Vancouver Canucks +105 @ Boston Bruins -125
The Bruins are coming home after having their hearts ripped out in consecutive games in Vancouver. The Bruins have played much better than I thought they would and definitely deserved better in Game 2. Alex Burrows getting 2 goals and an assist in a game for which he should have been suspended for biting has got to be a bitter pill to swallow.
The Bruins essentially played the Canucks even in both games and are a good bounce or two away from maybe being up 2-0 heading home. The Boston Bruins have too much pride to bow out in 4 games and they will use their crowd made up of 18,000 guys from “Southie” to push them over the top.
It’s also time to give Seguin some bigger minutes. Skate him with Bergeron’s line every once in a while. He could give the Bruins an added dynamic and it could also keep the aging Mark Recchi more fresh if he takes a few shifts off during the game.
This is a must win game for the Bruins and they have the sand and the skill to get it done at home. The Sedin Sisters will fold like always in the face of a hostile environment. Bruins and the under tonight.
Boston Bruins +165 @ Vancouver Canucks -195
I want to say that the Bruins deserved better in Game 1, but that would be incorrect. Tim Thomas deserved better. Vancouver was the superior team, and their skating advantage was obvious. Tim Thomas was superman in Game 1. General rule of thumb is that I hate goalies, but Thomas is different. He has incredible passion and never stops fighting. Boston must get to the net in Game 2. All of their chances came from the outside. Luongo has a history crumbling when guys get in his face. The Bruins were physical in Game 1, but it seemed like the Canucks were often the ones initiating. Boston needs to be the “Big Bad Bruins” in game 2. Milan Lucic…I am looking in your direction.
Bruins will play desperate, Thomas will shine again, Bruins win a close one.
Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals was the perfect example of why I hate the Vancouver Canucks. They are a gutless, euro-trash, team of divers and whiners. The sequence at the end of the first period was disgusting. Scrums are just part of hockey, but the Canucks can’t even do that right. Hamuis and Bieksa both try to take on Chara at the same time. Trying to goad the big guy into taking a penalty, knowing full well that neither of them would ever have the guts to actually throw with Chara. Bieksa looks real tough when he jumps rookies from behind like Viktor Stalberg or when he challenges finesse “star” players like Patrick Marleau. He would never fight somebody who is actually tough or bigger than him. Bieksa is gutless. Chara would have made Bieksa’s face concave.
Burrows is complete scum. Everyone is talking about the biting incident, and for good reason. However, I thought him grabbing the visor of Bergeron was also just another example of the type of play that makes Burrows a gutless rat. I was thrilled that he got 4 minutes for biting, and then another two for slew-footing Tim Thomas from behind later in the game. Burrows has been this type of player his entire career, and I hope his actions are finally catching up to him. He is the west coast version of Sean Avery.
The diving by the Sedins and by the Canucks as a whole was disgusting. They are just the worst. The Canucks have no integrity. Hockey is a game of honor and the way the Canucks play the game is an affront to the tradition and soul of the game itself. They are unworthy of winning the Stanley Cup. I hope the Bruins can find a way to create more quality chances than they had in game one. They will need more sand and net presence to win the series. Tim Thomas did everything he could. I still like the Bruins in 7…nothing from Game 1 suggests the Bruins can win the Series, but I believe the Hockey Gods will intervene and prevent this team from winning.
PS: Ryan Kesler is the only Canuck I respect
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Boston Bruins +175 @ Vancouver Canucks -210
Over/Under Total Goals 5.5
I am so excited for the Stanley Cup Finals I can hardly contain myself. I am definitely pulling for the Bruins and I feel like they may just have enough horses to pull off the upset. I have no clue on a winner tonight. Tim Thomas is going to steal a game at some point, but that night isn’t tonight. I do think both teams will get up and down and are capable of lighting the lamp. I would definitely take the over in total goals. I am feeling an exciting shootout of a game.
The Stanley Cup Finals are almost here. The Vancouver Canucks haven’t won the Stanley Cup in their 40 years of being an NHL franchise and the Boston Bruins haven’t won the Cup since Bobby Orr lifted it in 1972. One of these teams will end a long draught, and the Vancouver Canucks are the heavy favorite. The series will ultimately come down a few key matchups and situations.
