. 3)

Games: Wednesday (June 1), Saturday (June 4), Monday (June 6), Wednesday (June 8), Friday* (June 10), Monday* (June 13) and Wednesday* (June 15)

Season Series: Boston won only meeting this season 3-1.
Season Home Records: Vancouver (27-9-5) – Boston (22-13-6)
Season Away Records:
Vancouver (27-10-4) – Boston (24-12-5) 

Playoff Powerplay Rank: Vancouver (Third with 28.3 percent.) – Boston (14th with 8.2 percent.)
Playoff Penalty Kill Rank:
Vancouver (Eighth with 80.6% percent.) – Boston (Ninth with 79.4 percent.)

Key Injuries: Trent Whitfield (will miss playoffs), Marc Savard (will miss playoffs), Rick Rypien (will miss playoffs), Lee Sweatt (will miss playoffs), Manny Malhotra (cleared to play, might play Game 1), Mikael Samuelsson (will miss playoffs), Christian Ehrhoff (probable for Game 1) and Aaron Rome (probable for Game 1).

Vancouver Top Scorer First Round: Daniel Sedin (seven points)
Vancouver Top Scorer Second Round: Ryan Kesler (11 points)
Vancouver Top Scorer Third Round: Henrik Sedin (12 points)

Boston Top Scorer First Round: Patrice Bergeron (seven points)
Boston Top Scorer Second Round: David Krejci (nine points)
Boston Top Scorer Third Round: David Krejci and Nathan Horton (seven points)

Roberto Luongo: 18 GP, 12-6 record, two shutouts, 2.29 GAA and 0.922 SV percentage
Tim Thomas: 18 GP, 12-6 record, two shutouts, 2.29 GAA and 0.929 SV percentage

Prediction: Vancouver in five.



Aaron Brouwer is the co-creator of www.fantasyhockeycoach.com.  FHC is a free fantasy hockey service that developed a ranking system combining post-lockout statistics, current factors and our own hockey knowledge.  Brouwer writes about fantasy hockey on Bleacher Report. You can contact Coach Brouwer at brouwer@fantasyhockeycoach.com.