2011 Stanley Cup Finals: In Game 1, Canucks Show That Defense Wins Championships

Joel Prosser@@JoelProsserCorrespondent IJune 2, 2011

In the four series' opening games in their 2011 playoff run, the Canucks have allowed two goals. 

Not an average of two goals a game. 

Two goals total.

Western Conference Quarterfinal, Game 1: Vancouver Canucks 2, Chicago Blackhawks 0

Western Conference Semifinal, Game 1: Vancouver Canucks 1, Nashville Predators 0

Western Conference Finals, Game 1: Vancouver Canucks 3, San Jose Sharks 2

Stanley Cup Finals, Game 1: Vancouver Canucks 1, Boston Bruins 0

The Canucks have never trailed in a series this spring, and that is in large part due to the impenetrable defence that they put up in Game 1's.

Roberto Luongo leads the NHL with three playoff shutouts and all three have come in Game 1 of a series.

He had to make some adjustments to deal with the big body of Zdeno Chara in his face during all the Boston power plays.

"On the first power play it was a bit tough to find the puck. But once they got another one, I was able to make a few adjustments, able to see the puck better.

I  think he's a big body, but at the same time we decided that it's best if we just leave him alone and let me take care of him."

It isn't all Luongo, as the defence sacrificed their bodies as well; Alex Edler led the way with five blocked shots. 

Aaron Rome also set the tone early, falling on the puck just outside the crease and taking several jabs and slashes from Boston sticks before the officials blew the play dead.

This is the kind of sacrifice and commitment you need to win the Stanley Cup.

The Canucks have once again set the tone for a series by shutting out their opponents. Now they need to carry that defensive effort into Game 2.

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