May 28, 2011, 12:10 AM EST
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.
Nov 21, 2014, 1:30 PM EST
Veteran Avs forward won’t play Saturday against Carolina.
Nov 21, 2014, 1:22 PM EST
“For us, and our group, it was something that we decided. I’m not going to discuss what we talk about inside of our room.”
Nov 21, 2014, 1:11 PM EST
The comeback bid is about to end.
Nov 21, 2014, 12:17 PM EST
No disrespect to Mike Fisher intended.
Nov 21, 2014, 12:15 PM EST
“Your fingers do have a pulse in them and it does hurt.”
Nov 21, 2014, 11:49 AM EST
As part of a rental storage facility scheme.
Nov 21, 2014, 11:10 AM EST
Bit of a Rockford influence on the roster right now.
Nov 21, 2014, 10:43 AM EST
He, along with Jean Beliveau, are the longest-tenured captains in franchise history.
Nov 21, 2014, 10:25 AM EST
Never a dull moment in Toronto.
Nov 21, 2014, 10:21 AM EST
That’s a marginally higher cap hit than Bobby Ryan and David Krejci will get in 2015-16.
Nov 21, 2014, 9:56 AM EST
They’ll talk about it more next week.
Nov 21, 2014, 8:58 AM EST
He’s been great offensively, but he isn’t one of the league’s scoring leaders.
Nov 21, 2014, 8:00 AM EST
We also got footage of the Oilers accidentally playing shorthanded.
Nov 21, 2014, 2:30 AM EST
Former Canucks first rounder made his return to Vancouver Thursday.
Nov 21, 2014, 1:45 AM EST
Philadelphia falls 3-2 to Minnesota.
Nov 21, 2014, 1:10 AM EST
Could’ve tied the game 2-2.
Nov 21, 2014, 1:00 AM EST
Chicago edged Calgary 4-3.
Nov 21, 2014, 12:30 AM EST
Were out-scored 15-4 in two losses.
Nov 20, 2014, 11:32 PM EST
Caps win 3-2.
Nov 20, 2014, 10:46 PM EST
Suffered a jaw injury and will not return.
- The Leafs didn’t salute their fans last night, so that’s a thing now 37
- Dallas signs Jason Spezza to four-year, $30 million extension 10
- Video: Ovechkin with an unreal dangle, scores game-winner 14
- Video: Avs’ Tanguay takes Ovechkin shot to the face (Updated) 4
- Video: Lindros and LeClair inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame 12
- BREAKING: Voynov charged with felony for domestic violence 33
- NHL responds to concussion lawsuit, says players should have ‘put two and two together’ 40
- (Video) PHT Extra: Carlyle’s on the hot seat, Hartley’s riding high 0
- Hextall launched profanity-laced tirade against Flyers last night 35
- Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy, parents allegedly took advantage of him 56
- Jack Johnson filed for bankruptcy, parents allegedly took advantage of him (57)
- Wild put Harding on waivers (Updated) (52)
- After Voynov suspension, Lombardi wonders if teams need a ‘cushion’ in case a player is a ‘bank robber, kleptomaniac’ (51)
- Video: Malkin runs over Girardi (Updated) (41)
- The Leafs didn’t salute their fans last night, so that’s a thing now (41)