2011 NHL Stanley Cup Finals: Vancouver Needs to Bring Speed vs. Boston in Game 5

Kevin WContributor IIJune 10, 2011

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 06:  Christian Ehrhoff #5 of the Vancouver Canucks skates against the Boston Bruins during Game Three of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on June 6, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Pessimism is at an all-time high in Vancouver after the Canucks lost both Games 3 and 4 in Boston by a combined score of 12 to 1.

The Canucks did blow a 3-0 series lead against the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but deep inside, we all knew that wasn't about to happen.

In North American pro sports history, only four teams had come back from a 3-0 series deficit to win and it happened in 1942, 1975, and 2010—33 and 35 years between occurrences.

However, there is a real possibility the Canucks are about to collapse in one of North American pro sports' marquee events—the Stanley Cup Finals.

There is one adjustment the Canucks need to make to avoid this.

They need to re-insert Jeff Tambellini into the lineup and take out Tanner Glass, who presumably was put in to counteract Shawn Thornton, who had a dominating game in Game 3.

The Canucks do not need to counter a specific player; they need to counter as a team to the Bruins physicality with speed.

In Games 1 and 2, pucks were moved quickly north-south and east-west forcing the Bruins to think quickly on their feet and to take advantage of Tim Thomas’s aggressiveness.

The main reason that Canucks goaltending coach Rollie Melanson told Roberto Luongo to play deeper in his net was because he previously played a lot like Thomas—top of the crease or outside of it—which made him vulnerable to the cross crease or across the slot tap-in.

In Game 1, on Raffi Torres’ goal, Thomas was out to challenge and the puck was moved east-west from Jannik Hansen’s stick to Torres for the tap-in.

Similarly in Game 2, Daniel Sedin was able to score the game tying goal because Thomas was out to challenge and Burrows was able to move the puck east-west to Daniel for the tap-in.

The dominating school of thought is to get shots on net, but the Canucks need to focus on moving the puck east-west while in the offensive zone to get Thomas moving and remember he’s an older goaltender.

Plus, too many unnecessary shots may just get him into a rhythm and create a false sense that this guy is unbeatable, when he is when the puck gets moved east-west.

Realize amid all of this pessimism, the Canucks are still just two wins away from hoisting the Stanley Cup.

If the Bruins do comeback to win the Stanley Cup, the Canucks and Roberto Luongo would have lost four straight games or 4-of-5 games.

Consider this: Luongo in the regular season had not lost more than three consecutive games and that came in October and Cory Schneider had a start in between those losses.

According to WhoWins.com, a home team that has led the Stanley Cup Final series 2-0 have won the Stanley Cup 33 times and lost just twice for a win percentage of 94.3 percent.

Last year, the Chicago Blackhawks won Games 1 and 2, lost Games 3 and 4 in Philadelphia before capturing the Stanley Cup in six games.

There is reason to believe if you’re a glass half full guy.


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