How many of these celebrations will we see tonight for the Canucks?
Let’s hope the game ENDS in celebration for the boys in blue.
(Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
Game Day Recon: Stanley Cup Final Game 6 – Canucks @ Bruins
The Vancouver Canucks are just one win away from winning the Stanley Cup.
Can Roberto Luongo and his team come in to Boston and right the wrongs from Games 3 and 4? Can Luongo and the Canucks silence their critics once and for all?
They get their chance tonight.
Game Time: 5:00 PM PT
The Stanley Cup will be in the building today, and only one team can win it tonight – the Vancouver Canucks. Sure, the Canucks would like to win it in front of their fans, but they have the opportunity to right a lot of wrongs tonight, by taking home hockey’s ultimate prize. The Canucks have the Bruins on the rope, and they need to deliver the knockout punch. It took them three tries against Chicago, two tries against Nashville, and only one shot against San Jose. Well, they have their first shot to knock out the Bruins and win the Stanley Cup. They can’t let their opponent off the mat.
That starts with physical play. The Canucks were physically dominant in their Game 5 win in Vancouver. They need to continue that in Game 6. They have to prove that they cannot be bullied around in TD Garden, something of which they were guilty in Games 3 and 4. The Bruins won’t be expecting the Canucks to lay down like they did in their two previous visits to Boston last week, so the Canucks have to be prepared for the Bruins to come out flying, with their season on the line tonight.
It continues with their defense. Their defense was a huge reason for the victory in Game 5, because they were limiting the Bruins forwards from getting quality scoring chances. Sure, the Bruins had 31 shots, but only a handful were quality ones, and Roberto Luongo was able to remain comfortable and calm in stopping all 31. The defense absolutely needs to continue that level of effort in Game 6.
It moves on to the forwards, who have to get multiple bodies near Thomas. Thomas has been giving up rebounds juicier than a 12oz Filet Mignon at Gotham, but the Canucks aren’t capitalizing. Why? Because they are not pouring to the net. They are certainly getting one man to the net to take the shot and create the rebound, but there is no follow-up. There needs to be follow-up, Get the forwards moving straight towards Thomas at all times. The forwards are going to have skate miles tonight, of that tthere is no doubt. Plenty of pressure and bodies in front of Thomas, and plenty of backchecking to protect the counterattack.
Finally, it ends with Roberto Luongo – brilliant in the Canucks three home wins and below-average (and hung out to dry)in their two blowout losses on the road. Luongo can bounce back – we already know this, because he has already proven this. Now, he must show he can bring it home, bring home the big prize, win the big game. Canucks fans know that Luongo has that kill in him, and tonight will be the chance for Luongo to prove it to the world once and for all.
The Canucks must and will treat this game like Game 7. They have the Stanley Cup within their grasp. They cannot let the Bruins get it in their sights. They must not. They are within 60 minutes of ultimate hockey glory. It is their time.
The Three Keys
Here are the three keys for the Vancouver Canucks tonight:
1. Hit like you did in Game 5. I’m looking at you, Alex Edler. 10 hits from the big Swedish defenseman was exactly what the Canucks needed. They’ll need all those hits and more. And early. They need to come out hitting early and often. And hard.
2. They MUST score the first goal. In this Stanley Cup Final series, first goal has gone to the victor in all five games. In Games 1 and 5, it was the ONL goal. To say that the first goal is important is a vast understatement.
3. The defense must not rest. Never. They must play at top level for the entire 60 minutes (maybe longer). They cannot let the Bruins offense get established on the boards and grind out chances in front of Luongo. The defense did a great job in Game 5 of taking away pucks and moving them quickly up ice to their forwards. They MUST do the same, and more, tonight.
Here are your top 5 links for today’s game:
1. Tale of the Tape: Canucks @ Bruins (Canucks.com)
2. Most hated team? Who cares, so long as Canucks win Cup (The Province)
3. Canucks’ Lapierre, Burrows act up, but Max Factor pays off (Vancouver Sun)
4. Canucks eager to hoist Cup in Boston (CBC Sports)
5. Bruins Face Canucks with Season on the Line (Stanley Cup of Chowder) << SEE WHAT THE ENEMY HAS TO SAY!