2011 Stanley Cup Predictions: One Team Will Win the Cup in 5 Games
Since 1993, when the Montreal Canadiens defeated Wayne Gretzky's Los Angeles Kings in five games, a Canadian team has not won the Stanley Cup.
A year later the Vancouver Canucks lost to the New York Rangers in Game 7 of the Finals. This year, the Canucks have a chance to become the first Canadian team in 17 years to win it all.
Standing in their way, however, is the Boston Bruins, who have not been to the Finals since 1990, when they lost to Gretzky's Edmonton Oilers. Their coach at the time: current Versus analyst Mike Milbury.
The Canucks have not won a Stanley Cup since joining the league in 1970. The Bruins, an Original Six team, has not won since 1972.
With the recent success of the Patriots, Red Sox and Celtics, the city is waiting for this team to join the rest of the Boston teams as a recent champion.
Who will win it this year?
I'll tell you in the following slides.
Game 1: Vancouver 2, Boston 1
The B's and Canucks begin their series in Vancouver.
Early chances in the first indicate a high-scoring game, but Tim Thomas and Roberto Luongo hold their own.
The first two periods are scoreless with plenty of physical play.
Rich Peverley scores on a soft goal past Luongo early in the third. Immediately talk of him choking echos throughout the NHL community.
However, the Canucks pull their goalie and Ryan Kesler redirects a Sami Salo shot past Thomas.
Daniel Sedin scores on a pass from brother Henrik soon after the third intermission.
Rogers Arena erupts.
Game 2: Vancouver 4, Boston 0
Vancouver jumps on Boston early and chase Tim Thomas with three quick goals.
Oft-penalized Milan Lucic (43 PIM in playoffs) takes a dumb penalty in the first.
Kesler nets a goal five minutes into the first. Kevin Bieksa goes coast-to-coast and scores shortly after.
Chris Higgins is in the right place at the right time on the right side of the net and buries a gimme behind Thomas on another power play when Nathan Horton (35 PIM) takes a roughing penalty.
Nobody scores in the second and the B's pull their goalie late in the third.
Patrice Bergeron is robbed by Luongo with two minutes left.
Shortly after Vancouver wins the draw, gets control and Kesler scores his second of the night without anybody guarding the twine.
Game 3: Boston 3, Vancouver 1
Boston comes alive in the Garden. Thomas gets the start and deflects a fusillade of shots to justify Claude Julien's decision.
Brad Marchand dangles through two defenders to score midway thorough the first.
Late in the period Bieksa takes a double-minor for high-sticking. Boston takes advantage when Horton finds the back of the net on the power play.
Christian Ehrhoff scores on a one-timer early in the third when Horton takes a slashing penalty. However, David Krejci responds immediately, going five-hold on Luongo.
Vancouver cannot score with the empty net this time and the B's win the first in Boston.
Game 4: Vancouver 4, Boston 3
Early goals from Krejci and Johnny Boychuk give the Bruins a 2-0 lead going into the first.
However, Lucic takes a penalty early in the second and Chara is called for delay of game when he puts the puck over the glass early on the PK. Salo scores on a scorching one-timer during the five-on-three.
Vancouver does not score with the remaining time, but before Chara can get involved in the play, Kesler scores on a tired Thomas to tie the game up.
The Bruins look like they will enter the second intermission tied 2-2, but Mason Raymond gets a strange bounce off of the boards late in the second period and puts a puck behind Thomas.
Chances are traded back-and-forth in the third, but both goalies hold their own.
Boston pulls Thomas late in the third. Alex Burrows gets a good look at the net, but fires a shot wide. Chara scoops up the puck behind the net and finds Michael Ryder in the neutral zone.
In a great individual effort, Ryder gets to the slot and puts one behind Luongo.
The game enters three overtimes.
Unfortunately for Boston, however, halfway through the third OT, Raffi Torres fires the puck toward the net and heads to the bench late in his shift, only to see it go off Andrew Ference behind Thomas.
Game 5: Vancouver 2, Boston 0
Daniel Sedin scores short-handed early in the first on a Bieksa penalty. Vancouver holds the lead until the third period.
Boston pulls Thomas, but to no prevail.
The Canucks win the faceoff and Burrows breaks free for a empty-netter.
Vancouver wins their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. Bedlam breaks out in Western Canada.