I returned from vacations this week to catch game 5 of the Cup finals. I understand it resembled games 1 and 2 while the Bruins led by Tim Thomas embarrassed the Canucks in Boston in games 3 and 4. Although the series will likely go the full 7, the NHL will polishing up the Cup for Sunday in the event the Canucks can actually beat the Bruins on their home ice. My observations on a series that I have largely missed:
- The Canucks could easily be behind or have already lost this series. Any of the 3 wins could have gone the other way. But a 1-0 squeaker is no different than a 8-1 blow out. They both count as one win and the Canucks need just one more.
- Win or lose Tim Thomas is a lock for the Conn Smythe trophy. If the Canucks win the Stanley Cup then Thomas will be the 6th player from the losing team to win the award. The others were Roger Crozier (1966), Glenn Hall (1968), Reggie Leach (1976), Ron Hextall (1987), and J-S Giguere (2003). All but one were goalies.
- It seems in each series Vancouver looks like it is about to come off the wheels and then gets back on track. At the same time it looks like Roberto Luongo has become unglued and then bounces back with a shut out. There is certainly enough resiliency in both line ups.
- Although I've only seen game 5, my impression from reports is that the quality of the hockey has slipped this round which is a common occurrence. Final rounds tend to be very chippy and tight checking. As well, everyone is banged up and the skating suffers. Though I understand the animosity level is high.
- The guys who got the Canucks to the finals namely the Sedins have not been scoring at all. It's hard to believe that Vancouver has won 3 games without the help of their big line. But of course they have only scored 6 goals in those 5 games.
- I'm still going with Vancouver to win the series.