June 15 2011 10:34AM
Games like tonight's are made for unsung heroes. Raffi Torres was the hero in Game 1.
Can he do it again?
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Image)
Game Day Recon: Stanley Cup Final Game 7 - Bruins @ Canucks
Stanley Cup Final.
Game Time: 5:00 PM PT
The Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins are now down to a Best-of-1. That's it. One win to capture hockey's most storied prize - the Stanley Cup.
The Canucks fought hard all year to win the President's Trophy and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. Well, tonight, in a series where the home team has won every game, that advantage has now bared its ultimate fruit.
There really isn't too much to say about tonight. The teams know each other now. Both teams have had trouble scoring on the road. Both teams are depending heavily on their goaltending to come through tonight.
The Canucks face a tremendous challenge in their lineup, as injuries are starting to catch up to them. With Mason Raymond out, it looks like Jeff Tambellini will draw in in his place. No word yet on where he'll be in the lineup, but he did have success early in the year on the second line when Raymond was hurt previously. As for the defense, both Edler and Alberts appear to be nursing injuries. As a result, at the morning skate today, Nolan Baumgartner was the first player on the ice along with Kevin Bieksa. This is a MASSIVE turn of events because if if Baumgartner draws in, it means that $4.2 million defensemen has fallen to NINTH in the depth chart and can't even draw in ahead of career AHL'er who hasn't played a single NHL game this year. A stunning development if it turns out to be true. It looks now like Alex Edler may be out, as he and Dan Hamhuis were not on the ice for morning practice. This means that the Canucks D will likely be Bieksa, Salo, Ehrhoff, Tanev, Alberts, Baumgartner. After having the deepest defense corps all season and absorbing all sorts of personnel loss, tonight is the ultimate test of their depth, with Hamhuis, Rome and now Edler out.
***UPDATE! *** - Coach Alain Vigneault confirmed that Alex Edler WILL play tonight, and that (as expected) Dan Hamhuis will not play. He also stated that Mason Raymond may return home to Vancouver either today and tomorrow.
Tonight is not a time to panic or retreat. It is a time to shine, to press forward, to dominate. It is a time to launch an arrow for a fallen friend. It is time for unsung heroes to stake their claim in history. It is time to make amends for past transgression. It is time for the Canucks to become champions.
The Three Keys
Here are the three keys for the Vancouver Canucks tonight:
1. Score first. This is huge. Not only has the home team scored first in every game, but the team scoring first has won every game. Also, in the last 6 SCF Game 7's the team that has scored first has won. Yeah, it's hugely important.
2. Hit, hit, hit. The Canucks need to come out hitting and set the physical tone early. When they hit, they win.
3. Clear the d-zone quickly and efficiently. Don't give the Bruins any chance to pinch in, keeping the puck hemmed in. Get it out, get your forwards moving and join them. The Canucks defense has to be prepared to skate miles tonight.
Here are your top 5 links for today's game:
1. Tale of the Tape: Bruins @ Canucks (Canucks.com)
2. Long way from Port Moody driveway games to Game 7 for Tambellini (The Province)
3. Win or lose, Canucks deserve this (Vancouver Sun)
4. Canucks hoping for breakthrough (CBC Sports)
5. Bruins and Canucks set for Game 7 (Stanley Cup Of Chowder) << SEE WHAT THE ENEMY HAS TO SAY!