For the 16th time in the history of the NHL, the Stanley Cup Finals will be pushed to the limit and be decided via the always appealing Game 7. The Vancouver Canucks will be hosting the now favored Boston Bruins on Wednesday, June 15 at Rogers Arena.
This series has almost had it all and has been very unpredictable. From Rafi Torres scoring the game-winner in game one with seconds left on the clock followed up with a Alexandre Burrows overtime winner in Game 2, which only took a couple of seconds after the OT puck drop.
The series shifted gears to Boston, and right off the bat. Nathan Horton is carried off on a stretcher after being obliterated by Canucks defencemen Aaron Rome. Many believe this became the catalyst for Boston's surge at TD Garden, a rink where the Canucks have been outscored an astonishing 17-3.
Throw in some absolutely superb goaltending by Boston's Tim Thomas and, when at home, Vancouver Canuck's goaltender Roberto Luongo and this series, like I said, has had it all.
Now we can talk about the facts, the hit, the goaltending and CBC's sudden obsession over Boston's Shawn Thornton all we want, but maybe we should start looking at the bigger picture: The Stanley Cup Finals are going to a Game 7.
The years of preparation, hard work and determination by not only the players but also the management of both teams all come down to one single hockey game. For the players, the days of riding in the back of their mothers' minivans at 5 a.m for hockey practice, tumbling on the ice as youngsters and scoring their first-ever goal has all led up to the spectacle of playing in a Game 7 for the Stanley Cup.
Every true fan of hockey has dreamt of their team winning a Game 7 for the Stanley Cup. The constant bickering a fan receives for cheering for Boston or Vancouver can all be vanquished on Wednesday. Yes, it maybe stressful being a fan, but the fact of possibly witnessing your team win hockey's greatest prize on its greatest stage may make you smile and your eyes water.
Both Boston and Vancouver will collide in which many believe could be the greatest Game 7 in NHL history. Both teams and respective fanbases will be hoping their dreams of becoming Stanley Cup Champions will come true.
Moments like this don't come around every day so for the cities of Vancouver and Boston, I'd like to say enjoy and make the most of what may happen.
On June 15, 2011, history will be made.