Skip to content

Poll: Who will win the 2011 Stanley Cup finals – the Boston Bruins or Vancouver Canucks?

May 28, 2011, 12:10 AM EDT

Boston Bruins v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

To some, calling a third seed and strong division winner an underdog might seem a bit absurd. Yet when you get right down to it, that’s the most accurate way to describe the Boston Bruins as they head into the 2011 Stanley Cup finals against the Vancouver Canucks.

While many pundits will try to isolate their sporadic struggles as signs of weaknesses, the 2010-11 Canucks have been one of the most dominant teams in recent memory. They ran away with the Presidents Trophy and have taken less games to advance in each successive round (7 against Chicago; 6 against Nashville; 5 against San Jose.) It could be some time before we see a more complete team in the salary cap era. The Sedin twins and Ryan Kesler trigger an attacking offense, Kevin Bieksa and Alex Edler power a deep defense and Roberto Luongo remains a truly elite netminder.

Speaking of elite netminders, Tim Thomas is the first goalie to be arguably the league’s best in both the regular season and postseason in quite some time. After breaking Domink Hasek’s single season save percentage, he hasn’t dropped off much with a 92.9 save percentage in the playoffs.

Thomas ranks as a big, flopping, unorthodox hurdle to the Canucks’ first ever Stanley Cup victory, but Zdeno Chara is an imposing obstacle in his own right. Chara and Dennis Seidenberg have been a strong top duo for Boston, but their defensive depth will come into question against a deep Canucks attack. The Bruins will need continued brilliance from their top line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton along with steady contributions from Patrice Bergeron and other offensive players if they hope to make this a close series.

The preceding paragraphs capture our expectations for the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, but what do you think will happen? Could the Bruins pull  off a significant upset or will the Canucks finally raise the Cup for the first time in franchise history? Let us know by voting in the poll.

  1. sharks408 - May 28, 2011 at 1:00 AM

    I’m sure Boston is the better team, but the NHL seems to want nucks to win. So if the officials have their way nucks will take the cup after 39 years of failure

    • polegojim - May 28, 2011 at 2:27 AM

      Wow – how do those bitter grapes taste? You can make you’re own vinegar without any fermenting.

  2. polegojim - May 28, 2011 at 2:30 AM

    Boston has the edge. Boston just beat a great goalie, playing his best.

    Vancouver beat a great goalie, not playing his best. Niemi’s failure, or Vancouvers skill?

    Looking forward to some low scoring, tight games. Not for the faint of heart.

    • polegojim - May 28, 2011 at 11:17 PM

      I’m more than happy for thumbs down on my opinions…never bothers me, BUT

      …my comments were facts…if you Canuck fans have a problem with facts, prove me wrong or your just pouting cheerleaders waiving pom poms, while banking on hopes, dreams, and lolli-pops!!!

      I’d expect that from Shark fans, but the Canucks deserve better than that. Put some meat on them bones regarding your disagreement rather than just a silent and cowardly thumbs down.

      Sheeeeesh, this is the NHL, not tennis.

      • cgame316 - May 29, 2011 at 6:30 AM

        “Boston just beat a great goalie, playing his best.” Dwayne Roloson played his ‘best’ in one game… game 7, after his team was gassed out from game 6.

        Game 4 he was pulled and game 5 he didn’t even play. Roloson’s failure or Bostons skill?

      • scottling - May 29, 2011 at 10:44 PM

        Roloson was great this? postseason (certainly playing his best), but how is he a “great goalie” exactly? Based on his 24-25-5 record for 2 different teams this season? Or maybe his last playoff appearance 5 years ago? Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for a 41-year-old getting another kick at the can and delivering big-time, but no one was talking about him before this miracle run that just fell short. He’s never been anywhere near a top-5 Vezina vote. He had an awesome run; than happens in the playoffs sometimes.

        Thomas is a great goaltender, no one could argue otherwise. Luongo too (though many do argue otherwise; go ahead). Niemi probably earned that designation too by, oh, winning the Stanley Cup last year and all 7 series he played in the playoffs up until round 3 this year.

        As for facts, there are plenty to go around, but I’ll stick to this tidy little set: VAN: 17-for-60 on the PP (28.6%) vs. BOS: 5-for-61 (8.2%);
        VAN: 58 penalties killed out of 72 (80.6%) vs. BOS: 50 out of 63 (79.4%). BOS: 105 min. of PP time and 96 min. PK (+9 minutes) producing 5 goals; compared with VAN: 92 PP min. and 114 PK (-22 minutes) producing 17 goals.

        How is “Boston has the edge” a fact?

        Oh and sharks408, if the officials want us to win, they’re sure doing a poor job of it, since we’ve gotten 12 fewer power plays than we’ve had to kill.

