NHL Finals 2011: 5 Bold Predictions for Boston Bruins-Vancouver Canucks
Anything is possible in a do-or-die situation.
Game 7 usually brings out the best in players involved, despite any stats going into it.
Here are five of those predictions.
Obviously, not all of them will come to fruition. In fact, a couple of the predictions contradict each other but here are some bold predictions on what Game 7 can provide, and I hope it provides context on just how unpredictable this game will be.
Roberto Luongo Will Post a Shutout
It is definitely not out of the question—he has done it twice before in this series. The thing that makes this prediction bold is that Game 7 is a new beast and players are going to be putting it all on the line.
Another question coming in is the poor performance Luongo put on in Boston for Game 6 when he let in three goals on eight shots before being relieved by Cory Schneider.
Does Luongo have a bounce back game in him? He will have to if the Canucks are to win but a shutout?
The players will have to work hard for that one and that includes Luongo. Here's hoping he is ready for it.
Bruins Win Cup on the Road
The prediction is bold considering all the home teams that have won thus far and Vancouver has played way better at home than on the road. There is some realism to this prediction when you think about it.
In Vancouver's three wins in the finals, two of them were 1-0 tallies and the other was a heroic effort on the part of Alex Burrows in overtime. Otherwise, Boston has kept the Canucks in check for most of the series.
Boston just needs to capitalize on Vancouver's missed opportunities and the Cup could come to Beantown.
Someone Other Than Tim Thomas Wins the Conn Smythe Trophy
Harry How/Getty Images
I mean, really?
The play of Tim Thomas has pretty much guaranteed him the Vezina Trophy and when it comes to playoff MVP talk, who else has been more solid than the Bruins netminder?
Sure, if Vancouver wins, one of the Sedins, Burrows or possibly Luongo could take it if they have a huge Game 7 performance but when it comes to consistency, Thomas deserves it more than anyone.
I don't even know why I am predicting this because I don't believe in it enough but hey, it's the Stanley Cup Finals and anything is possible ... yes, even this bold prediction.
Tim Thomas Gets Pulled from the Net
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It has happened to Luongo on the road and if the Canucks come out hungrier, Tim Thomas could be in for a short night in the crease.
Breaking Thomas' confidence will be a monstrous task in it's own, but it can happen. Thomas has shown signs of humanity in this series and when it comes down to it, this is Game 7. If Thomas looks to be costing the Bruins a Stanley Cup, don't think for a second Claude Julien will hesitate to pull Thomas out and put Tuuka Rask in the net.
I predict that Thomas will give up two quick goals and will be on the bench by the second period if he lets in a third.
This slide kind of ties into my last prediction as well, in fact, it has everything to do with the possible failure of Tim Thomas.
Henrik Sedin Scores Two Goals
The Sedin twins have been virtually nonexistent in this Final.
Can you blame it on nerves? Can you blame it on Zdeno Chara's defensive prowess?
Either way, other than the power play goal scored in Game 6, Henrik Sedin has had zero points during the Cup Finals.
Could that PPG be a sign of things to come from the former Art Ross and Hart Trophy winner? When Game 7 and the Cup is on the line, Henrik will need to step it up and be the captain this team made him out to be at the beginning of the season. A two-goal performance is not out of the question.
Game 7's have seen those types of heroes step up and become Stanley Cup legends. You don't even need to look far for those performances. Max Talbot's two goals propelled the Penguins to their 2009 Cup, while Ruslan Fedotenko scored two in the deciding game of the 2004 Final.
Does Henrik have it in him?
What predictions will come true?
Watch Game 7 and enjoy what I predict to be a fast paced, hard hitting affair that will be talked about for a long time.