5 Keys to a Canucks Win in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals
VANCOUVER - Here are five things that the Canucks need to do in order to win Game 5. If they do this, the Canucks should be able to win. Of course, Boston might have something to say about the result as well.
#1 - Score first. The first team to score has won all four games so far. The Canucks need to score first to force Boston to open up the neutral zone. Plus the crowd will be tentative after the collective 12-1 spankings in Boston, so getting the first goal would engage the crowd and get them fired up. If Boston scores, I have a feeling that Rogers Arena will be a tomb.
#2 - Take advantage of home ice. It isn't surprising that the home team has won all four games. In a series that features multiple Vezina, Selke and Norris calibre players, taking advantage of match-ups is crucial. The Bruins kept their top line away from Ryan Kesler and the Canucks top defensemen in Boston. Alain Vigneault needs to return the favour and keep the Sedins and Kesler away from Zdeno Chara as much as possible.
#3 - Don't engage the Bruins physically. The Canucks can and should match the Bruins hit for hit, it is 129 hits to 128 hits in favour of Boston through the first four games. But the Canucks need to stop engaging the Bruins after the whistles, whether it be initiating or retaliating. Play hard whistle to whistle, and if you want to get even, have a well publicized team barbecue with the Stanley Cup at Cory Schneider's place in Boston this summer. That will hurt the Bruins far more than hacking and slashing after whistles.
#4 - Power Play. The Canucks were a league leading 28% on the power play through the first three rounds. And they are currently running at 4.5% (1/22) in the Stanley Cup Finals. They need to switch up their strategies and adjust, as clearly the Bruins and Claude Julien have figured out how to neutralize them.
#5 - Speed. The Canucks are the faster team, and showed it in Games 1 and 2. Even in the first period of Game 3, the Canucks were clearly beating the Bruins wide in the neutral zone and turning their defensemen. They got away from that with all the after whistle scrums, and now they need to reestablish that facet of their game if they want to win. The Bruins as a team can't skate with the Canucks, so why not expose that weakness?
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