      • polegojim - May 30, 2011 at 4:43 PM

        Woohooo…. I KNEW you could do it!

        Roloson was playing GREAT in the post season and for more than game 7.

        Niemi IS GREAT, but tired from Detroit.

        Tampa played MUCH better than San Jose. That IS a FACT.

        Boston beat a team playing MUCH better than the Canucks. These are FACTS!

        Still gives Boston the edge, but not much.

        That said, I firmly believe the two best goalies are in the Cup Final.

      • cgame316 - May 30, 2011 at 8:35 PM

        polegojim ~ “Boston beat a team playing MUCH better than the Canucks. These are FACTS!” – I don’t agree

        Yes the two best goalies are in the finals

        I stand by what i said about Roloson’s play in the Boston Series because it’s a FACT – i wasn’t commenting on his whole post season of play.

      • scottling - May 30, 2011 at 11:16 PM

        Alrighty then, if Boston having the edge is a fact, someone should alert the very fact-driven oddsmakers (see below) — I’m sure they’d be grateful for someone straightening them out on the facts, given all the money at stake.
        “According to oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGLOBAL.com the Canucks are the favorites to win the series with odds of 1/2 while the Bruins have odds of 11/5.”

        But, not to fear, odds and online opinions and even actual facts about prior performance all go out the window when the series starts – they have to play the actual games. I expect a really good final series, and can’t wait to see how it plays out.

  3. king3319 - May 28, 2011 at 3:45 AM

    Well said Jim….this is I hope gonna be a tight hard fought series!!! This is gonna be fun to watch!!!

  4. finodelfino - May 28, 2011 at 4:45 AM

    The series depends on whether the refs will call the sedin sisters and keslers dives. The canucks have turned the NHL into the WWF this year with so their effective acting. Hopefully Lucic and Chara can put an end to it. luongo is mr. Choke himself unlike Thomas who has stood on his head. Even in the gold medal game he gave up weak goals on a super stared Canadian defensive roster late in the game. This all comes from a leafs fan too. I’m just happy we got our conditional 2nd rounder in 2012. GO KABERLE. It sure looked weird seeing him with an eastern conference champions hat on….

    • cgame316 - May 29, 2011 at 2:52 PM

      Boston dives more than Van.

      Lou is better than ever after game 7 vs Chicago – the only team he’s had trouble with these past three years in the playoffs. Leafs fans… lol

  5. govtminion - May 28, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    I’d have said Canucks, even as a Bruins fan, but… one of their advantages is already gone. Normally, the Bruins would be skating into Game 1 exhausted from a tough seven game stretch against the Lightning to take on a rested and ready Canucks squad. Instead, with this ridiculous wait until Wednesday, the B’s have plenty of time to rest and get ready- and the Canucks won’t have played for ages. So that might actually swing things back in the Bruins favor.

    Bruins in seven. Let’s get it done.

    • cgame316 - May 29, 2011 at 6:42 AM

      LOL yes, we Canuck fans are well aware of the rest Boston is getting.

      Vancouver is coming in very rested and full of confidence after overcoming so much mentally these playoffs, and now they are getting Manny Malhotra back for the finals. Boston has won two game 7’s and has overcome a lot themselves… Tough to say but I think it will come down to depth.

      Vancouver in 7

  6. derpdederpdederp - May 28, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    vancouver has some massive pressure to deal with. they arent favoured to win, theyre expected to. i think that pressure will finally get to them. also as a canadian im so tired of the amount of bandwagon fans that keep popping up every day. this team needs to lose for that reason if for no other

    • gallyhatch - May 29, 2011 at 11:38 AM

      Vegas has the Canucks as 2-1 favorites……just saying.

      & I hear ya about the bandwagoners, it happens everywhere. I’m a season ticket holder for the Bruins, & can’t believe the amount of Bruins gear people are wearing around this city in the last three weeks. These people were nowhere to be seen before recently.

      Whatever, that’s one of the side effects of being successful I guess, I’ll take it.

  7. tommytd - May 28, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    Go Boston. Take this series. If I hear much more about the Sedin sisters, I’m gonna puke!

  8. nhlbruins90 - May 28, 2011 at 9:46 PM

    Bruins in six.

    Vancouver has huge expectations which can only hurt. We don’t mind being the underdog. Our Vezina bound goalie is the very definition of an underdog. BobbyLu is good, but he can collapse like a house of cards. Bring in the shrinks, lots of them. The Sedin Sisters … now you see them, now you don’t. Guys, say hello to Chara and Seidenberg. Don’t be afraid … (be terrified!)

    Lucic will have a terrific series, just as he had a great game when we faced off against the ‘nucks this season. Gotta impress the homeboys. Our PP was finally coming around late in the Bolts series. Even Kaberle was finding his game. While Marchand didn’t have a great series against the Bolts, hockey’s own Dustin Pedroia will be back and annoy the hell out of each and every one of you.

