On Wednesday, June 1 the Boston Bruins (3) will head to the west coast of Canada to take on the Vancouver Canucks (1).
Both teams lost the last time they were in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Bruins were defeated by the Oilers in the 1990 finals. In 1994 the Canucks were defeated by the New York Rangers in the Final Series. Now in 2011, either Boston or Vancouver will carry the coveted Stanley Cup around the ice. Our list today is simple.
7 reasons to watch the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals
1. The Boston Bruins
The Bruins have have gotten hot at just the right time. Granted the Eastern Conference is not as strong as the West but the Bruins are winning. Can they continue to win?
2. The Vancouver Canucks
Here is a team that is supposed to win it all. They have the depth and skill to do so on paper. They may be the paper champions already but the question is, can they win on the ice?
3. Special Teams
Both teams are dead even in the Penalty Killing department. The difference in special teams is that Vancouver has a power play that is scoring more than once in every four chances. Can the Boston Bruins contain the Vancouver power play?
Vancouver has Roberto Luongo. Boston has Tim Thomas.
Both net-minders can be amazing between the pipes. Both net-minders have been up and down in the playoffs thus far. Which goaltender is going to step up in the Finals?
When these teams are at even strength you would think the Canucks would have the advantage. However a strange thing has happened. When teams skate 5 to a side the firepower seen in the regular season has dried up for Vancouver .
The Bruins on the other hand have seen their even strength production improve during the playoffs. Which team is going to be better in even-strength situations?
6. Ryan Kesler
Kesler has been the player to watch for Vancouver. He has played well against oppositions best player and has also scored timely goals. After a slow start he has 7 goals and 14 points in 11 games in Rounds 2 and 3. Will he continue to produce in the Finals?
7. Milan Lucic
Milan Lucic is the x-factor for Boston. He is capable of shutting down finesse players and Vancouver has a few of them. Will the physical play of Lucic frustrate the high scoring forwards of Vancouver?
2011 Finals Schedule
Game 1: June 1 (8pm) Canucks vs Bruins at Rogers Arena
Game 2: June 4 (8pm) Canucks vs Bruins at Rogers Arena
Game 3: June 6 (8pm) Bruins vs Canucks at TD Garden Arena
Game 4: June 8 (8pm) Bruins vs Canucks at TD Garden Arena
Game 5: June 10 (8pm) Canucks vs Bruins at Rogers Arena *
Game 6: June 13 (8pm) Bruins vs Canucks at TD Garden Arena *
Game 7: June 15 (8pm) Canucks vs Bruins at Rogers Arena *
(* if necessary)