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Boston Bruins have the edge in all-time matchup with the Vancouver Canucks

May 28, 2011, 2:11 PM EDT

Darcy Hordichuk, Shawn Thornton AP

The Vancouver Canucks haven’t won a single Stanley Cup since they entered the NHL in the 1970, right around the time the Boston Bruins were a dominant force thanks to Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito & Co. The Canucks began their franchise in the Eastern Division with the Bruins, which planted the seeds for Boston’s early (and overall) dominance between the two teams.

NHL.com’s John Kreiser put together an interesting take on the Bruins and Canucks’ all-time records against each other, although it’s important to note that the teams obviously don’t play against each other often these days.

  • In 108 contests, Boston is 68-24-15-1 against the Canucks while Vancouver is 25-66-15-2 against the Bruins. Kreiser notes that 25 wins is the lowest amount of victories the Canucks franchise has against any team they’ve played at least 100 games against.
  • Again, their rivalry was especially one-sided in the beginning, when the Canucks were scrambling to build their teams while the Bruins were in the middle of their “Big, Bad” era. Boston went a ridiculous 20-2-1 in their first 23 contests.
  • Perhaps the Canucks aren’t big chowder fans? The Canucks managed a desolate 8-38-7-1 mark in road games in Boston, although they’ve only played in Massachusetts twice since 2003 (winning a shootout in their most recent appearance on February 6, 2010).
  • The Bruins are considerably more comfortable visiting scenic Vancouver. Boston is 29-17-8 when visiting the Canucks, including wins in four of their last five road games in Vancouver. Kreiser also points out that they’ve never been shut out by the Canucks in Vancouver. The Bruins have five out of the six shutouts in the all-time rivalry overall.

Of course, if you’ve followed hockey for a while, you know that even results from the most recent regular season only matter so much once the playoffs begin. In other words, these numbers are for your entertainment more than anything else.. Both teams have overcome some first round hurdles on their way to the Stanley Cup finals. The Bruins beat their long-time tormentors (the Montreal Canadiens) while the Canucks finally overcame their recent headaches (the Chicago Blackhawks). Turning the page on past frustrations is a big part of getting this far, let alone hoisting the Cup.

Kreiser also points out some bigger picture factors that probably are a stronger indicator of Vancouver’s chances than their historical record against the Bruins.

Those aren’t good numbers for the Canucks – but here’s a couple that are in their favor. They are the first team since the 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens to lead the League in both goals scored and goals against, and those Canadiens won the Cup. The Canucks also won the Presidents’ Trophy – and the last four Presidents’ Trophy winners to make the Final have gone on to win the Cup.

  1. florida76 - May 28, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    The all time records between the Canucks and Bruins really aren’t much of a surprise, we must remember the huge advantage the Original Six had in competing against the expansion group from the 60s an 70s. Teams like the Canucks were several decades behind in development, and stars like Orr were nowhere to be found. The success of the 74-75 Flyers was remarkable, as was the great run of the Islander teams a little later.

    A bigger story would be the struggles of Original Six teams like Boston, Chicago, Toronto, and New York. Since the first wave of expansion in 67-68, those clubs have combined for only four Cups, which is difficult to believe after all these years. That output is actually less than the combined total of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

    • deepthreat - May 31, 2011 at 8:51 AM

      There is a reason for that…

      In the Original Six era, every team had exclusive rights to any player within a 50 mile radius of their city. That means that the Canadiens and Maple Leaves had first pick of the best Canadiens – and any blue chip prospect’s parents made sure that their son was within the 50 miles of Montreal at signing to time to make sure they would play for the Canadiens. The Bruins on the other hand, had exclusive rights to players from Framingham, MA.

      The Canadiens and Maple Leaves DOMINATED with that advantage.

      Detroit won a few cups because they had some territory in Canada and the owner also had control over the Rangers and Bruins – making sure that his Red Wings got the better of any deals between those teams. For example, Gordie Howe tried out for the Rangers, but was cut so the Red Wings could sign him.

      The league was rigged and I can’t believe the other teams went along with it.

      The rule was in place until the 60s, so the Canadiens reaped the benfits well into the 1970’s – right about when their “dynasty” came to an end.

  2. pucknbeans - May 29, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    I know it will be especially satisfying to Cam Neely, if we beat the Canucks. We stole him in one of Harry Sinden’s all-time greatest trades from Vancouver.

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