Blog Entry

Game 7 breakdown: Bruins vs. Canucks

Posted on: June 14, 2011 7:33 pm
Edited on: June 14, 2011 9:18 pm

Time: 8 p.m. ET


Road to Game 7

It’s probably more accurate to call this "Home to Game 7."

This is the sixth time since the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Final format was implemented in 1939 that the home team has won each of the first six games. (The home team won Game 7 on three of the first five instances.) Not only has the home team won each game of this series, but each game has followed a specific trait: one-goal games in Vancouver and blowouts in Boston.

Boston forced the decisive game -- the 16th Game 7 in Stanley Cup Final history -- with a 5-2 victory at TD Garden on Monday. This will be Boston’s third Game 7 of these playoffs; the second for Vancouver.

"It's tremendous for the city and the organization and not too many people counted on us being at this point right now," said veterans Bruins center Mark Recchi, who will be playing in his 11th career Game 7 overall. "We came to play and it's coming down to one game. This is what we dream of, when you're little kids playing street hockey."

The crowd noise Recchi likely envisioned as a youth won’t come close to matching what the Bruins will face in this real-life Game 7. The Canucks fans, hungry for the team’s first Cup in the franchise’s 40-year history, will not only pack the arena, but the surrounding streets in a sea of blue and green.

"This is playoff hockey at its finest," Canucks forward Manny Malhotra said. "We have worked all year long to have that home ice advantage. [The team is] really looking forward to playing in front of 18,000 crazy Canuck fans."

The crowd is as good of an explanation as any why both teams play so differently on the road.

The Sedin twins had three points in Monday’s loss, but have yet to have a breakout game in the series. Henrik netted his first point (a goal), while Daniel had two assists for his second and third points of the Finals.

The Bruins have been bolstered of late by rookie Brad Marchand, who became the fifth rookie in league history to score nine goals in a postseason after another tally in Game 6.

In Net

Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas is the only player on either team that performed consistently in both buildings. You can’t fault him for 1-0 losses in Games 1 and 5 and the other loss at Rogers was a 3-2 OT decision in Game 2. He has a more-than-respectable .946 save percentage in Vancouver. Combine those marks with his play throughout the playoffs --- at TD Garden and elsewhere --- and Thomas looks to have the Conn Smythe locked up.

"I'm going to try to embrace that opportunity and take the same attitude that I've taken throughout the whole playoffs," Thomas said. "Hopefully, that will get me through that one last game to get to the goal that we've been shooting for all year long."

Thomas has yet to find himself on the bench, outside the need for an extra attacker late in game. His counterpart in Vancouver hasn’t been so lucky.

Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo lasted all of 8:35 in Game 6. He surrendered three goals on eight shots and was replaced by Cory Schneider for the rest of the way. It was the second time in the series Luongo was yanked and, truthfully, he should have also rode the bench as the Canucks fell, 8-1, in Game 3.

But Luongo has been a much different goalie at Rogers Arena where he is 3-0 with a .979 save percentage and two shutouts.

"It’s the Stanley Cup Final," Luongo said. "It’s one game, winner take all. I’ve been in those situations before, I know how to handle it and I’ll be ready for it."

Despite Monday’s implosion, Luongo is expected to get the start. He won his biggest game of his career in -- the gold medal game as Team Canada edged Team USA in last year’s Winter Games -- in the same arena. His status of a big-game goalie has taken a few hits in recent weeks, but he could erase those doubts with a solid performance Wednesday.

Injury report

Nathan Horton, the Bruins’ most clutch player through the first three rounds, was forced out minutes into Game 3 after a controversial collision with Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome, who was ejected and later suspended four games. Horton was taken off on a stretcher and spent the night in the hospital with a severe concussion. He returned to TD Garden to watch Game 6, but he won’t see game action until next season.

Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg was shaken up a bit as he missed several minutes in Game 6, but he re-entered the game and is expected to play.

Second-line Vancouver winger Mason Raymond will be out of action for three to four months after he suffered a vertebral compression fracture. Raymond fell awkwardly into the boards in the opening seconds of Game 6 and was helped off the ice.

The Canucks have also been without defenseman Dan Hamhuis, who went out with an undisclosed injury in Game 1 of the Finals.

