- Last night, the Vancouver Canucks eliminated the San Jose Sharks in 5 games, which all but solidified that ANY prediction I make via Twitter will go the opposite way (http://twitter.com/#!/PredsFan_303/status/73151436648742912)
- Watching the replay of Game 5 last night and focusing on the last 30 seconds of the game, watching that particular play unfold and seeing Kevin Bieksa being the ONLY PLAYER on the ice that really actually knew where that puck was at was quite simply amazing. Everyone was shocked, but the one player that really caught me off guard was Ian White.
Go back and watch the video of this (which I’ll attach below): White flinches when he hears Bieksa slap it but then watches it go into the net and the look on his face explains it all, “I want to do something but there just isn’t anything I can do”
- San Jose is now 3-12 in Western Conference Finals games. 3 times they’ve been there, 3 losses to different opponents (Flames in 2004, Blackhawks in 2010, Canucks in 2011), being outscored 49-32 in those games, averaging nearly penalties a game in the Conference Finals (3.86 PIM/Game in the WCF)
- Tampa Bay has been in this situation before, going down 3-2 in an extremely important series after a very close game 5…who was the opponent and what series? Calgary Flames, 2004 Stanley Cup Finals. Yeah, yeah, different team different year you may say. However there are a lot of similarities from this 2011 team to the 2004 team, so don’t be surprised if Tampa still has a bit more left in the tank
- Speaking of the Eastern Conference Finals, here is my advice to the soon-to-be winner of the Prince of Wales trophy: Good Luck. Vancouver wants to bring Lord Stanley’s cup back to Canada for the first time in nearly a decade (Montreal was the last in 1992). Vancouver wants to forget about their past Stanley Cup Final series’ (1994 loss to the New York Rangers in 7 and 1982 loss to the New York Islanders in 4). Vancouver’s offense has come alive, as evidenced by the play of not only Ryan Kesler, but the Sedin twins (finally) as well, and let’s not forget their defense is playing great defense AND offense (Bieksa had FOUR goals and an assist that series, including the series clincher in 2OT).
So, Eastern Conference Champion, you better fill up on diesel fuel, because it’s going to take the strength of a Mack truck to run down these Canucks on their way to the cup. But, let’s look a little further:
- If Boston wins, Vancouver will have to beat: TIM THOMAS. Vancouver doesn’t have to really worry too much about Boston’s offense as much as they would have to worry about Tampa’s, however the puzzle would be Thomas. If Thomas is on his A-game, it’s nearly impossible to beat him, as Guy Boucher put it, “he’s making miracles”. Thomas/Luongo would be mighty fun to watch, but I think in the end Vancouver would get the best of them
- If Tampa wins, Vancouver will have to beat: Tampa’s enigmatic offense. They have the potential to be the most destructive force in this league, with all honesty, however lately they’ve had good days and bad days, ringing up 15 goals in 3 of the first four ECF games (2-1 record) and then scoring but 1 goal in the other 2 games (0-2 record). If Tampa can have consistent goaltending and can light a fire under their offense PERMANENTLY, it would be an AMAZING Stanley Cup Finals to watch. Yet, if they squeak by Vancouver and can’t turn it on during the Finals…expect a Vancouver steamroller.
- Anyone else find it funny that:
Vancouver beat Chicago in 7 games
Vancouver beat Nashville in 6 games
Vancouver beat San Jose in 5 games
How many games will it take to win the Stanley Cup? That’s the real question. The numbers make you want to say 4, however predicting a sweep is never any fun to do.
- Nashville signed former Regina Pats captain Victor Bartley to a 2 year/2 way deal this week, and have added another fun name to their repertoire. Granted Vic Bartley isn’t as much fun as Wacey Rabbit or John Vigilante or Ramzi Abid, but still, I like the name Vic Bartley nonetheless.
- And finally, my fun highlight of the day -