Saturday, May 28, 2011
The Coach's Stanley Cup prediction
So I was 1-1 in the third round of the playoffs which leaves me at a mediocre 9-5 overall for 2011. I had Bolts in seven and was right about that series- it was a toss up right to the final buzzer. Both goalies were outstanding but the Bruins' physical game finally won out.
The line of David Krejci - Nathan Horton - Milan Lucic finally got rolling in round two and dominated in round three. They will be a challenge for the Vancouver defense. The Bruins also dominated Tampa Bay in critical faceoff wins. Fortunately for the Canucks it appears that Manny Malhotra will be returning from his eye surgeries. He is likely the game's best faceoff centre.
The Canucks have proven one thing in the 2011 playoffs, they are durable. At times it appeared that they would begin to fold under the pressure and physical grind but they spring back to life. This resiliency is critical to winning a Cup. You no longer need to question the toughness of the Sedins. They are ready to battle.
The Bruins are a flawed team and their appearance in the finals is a little bit surprising. However, they do have perhaps the best goalie (Tim Thomas) and defenseman (Zdeno Chara) in the game and both players have not disappointed. Remember the early losses to the Canadiens were when Chara was out of the line up. But the Canucks have incredible depth so matching up Chara with the Sedins might not totally stop the Vancouver offense. Ryan Kessler has been on a mission and has been the best forward in the 3011 playoffs. The Canucks have also gotten a fair amount of offense from their defenseman with Kevin Bieksa scoring some huge goals. As well, the Canucks have been deadly on the powerplay and finished off the Sharks in 5 games because San Jose could not kill off penalties.
I've been wrong many times before but even with Thomas and Chara I do not see this as an evenly matched series.
Canucks in five.