Chara vs The Sedins
Both the Sedins and Chara have had their fair share of playoff woes. This year has been different for Chara though. Since recovering from an illness against the Montreal Canadiens, Chara has been in Norris Trophy form. He has been the anchor of the Boston Bruins defense and did an admirable job against the Tampa Bay Lightning’s top scorers St. Louis, Lecavalier, and Stamkos. The Sedins have largely struggled in the playoffs again this season. Dave Bolland’s return mid way through round one caused a scoring draught that lasted through the second round series against Nashville. Once the Sedins were clear of players like Bolland, Keith, Seabrook, Shea Weber, and Ryan Suter, they enjoyed more success. Chara is on top of his game right now and an absolute beast of a man. He will punish the Sedin Sisters and shut them down for the majority of the series. Advantage: Boston
Tim Thomas vs Roberto Luongo
One is an all-american underdog success story. The other is a mentally weak, french Canadian grease ball. Luongo has a history of epic collapses in the post-season and was even benched for Game 6 in the Chicago series after getting lit up in games 4 and 5. Luongo will most likely have at least one game where he is shaky and that could be the difference in a tightly contested series. Tim Thomas had arguably the greatest season ever by a goalie and should a unanimous selection for the Vezina Trophy. He must out play Luongo for the Bruins to win the series. Advantage: Boston
This could be the deciding factor for the series. The Vancouver Canucks power-play and penalty kill have had great success throughout the regular season and playoffs. The Bruins special teams have been awful. Their penalty kill rate should probably have been better, but Tim Thomas has let in the occasional ill-timed soft goal. The Bruins’ powerplay is converting at a horrendous 8% in the playoffs. They are so desperate that have moved Chara in front of the net. While I am not an advocate of taking Chara’s bomb of a slapshot off out of the equation, Luongo has had difficulty in the past dealing with over-sized bodies at the top of his crease. Advantage: Vancouver
Ryan Kesler is the key to the series for the Canucks. I can easily envision Kesler exploding offensively against Boston, much the same way he did against Nashville. He won’t have as difficult of a task in this series. Boston has great depth, but they don’t possess an elite offensive player like Toews or Joe Thornton that will occupy Kesler’s attention. Given more freedom, Kesler could be a force at both ends and win the Conn Smythe Trophy
Tyler Seguin. Seguin needs to make plays in this series for Boston to win. The Canucks like to play a more open style which could create opportunities for Boston’s most talented player. Seguin is the only Bruin capable of creating an opportunity out of thin air, and if Claude Julien allows him to get more than 5 minutes a game, Seguin could make enough special plays to give Boston an edge.
My heart says Bruins, my head says Canucks, and my balls say Bruins. Usually when my balls and heart agree it’s a recipe for disaster…but I don’t care. Bruins in 7. Suck it Canada.
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Boston +200 vs Vancouver -240
Full disclosure, I have been rooting against the Boston Bruins all season, and all playoffs long. Most of my hockey friends are die-hard Boston Bruin fans and I just don’t want to give them the satisfaction of winning the Stanley Cup. Its going to be a miserable year if they talk half as much shit as I did after the Chicago Blackhawks won the Cup. I also never really respected the Bruins. I see them as a team devoid of high-end skill and superstar players. Chara is their best player, other than goalie Tim Thomas, and its hard to root for the NHL equivalent of Ivan Drago. Chara always seems to wilt in big moments, and I think that Tim Thomas covers a lot of their defensive deficiencies. However, after watching these playoffs, I have grown to respect the Boston Bruins. They are so deep, especially at the center position. Bergeron, Krejci, Kelly, and Campbell is as good of a group of centers as there is in the league. Then they also have Peverly and young phenom Tyler Seguin who are natural centers, but play the wing for Boston. They are real blue-collar team who just tries to get in and out work the opposition with their fore-check.
Now that they have disposed of yet another team that I thought was more talented than the Bruins, I am left in a position of pulling for a “likeable” team against the team I hate most in the league. Chicago needs Boston to save us from a Vancouver Stanley Cup. So, here I am Boston, ready to apologize for hating and ready to jump on the bandwagon. “If I can change, and you can change…EVERYBODY CAN CHANGE!!!” Go Bruins!
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PS: If Boston loses to Vancouver I will hate them forever for allowing that to happen.
PPS: The Blackhawks are really better than both of these teams. One more game out of Bolland and the Hawks probably beat Vancouver in 6 games and continue on to win the Stanley Cup.
Tampa Bay +140 @ Boston -160
Over/Under 5.5 Goals
Ho-hum another lock of the century pick that I am going nail. I am honestly starting to get board with this whole bankrupting Costa Rica thing. But when they spit lines out like this I am left with no choice but to rob them blind. Tampa Bay is the underdog simply because they are the road team. Which is some dumb. Tampa Bay has proven that they can win in Boston and this series would be over already if Tim Thomas didn’t steal Game 5. Tampa Bay has dominated the past two games and I expect their elite forwards Stamkos, Lecavalier, and St. Louis to continue capitalize on powerplay chances. Special teams have given Tampa Bay a sizeable advantage all series and there is no reason to believe anything will change tonight.
The other half of this equation is over/under line set at 5.5. Are you kidding me? Is Costa Rica waving the white flag on this one? These two teams have been solid defensively this year on the surface, but they each have been bitten by a their major flaw in this series. Tampa Bay hasn’t gotten the quality of goaltending they enjoyed in the second half of the season. While Boston has continued to give up a ton of shots. Tim Thomas has largely masked this defensive issue with his spectacular play, but when facing quality snipers, like the ones employed by the Lightning, giving up a ton of shots isn’t a formula for success. Give me the OVER and start looking up flights to Costa Rica.
Tampa Bay +130 @ Boston -150
Thank you JC Penney. I was already to go back on my original claim of picking the Tampa Bay Lightning(especially because I picked them in 6), but thanks to the wicked jinx JC Penney put on the Boston Bruins I get to stick with my original prediction.
Nice full-page ad in the Lowell Sun. Guess they didn’t watch Game 6. Or maybe they are going for the double jinx because they clearly bought this ad space before today. Double jinx=me doubling down. Tampa Bay is winning this game. No questions asked. The only question left is whether or not Tampa Bay can save humanity from the ginger twins lifting the Stanley Cup. I pray yes.