    Whine, moan, bitch about the Campbells all you want. Boo Horton and Chara too. The time to worry is when they ignore you, and nobody’s ignoring us now.

    Only one question: who is Michael J. Fox rooting for?

    • cgame316 - May 29, 2011 at 7:51 AM

      wow, you’re pretty ignorant regarding Vancouver :)

      Lou won’t choke, and if you were a Vancouver fan you would know why he’s past it. Watch for him to be the difference.

      “Our PP was finally coming around late in the Bolts series.” ~ yeah, 5 goals on the powerplay through the entire playoffs. 5-for-61 (8.2 percent) Oh, and the Canucks are getting Manny Malhotra back to add to an already stellar PK.

      Canucks want the cup, bad, and you think they are worried about expectations? I think if that was the case they would be out of the playoffs by now

      • nhlbruins90 - May 31, 2011 at 3:19 PM

        I still say Lou will choke. True, he had some fantastic games, but I can’t shake the image of Vince Vaughn busting a gut laughing as Lou was being pulled off the ice. That photo is an instant classic. He has a fragile side, no doubt about it.

        A PP of 5-for-61 is lame, but … I believe it went 3-for-6 toward the end. That’s what I mean when I say the PP was recovering. Putting Chara in front of Lou made a difference. What you can’t see, you mostly can’t stop. Mostly.

        Manny – I wish him well. It’s a great feel-good story, and inspirational for the team, but he’s been out of the game for awhile now. Getting back to the game after that injury, in an intense Cup final … well, his contribution will most likely be off-ice.

        Lucic is the key. He’s had some invisible moments during the playoffs so far. He WILL show up strong for the final. This guy is ready. He knows it’s his moment. His hometown, and his adopted hometown. He will not have another moment like this in his entire NHL career, likely in his whole life. His career will be defined by this series, by the next two weeks.

        If he plays up to his potential, he will own this town. Even fellow homeboy Cam will have to take a few steps to the side. We may, or may not, erect a statue of him outside the Garden … we’ll see how things go, but everyone in Boston will know Looch for decades to come. It’s his time. He’s young, but I sense he knows it.

        One word of advice for Looch, cuz I’m sure he reads this board: please don’t go out and marry a Brazilian model, grow your hair long (thinking it’s cool, but we really know your getting hair plugs), travel in private jets all over the globe, get into tussles with the pap, and move to a Beverly Hills mansion that would make Trump blush.

      • cgame316 - May 31, 2011 at 4:45 PM

        hehe, i’m glad you think he will choke. I’m sure the Bruins are hoping for it but it won’t happen….. I get the feeling you are a closet Chicago fan too, Chicago are a bunch of wankers, with the exception of a few core guys – chirping at guys as they skate off injured? no class

  9. blovests14 - May 30, 2011 at 12:13 AM

    GO VANCOUVER!!! LOUONGO YOU CAN DO IT!

  10. hughdidit - Jun 2, 2011 at 1:32 AM

    I’m a Canucks fan who has to endure the pitiful coverage on NBC. The colorman isn’t bad but the twits between the glass are more than anyone should have to endure. Everything Vancouver did was just this side of disaster and everything Boston did was only inches from glory. Thumbs up if you think the NBC guys “between the glass” suck!

  11. capsrockva - Jun 4, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    to hughdidit: NBC’s coverage is awesome. I scrambled Wednesday night to find the feed for NBC so I wouldn’t have to endure listening to Don Cherry, ( who I can’t stand) as for who will win the series, after what I saw Wed. I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes either way in 7 I don’t think either team will walk away in this series.

    • cgame316 - Jun 6, 2011 at 4:23 AM

      Cherry may ramble sometimes at his delicate age but he’s spot on with is predictions and analyses, and actions speak louder than words :]

  12. jraphael25 - Jun 12, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    Listen guys, both of these teams are very good for just being in the final. If Canucks don’t win game 6 Boston Bruins will win the cup in 7 cause there is to much hoop-la around the Canucks, and the pressure will definitely get to them in game 7 look at Detroit and Pitt, the wings were the favourite right across the board to beat Pitt, and look what happened Pitt won. Don’t get hung-up in the hoop-la CAUSE ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN!
    Tomas is great, Luongo is great. Both these teams are playing their hearts out, and its a rough game, lets just give them a hand instead of bashing them. Vancouver’s chance to win the cup is game 6, if not, they are in big trouble, ask yourself this ? would you rather win the cup in Boston, or at home where all the pressure is. There is no pressure in game 6 they need to win in Boston if they want to win the cup.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. K. Hayes (2094)
  2. S. Crosby (1949)
  3. R. Johansen (1595)
  4. D. Alfredsson (1518)
  5. J. Giguere (1328)