Monday, June 13, 2011

The Last 8-Ball of the Year, Bruins Behind It

The possibility of the Stanley Cup playoffs ending on Monday night is certainly there for the taking, as Game Six will go in Boston and the Vancouver Canucks could very well take the whole kit and kaboodle with a win over the Bruins.  Granted, with the way that the Canucks have played in Boston in this series, the likelihood of the win does seem a little far-fetched.

Far-fetched or not, the 8-ball still gets to come out and put a little extra pressure on the Bruins going into Game Six, a game that they should be confident in winning.  They have been dominant at home against the Canucks and they have been in every one of their losses in Vancouver, so there is no reason why the Bruins cannot win, if they play within themselves and within their game.

The Bruins will have to be faster and harder than the Canucks in Game Six, if they want to force a seventh game in these Finals, much like they were at home in Games Three and Four.  Tim Thomas, a likely Conn Smythe candidate in a win or a loss, will have to continue his stellar play, making big saves at big times, continuing to thwart the Vancouver power play, which has been non-existent in the final round.

For the Canucks, focus will be job number one.  Everyone from the crease to the offensive zone corners, the players have to play their game, force the issue on the forecheck and take away space in the neutral zone, picking up turnovers and taking more possession with the puck.  A lot of the attention leading up to game time will be upon Roberto Luongo, who has been hung out to dry in each of the Boston visits, but the real focus should be coming from the defense, who will need to sacrifice everything to keep the shots to the outside, making Luongo's job much easier for 60 minutes.

I think most signs are pointing to Game Seven on Wednesday in Vancouver, but counting out a surprising finish at the TD Gardens may be silly at this point.

River Dogs
All She
on the
303 points-0 points-16-25-27-27-30-30-31-31
Daniel Sedin (1)xxxxxxxxxx
Henrik Sedin (2)xxxxxxxx
Ryan Kesler (3)xx
Kevin Bieksa (10)x
Roberto Luongo (12)xxxxxxxxx
Patrice Bergeron (13)xx
David Krejci (14)xxx
Milan Lucic (15)x
Nathan Horton (16)xxx
Michael Ryder (18)xx
Brad Marchand (19)xxx
Tomas Kaberle (20)xx
Zdeno Chara (21)xxxxx
Johnny Boychuk (23)x
Tim Thomas (24)xxxxxxxx

It's been a battle through these playoffs in the playoff pool and it can swing a few different ways on Monday night, as we try to decide who wins money and who gets left behind.

The Langdon River Dogs are hoping for a 2-1 Canucks win, with David Krejci scoring the only Bruins goal unassisted for the pool win, while Tryst'n'Grant would definitely be happy with another 1-0 Canucks win, making sure the Dogs do not pick up another point and kill the series right away.

All She Wrote doesn't need any result on Monday night, they are firmly in 3rd place and won't be moving for anyone in Game Six.

Granny Smith could go for the 2-1 Canucks win, making sure the Bruins goal is scored by either Krejci or Patrice Bergeron, assisted by the one who doesn't score the goal.  That would safely finish the team in 4th place.

Superstar needs a Canucks shutout to stay in the last money spot, while a Bruins win would likely knock them out of the money spots, unless Michael Ryder goes to town on the scoresheet and picks up an even amount of points to Tim Thomas.

Hollywoods Heroes are hoping for a Boston win, just to make it into the money, possibly a shutout for Thomas again, really putting some distance in between themselves and Superstar.

Kalenab doesn't appear to be able to make the money with Nathan Horton out of the line-up.  Horton was the only chance that they might pass Superstar or Hollywoods Heroes in the standings, but the major concussion did a number on that plan.

The Thieves on the Cheechoo Express could use a Bruins win and a hat-trick from Brad Marchand to have a hope for the money, trying to do their best to pass the three teams in front for the money.

Other than that, I think 4 points is way too much distance to make up in only one or two games, especially when most teams have the more likely players to get 4 points, the goalies.

Well, I think we all know who I'm cheering for, despite my pool team.  The quicker the Canucks can get the job done, the better.  The Bruins will be a hungry and desperate team on Monday night, so I expect a lot of big things from them for 60 minutes.  I like the Canucks' chances in Game Six, but I won't at all be surprised to see them fall just short and have to take this series home.  Either way, it's going to be one hell of a game!

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