Boston Bruins vs. Vancouver Canucks
Boston looks to continue the momentum in Vancouver after consecutive home wins. The Canucks are -175 favorites over the Bruins with an over/under goal total set at 5.
After Vancouver took the opening two games of the Stanley Cup finals Boston has turned the tables winning the next two on their home ice. The Bruins stopped the high powered Canucks offense 4-0 in game two to send the series back to Canada tied at two games apiece and perhaps giving some meaning to the home ice mystique. Whatever the case may be Boston has outscored Vancouver 12-1 in their two home games and the momentum factor appears to have swung back to the B’s…at least until the drop of the puck in game five. While many expected Vancouver to come in to Boston and skate away with no worse than a split to enable them to close the series out at home the Bruins combination of offense and defense have given this series a different look especially from an offensive standpoint for a Boston club that struggled putting the puck behind Luongo in the first two contests.
Once again the Bruins received goals from multiple sources with three players lighting the lamp. Rich Peverley was the scoring star with a pair of goals while Brad Marchand and Michael Ryder each tallied a goal with their’s coming in less than a 2:20 span of the second period that gave the Bruins plenty of momentum and some important breathing room entering the final 20 minutes. Another big offensive night turned out to be overkill just as it was in game three simply because the man between the pipes for Boston has been nearly flawless against a formidable Vancouver attack. If the last two games were a showcase for winning the Vezina Trophy than the league had better have Tim Thomas engraved on the award as he has been at the top of his game with 38 saves in game two to record his fourth career postseason shutout.
The Canucks are at the opposite end of the spectrum as Thomas has virtually taken over making the routine and spectacular stops throughout the first four games. The Vancouver goal tending situation hasn’t been nearly as dependable as Roberto Luongo has been rocked in Beantown allowing 12 goals. He stopped 16 of 20 shots but did not play the final 16 minutes of the third period. Cory Schneider took over and stopped all nine shots that came his way although he is not expected to get the start in game five although if Luongo struggles early I don’t think Vancouver can afford to wait and not make a move. The series looks to be getting chippy if it hasn’t already been with 15 third period penalties being whistled after six were called in the first 40 minutes although neither team did much with the man advantage.
The Bruins will be shorthanded for the remainder of this series after suffering a concussion in game three on a hit from Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome who was suspended for four games ending his postseason. Keys for game five for Boston would be getting to Luongo early and keep up the offensive pressure. Of course their chances multiply if Tim Thomas can continue standing on his head. For the Canucks I believe it’s getting something out of the power play which was 0-6 in game four and keep putting pucks on Thomas as the Canucks are getting chances. Who knows what would happen with a fortuitous bounce or two leading to some scoring. Getting some traffic in front of Thomas wouldn’t hurt because he is stopping everything he sees. Ill take the over 5 goals.