NHL Stanley Cup Finals: Game 7 Preview

When trying to come up with the words to describe the play of the Vancouver Canucks, after games one of two, all that comes to mind is the words from one of the greatest Detroit Lions coaches of all time – Bobby Ross.

What the hell happened to the heavy favorites? Sure you can put some of the blame on Luongo. He certainly deserves it giving up 15 goals, and being chased out of the net twice in 4 games, but everyone knew how easily rattled he can get when things start to fall apart.

  No, most of the blame has to put squarely on the highly touted offense/power play that has disappeared for the majority of these finals, scoring only 4 goals in the past four games, and on the coaching staff for not doing enough line adjustments in time to generate a spark. Rather than focus on the pitiful play of the Canucks, lets pay tribute to the efforts of the underdogs…

Tim Thomas has been flat-out amazing these finals, showing why he deserves his Vezina trophy nomination. If Boston happens to win on Wednesday, he will be the Conn Smythe winner as well. Hands down. Hell, I’d make a strong argument for him even if they lose, but if that’s the case I bet it will go to Henrick Sedin.

Besides Thomas, Boston is getting some amazing games from their role players. Yes we all know how intimidated big bad Zdeno Chara is on defense, and he has played a great series, but Mark Recchi has some how discovered the fountain of youth and dished out 3 assists in game 6. Michael Ryder has stepped up and provided scoring with 3 goals and 3 assists in four games, along with Brad Marchand who has 3 goals and an assist. Another thing Boston should be commended for in this series is finally stepping up and playing good old fashioned physical Boston Bruins hockey after losing the first 2 games in Vancouver. Its pretty obvious the Canucks don’t respond well to consistent physical play, and cannot get their finesse play started.

So where does that leave us for game 7?  If we listen to history, the home team always wins. If we go with momentum going in to game 7, we have to hand it to the Bruins.  In all honesty, I am on the fences on this one. ANYTHING can happen in a game 7. We all know Vancouver HAS to start Luongo on a very, very short leash with his confidence all but shot, so that doesn’t bode well for Vancouver. So I guess I have to pull a 2004 John Kerry, and flip-flop from my original position to go with Boston to win, and Tim Thomas for the Conn Smyth.

In the end though, whichever team loses, they should make a serious run at this guy…

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