Our picks

A.J. Perez: I’m going to ditch my pre-series pick and take the Bruins. Boston has been in every game in Vancouver and maybe, just maybe, they can find some of the mojo they play with at home and bring it with them north of the border. It won’t take much since Thomas has kept the Canucks honest. An early goal by the Bruins may be all that will be needed to rattle Luongo’s psyche. The Bruins need not only to get some traffic in front of Luongo, but they also need to find the shooting lanes to make the screens pay off. The Bruins and the Lightning played one of those rare contests with no penalties in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals and I don’t expect this to be a special teams battle. That’ll be a good thing for the Bruins, even though they did score twice on the power play in Game 6. I expect a low-scoring game, one where the Bruins will prevail for their first Cup since 1972.

Brian Stubits: Before the series, I picked the Bruins to win a Game 7 on the road. Why change now? They have been the better team in this series, in each of the six contests so far. Vancouver can't say the same. Thomas has played extremely well in either location while Luongo has been downright awful in Boston, including Game 6. I understand he will be more confident heading into Game 7 at home where he has been stellar, but you have to wonder how far down his confidence is to begin with. I fully expect the Canucks to come out hitting hard and try to establish a hard-hitting tempo from the opening faceoff. As has been the case in all the games so far, whoever scores first will go a long way in dictating the result and I think Boston is the team playing better all-around, Daniel Sedin guarantee or not.

Since: Jul 2, 2009
Posted on: June 15, 2011 8:11 am

Game 7 breakdown: Bruins vs. Canucks

sounds like a cry-baby Canucks fan--sorry, I've actually watched every minute of every game, and the refs are letting BOTH teams play, in fact, Vancouver is by far the dirtier of ther two.  They're soft and they have very little intregrity.  I'm Canadian, and a Canadiens fan, so I hate the Bruins, but the character of the Vancouver team is not deserved of hoisting Lord Stanley. 

Just replace canadian fan with Wild fan from Minnesota and I agree 100%.

Since: Feb 24, 2010
Posted on: June 15, 2011 7:06 am

Game 7 breakdown: Bruins vs. Canucks

sounds like a cry-baby Canucks fan--sorry, I've actually watched every minute of every game, and the refs are letting BOTH teams play, in fact, Vancouver is by far the dirtier of ther two.  They're soft and they have very little intregrity.  I'm Canadian, and a Canadiens fan, so I hate the Bruins, but the character of the Vancouver team is not deserved of hoisting Lord Stanley. 

Since: Sep 19, 2007
Posted on: June 15, 2011 6:59 am

Game 7 breakdown: Bruins vs. Canucks

f the referees continue to allow the Bruins to play outside the rules and fail to call the obvious slashes, holding,cross-checks and interference penalties, then the Bruins should be favored.


Since: Nov 1, 2006
Posted on: June 15, 2011 6:21 am

Game 7 breakdown: Bruins vs. Canucks


Since: Feb 1, 2010
Posted on: June 15, 2011 5:31 am

Game 7 breakdown: Bruins vs. Canucks

A series such as this with a game 7 deserves to go into quadruple overtime. That'll guarantee a lot of employees calling in sick for work the next day.

Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: June 15, 2011 5:22 am

Game 7 breakdown: Bruins vs. Canucks

Very few things are as pathetic as a fanbase blaming officials for losing games.  Officials in any sport, at any level, are human and will miss calls now and then.  I've only done minor local officiating and can tell you that I have never had a dog in the fight and want only to maintain the integrity of the game.  That's on a small-time basis so I can imagine that, at the highest levels of a sport (and in the finals), the officials will be at their best.  The eyes of the entire league are upon them and they also go through hours upon hours of video reviews after the games.  Do Vancouver fans seriously think that the officials get together and conspire to call the games in favor of the Bruins?  They are more determined than ever to get the calls right.  Besides if there have been missed calls in favor of Boston (I don't think there have been much, if any), I would have to say it's the fault of Vancouver's style of play.  There are multiple videos of the Sedin twins, Burrows, and other Canucks taking dives or exaggerating contact.  So if I were a referee and I were fooled by a dive or two (realizing that I had been duped when reviewing the game tapes) I would probably have, in the back of mind, the concern for looking foolish again.  The next time one of these "Boys Who Cry Wolf" flail around or have their head snap back like they've been punched, I'm going to make damn sure I've seen an actual hit before making the call.  Just reality.

Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: June 15, 2011 1:57 am

Game 7 breakdown: Bruins vs. Canucks

Arrogance lives and breaths well north of the "Boarder", at least for today.  Vancouver is a nice little city on the Pacific rim with a nice group of fans. Its good to be nice.  I like nice. However, in the last vew days, I've seen the nice people of Vancouver become a little to entitled and cocky for their own good.  Perhaps its from representing America's Hat and the pride for a game called home. Maybe.  I think its a little more simple than that:  your road got bumpy and you weren't wearing your seatbelt. Boston has owned 5 of the 6 games.  Indeed they imploded in Games 1 & 2 with mental mistakes. Vancouver capitalized like good teams should.  But pull out from the microscoping view of a bad pinch and a lack luster pass and what do you see?  I see a Canucks team that cannot dominate. I see a Canuck team that waits for the action to take place and reacts accordingly.  The Bruins are not as talented on offense, for sure, but they create action with hits.  They force the action to their favor.  Dictating the terms of combat generally wins the war.  Thomas 1.12 GAA  Thats it.  2 goals probably wins it.

Vancouver, enjoy your guarantee. Walk tall down your streets today.  Believe what you think is destiny and a birthright to fortune.  I'll take my chances with the Boston Bruins, the blue-collared lunch-pail guys from the cradle of America!  This is a team that has taken the long hard road to make the most of this opportunity.  They don't play for themselves, they play for each other. So take your dirty tactics, your embellished wounds, and your self-pity deflated tires and stick it where Luongo will be sitting by the 2nd period!  A nice city like yours can surely be gracious hosts for the American team called the Bruins to take Lord Stanley's Cup Wednesday night.   

Since: Apr 16, 2007
Posted on: June 15, 2011 12:16 am

Game 7 breakdown: Bruins vs. Canucks


Since: Jan 3, 2008
Posted on: June 14, 2011 10:06 pm

Game 7 breakdown: Bruins vs. Canucks

I think the Bruins will come out throwing everything at Luongo to get that first goal and get into his head.  If they can, and Thomas can keep his level of play up for 60 more minutes, I think the Bruins will win.  They have been the better team.  And no, there are no style points, but the Canucks haven't been competitive at all in Boston, while Boston has been very competitive in Vancouver.  They won a regular season game there, so it's not like it never happens.  Both teams have been guilty of hitting after the whilstle and embellishing.  But the Canucks have done it at least as much, probably more than the Bruins.  If a fan in the first 5 rows farts, Burrows goes down.

And CanucksFalcons, spell check wouldn't have caught "boarder"!!!!!!  Still a word, just not the correct form!!!!!!

Go Bruins!

Since: Feb 3, 2007
Posted on: June 14, 2011 10:04 pm

Game 7 breakdown: Bruins vs. Canucks

This series has turned into a joke. What is this, the NBA? - Neither team can win on the road. Bad sportmanship on both sides. The officials are inconsistent (and having too much impact on the games). And I'm about fed up enough with the commentators to watch the games on mute. (it's Chara not Chaira, Pierre and thanks for telling us what the fans are chanting Emrick, what would we do without you douchebags? Oh yeah, enjoy the game.) At least half of the games have been entertaining, and game 7 will be held in the competetive arena. The Canucks have made their bed and they'll have to lay in it all summer if they blow this one. Boston has a chance to beat anyone the way Thomas is playing and if Luongo and the rest don't wake up they might just get blown out in their OWN building. Here are players on both sides who I feel who most deserve to win the cup and also ones that I hope lose.

Boston : Thomas (duh), Chara, Seidenberg, Recchi, Krejchi and Horton. (If not I hope the Canucks winning goal breaks Marchand's stupid rat face on the way to the back of the net. One day his big friends won't be there to protect him and he'll pay the price the pussy way he plays.)

Vancouver : Kessler, the Sedins, Bieksa, Edler and Raymond. (If not I hope Luongo has to suffer a Ray Finkle like fate or at least gets hit in his face with an egg- that would be fitting. Not for any comments he made, just based on his crappy play.)

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or