The Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins will meet in the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Series and it should be one of the more exciting series in recent memory. Both teams are hungry for a Stanley Cup this year and I have a feeling that we're going to have another long 7-game series between two of the best teams in the NHL right now. Vancouver has never won the Stanley Cup and Boston hasn't won the Cup since 71-72, which is when Bobby Orr was manning the point.
» 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Betting Odds
- Vancouver Canucks Win Stanley Cup -235
- Boston Bruins Win Stanley Cup +195
Vancouver Canucks will have the home ice advantage over the Bruins in the series, but I'm not sure they deserve to be such a big favourite in the series. Both teams had a tough 1st round playoff battle that lasted 7 games apiece. Vancouver beat Chicago in 7 games and the Bruins beat the Canadiens in 7 games. The Canucks moved past the Predators in 6 games in round 2 while the Canucks had an easy 4-game sweep over the Flyers.
The Canucks had their way with the Sharks in the 3rd round and won the series 4-1 while the Bruins had a tough test against the Lightning although Boston was able to win the series in 7-games. The two teams don't play each other much, but the Bruins won the only regular season meeting this season by the score of 3-1 thanks to Milan Lucic. Lucic is from Vancouver and seems to always play great against them, which could be a huge storyline during the series.
Milan Lucic only has 3 goals in the playoffs this season and needs to step it up in the Stanley Cup series. If Lucic starts finding his offensive touch then the Canucks might be in trouble this series. Another huge factor in this series is how the goalies do. Both goalies are aging veterans, but at the top of their game right now. Roberto Luongo (32 Years Old) and Tim Thomas (37 Years Old) are both playing great in between the pipes right now and either goalie could win the series for their team this season.
Vancouver has the advantage when you look on paper in the series, but I think it'll be closer than the bookies expect. Vancouver scored more goals during the season and conceded fewer goals during the season than the Bruins. Zdeno Chara is going to be the most important player on the ice for Boston this series and he needs to continue his awesome +/-. Right now Chara is +11 and he leads the playoffs in this category.
Although I think the series will be close I really like the Vancouver Canucks to win the series. Here is a cool little fact that I also found out while handicapping the series. In 1976 Montreal hosted the Summer Olympics and the Canadiens won the Cup. In 1988 Calgary hosted the Winter Olympics and won the Cup the same year. Now the Canucks can keep the tradition going, as the last Winter Olympics was hosted in Vancouver and they now have a chance to win the Cup.