Vancouver Canucks logoVancouver Canucks

Stanley Cup Finals 2011: 5 Things Vancouver Canucks Need to Win Game 3 vs Bruins

Alan O'SullivanContributor IIIJune 5, 2011

Stanley Cup Finals 2011: 5 Things Vancouver Canucks Need to Win Game 3 vs Bruins

1 of 6

    VANCOUVER, BC - JUNE 04:  Maxim Lapierre #40 of the Vancouver Canucks and Rich Peverley #49 of the Boston Bruins fight for the puck in front of Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins during Game Two of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Arena on June 4
    Rich Lam/Getty Images

    With the Stanley Cup Finals shifting to Boston with the Vancouver Canucks holding a 2-0 stranglehold on the series, most of the attention is being focused on what the Boston Bruins need to do in order to get up off the mat and salvage their impressive post-season run. 

    But, the Canucks are poised to strike a veritable deathblow, and it can come Monday night in Game 3.

    Here are five things they need to do to make it happen:

1. Survive the Road Show

2 of 6

    BOSTON, MA - MAY 27:  A Boston Bruins fan cheers during Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 27, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Image
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The energy in the building during Game 2 was electric, sparked in part by the return of Manny Malhotra.

    The Canucks fed off it, dominated the first period and set the tone for the rest of the game, save for a fifteen minute span in the second period where Boston rallied and generated some of their own momentum.

    On Monday night, the roles will be reversed. TD Garden is one of the most lively arenas in the league, and the presence of any Boston team in a Championship game or series brings the event that much closer to nuclear fission.

    The first ten minutes of the game will be all Boston, and the Canucks will have to hang on and resist the tempo the Bruins and their fans will be forcing on them.

2. Hit Everything, Force Turnovers

3 of 6

    VANCOUVER, BC - JUNE 04:  Raffi Torres #13 of the Vancouver Canucks falls over Daniel Paille #20 of the Boston Bruins during Game Two of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Arena on June 4, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich
    Rich Lam/Getty Images

    The easiest way to generate emotion is to play fast and physical. It’s also one of the easiest ways to fight back when the other team is playing with emotion.

    In Game 2, the Canucks finished every check and rarely dipped below top gear in their effort to skate the Bruins into the ice and freeze them there. It was easy, and the crowd and return of Malhotra provided plenty of incentive.

    In Game 3, the Canucks will have to fake it; they have no home-crowd advantage, and there won't be any heroic returns. Boston’s strength is their physical style, and if the Canucks don’t find a way to rise to the occasion by out-hitting and out-skating their counterparts, they won’t be forcing turnovers, and they can say goodbye to the three reasons they won Game 2.

3. Capitalize When Chara Isn't on the Ice

4 of 6

    VANCOUVER, BC - JUNE 04:  Maxim Lapierre #40 of the Vancouver Canucks and Andrew Ference #21 of the Boston Bruins fight for the puck in front of Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins during Game Two of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Arena on June
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Chara is a beast and eats up the front of his own net. When he’s on the ice, real estate there is at a premium. He makes Tim Thomas’ ‘first save and then sprawl-flop-swim’ style work by minimizing easy chances at banging home a rebound.

    But Chara only plays 28-30 minutes a game. He matches up against the Canucks’ top gunners, but the Canucks’ are a deep, deep club with tangible skill on all four lines. When he’s not on the ice the Canucks have to shoot, shoot shoot. From everywhere.

    Drive the net, whack at every rebound. Thomas is a freight train out of control after every save. If Chara’s not there to clear the tracks, the Canucks need to take as many shots as they possibly can.

4. Cancel out Chara When He Is on the Ice

5 of 6

    VANCOUVER, BC - JUNE 01:  Ryan Kesler #17 of the Vancouver Canucks in action against Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins during game one of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Rogers Arena on June 1, 2011 in Vancouver, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Im
    Rich Lam/Getty Images

    He hasn’t shut down the Sedin’s production or limited their offensive chances. He’s a big man with a big reach, but against a team who can move and cycle the puck quickly and effectively, the big man is either static or left twirling in circles.

    The Canucks know how to minimize his impact, and to do so they have to disengage him completely.

    By moving and cycling the puck, the Canucks can force Chara into a wait-and-respond role in the defensive zone. This leaves time to set up and create opportunities, of which the primary choice should be fake-shots and one-timers.

    Both have worked on three of the four goals the Canucks have scored in this series.

5. Roll ‘em, Roll ‘em, Roll ‘em

6 of 6

    VANCOUVER, BC - JUNE 04:  Manny Malhotra #27 of the Vancouver Canucks hops on the ice during a line change during Game Two against the Boston Bruins in the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Arena on June 4, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
    Rich Lam/Getty Images

    This one falls squarely to Vigneault for execution. We’ll see if he decides to fiddle or stand pat, but the fourth line of Jeff Tambellini, Manny Malhotra and Victor Oreskovich had an impressive showing in Game 2.

    Tambellini and Oreskovich boast tremendous speed, and Tambellini has both vision and hands. Tambellini is an unlikely fourth liner, but against the big and physical Bruins we’ve already seen that Vancouver’s mobility—with and without the puck—has largely nullified the efficacy of Boston’s brute force.

    In a war of attrition, Boston wins. But with a high skill, high speed lineup like Vancouver played in Game 2, the war could be over long before that.

    The Canucks are up against a physically exhausting Bruins team, and their best defense is their ability to roll four balanced lines, each with measures of skill, responsibility and grit. If Vigneault keeps the same lineup going into Game 3, their chances at taking a 3-0 series stranglehold will be better for it.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices