Cup Finals Game 7
Wednesday, 06.15.2011 / 4:07 PM
Game Seven. This is what everyone plays for – the chance to leave it all on the ice in a winner-take-all contest. It may be the best single game moment in sports. And that, hockey fans, is what we have tonight.
You probably don’t need me giving you the storylines that have woven through this series or even the post-season as a whole. Tim Thomas vs. Roberto Luongo (Pekka Rinne!); The Sedin Twins vs. Zdeno Chara; Burrows biting; major injuries and suspensions; The Weight Of A Nation on each team; Julien and Vigneault tossing out some fun little barbs; etc. There’s a lot more where that came from.
At the end of the day, it is going to ride firmly on the shoulders of one man: Roberto Luongo. If he shows up tonight and is the goalie who can, then the Canucks win. If he doesn’t have it, Boston raises Lord Stanley’s Cup and the Canucks must wait another year.
That said, I think Tim Thomas wins the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP no matter who claims victory tonight. Unless he surrenders eight goals, Thomas has inarguably led the Bruins to where they are now. As soon as he puts pad to puck for the first time tonight, Thomas will set a playoff record for saves in a single post-season. He has been the reason the Bruins have gotten away with some big mistakes and have held on long enough to occasionally get the scoring machine in gear and keep this a series. In my mind you’ll really have to struggle to make a case for anyone else.
The other question that remains for tonight is can the Bruins show up on the road. This team has been night-and-day different from Boston to Vancouver, dominating on home ice and never seeming to really find itself on the road this series. The Bruins would do well to really come out flying against the Canucks and try to intimidate them physically. If the Canucks are allowed to establish the pace and flow of the game, that will spell disaster for the Bruins.
So buckle your seatbelts! I expect nothing less than a game that will take all 60 minutes – if not more – to decide. Enjoy the game.