Jun 1, 2011, 7:12 PM EDT
The wait for any Stanley Cup finals contest can be unbearable, but fans of the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks must be on the edges of their seats even more than most would be right now.
In the bigger picture, the Canucks have been waiting for 17 years while the Bruins haven’t gotten this far in 21 years. Yet even the recent versions of the two teams have been waiting for quite some time. Boston received a hearty break for a team that just finished a seven-game series on Friday while Vancouver’s most recent game began on Tuesday, May 24. No doubt about it, these teams are anxious to drop the puck.
Boston @ Vancouver (NBC) – 8 p.m. ET; Game 1
The Canucks go into this game as heavy favorites, earning the PHT staff’s unanimous selection and the votes of many others. This team is well-rested, rugged and deep in just about every area. On the other hand, they also must deal with the pressure of delivering the first Stanley Cup in franchise history and Vancouver’s first Cup since 1915.
Meanwhile, the Bruins could be a very dangerous team in the underdog role. Few should be surprised if Boston’s all-world goalie Tim Thomas steals some victories – maybe even four – in this series. There’s also reason to believe that Zdeno Chara could give the Sedin twins some serious headaches, as well. The B’s have their flaws in some areas, but their overall talent level should not be underestimated.
If you’re still waiting on pins and needles, check out the plethora of PHT posts leading in to Game 1 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals.
- You can still vote in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals poll here.
- Our First Look preview features a detailed breakdown of the two teams’ major units, from offense to defense to special teams and more.
- Hockey Central provides an early video preview for the series.
- The Bruins have owned the Canucks in their all-time matches, although an early advantage explains some of the disparity.
- Comparing the current Bruins to the 1990 version and the current Canucks to the ’94 version.
- Judging from these two posts, the cost of attending these games is just a stride short from “an arm and a leg.” It seems like Canucks fans are more willing to make the trip and pay the price than Bruins devotees (so far, at least).
- The Bruins’ owner calls them a “dream team.” It is unknown if Magic Johnson was offended.
- Is Dennis Seidenberg Boston’s secret weapon? Will Mark Recchi become a Hall of Famer?
- Zdeno Chara grows into his role as the Bruins’ captain.
- Tim Thomas traveled a strange road to becoming arguably the best goalie in the world.
- The Bruins might want to mimic the Nashville Predators’ strategy when dealing with the Canucks.
- The Cam Neely trade might haunt Canucks fans, but it continues to pay dividends for the Bruins franchise.
- Which players are likely villains for both teams?
- Milan Lucic hopes to thwart his hometown team.
- Manny Malhotra‘s fight to return to the ice has been inspiring, but he’s not ready to play in Game 1.
- Ryan Kesler gives American fans motivation to root for the Canucks.
- Bruins sign three — Hayes, Connolly, and DeFazio 11
- Babcock expects Kadri to be ‘an elite player’ 14
- No expansion bid expected from Kansas City 33
- Leafs sign Matthias — one year, $2.3 million 17
- Report: Kopitar, Kings in ‘early stages of negotiations’ for extension 12
- Arbitration filed: Holtby, Nyquist & Stepan highlight list released by NHLPA 13
- Report: Plotnikov paid $500K to get out of KHL contract 14
- Philadelphia signs ’15 first rounder Provorov 12
- Brandon Saad brings championship experience to Blue Jackets 22
- Sharks sign Joel Ward to three-year deal 25