2011 Stanley Cup: Will Canucks Take It in Boston or Will Bruins Force Game 7?

Cory DuceyAnalyst IIIJune 11, 2011

VANCOUVER, BC - JUNE 10:  Maxim Lapierre #40 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates after scoring a goal in the third period against Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins during Game Five of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Arena on June 10, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

So far, all home games were won by the home team.

If the Boston Bruins want a chance at hoisting Lord Stanley's Mug, they will have to keep the trend in Game 6 and then break it in Vancouver for a decisive Game 7.

The Vancouver Canucks have two kicks at the can to take it all.  Game 6 will be held in Boston where the Bruins have dominated the Canucks in Games 4 and 5, outscoring them 12-1.

So far, the Canucks have won all three of their games by just a single goal at home outscoring the Bruins 5-2.  But, as they say,  a win is a win no matter what ugly side of the spectrum it is on.

The game-winning goal was scored on a trickler that Thomas nearly had on a bad angle shot, but Thomas was just out of position and could not prevent the shot from hitting him on the outside of the line.  Kevin Bieska threw the puck wide and it looked intentional as Canuck agitator Maxim Lapierre was all alone when Thomas came out to challenge Bieska.

Most of the goals scored on Thomas were as a result of him over aggressively playing the puck. A large part of the reason that LaPierre had all the time and space in the world is because the the players' position on the ice and not supporting the puck at that crucial time.

This is the playoffs and any player that's not on their assignment needs to expect that their team will pay for it and the Canucks are a glaring example of how to take full advantage of this aspect of the game.  This is part of playing in a championship and how to win.

The Canucks played physical and matched the Bruins' intensity allowing for chances to materialize.  Having home-ice advantage certainly helps, but for the Bruins, you need to win on the road if you are the lower-seeded team.  So far that has not materialized.

The Canucks have been criticized by three different teams of their embellishment and, at risk of sounding like sour grapes, last night there was clear evidence of this.

Lapierre bent over like he was impaled when Bruins captain Zdneo Chara gave him a poke with his stick that looked like it was nothing and the announcers all agreed that this was overkill on the reaction.

Alexandre Burrows was jostling for position at the faceoff and he deliberately placed his leg over Milan Lucic's stick which was actually breaking the plain of the outside face off position.

Lucic did slew foot Burrows but Burrows tried to sell it and sell it good.

Because of Burrows and Lapierre's antics in the past, the officials are well of aware of these and are not giving them the benefit of the doubt.  They were fair on the call that Lucic did slew foot him, but also agreed that Burrows put himself in the position unnecessarily.

That was then and this is now.

The Bruins need to keep the intensity and make the Canucks continue to earn every inch of their ice.  They can keep solace that every game they lost was only by a goal and that the game could have swung either way.

The Canucks need to continue their play as they did in all their home games and avoid the after-whistle activity and hope their goalie, Roberto Luongo is back in form.

The Canucks stand poised to make history.  The Bruins need to extend the series to make history of their own.

See you in Boston.


This is Cory Ducey saying, "Hit Hard, But Keep It Clean."