As we get ready for the start of game one of the Stanley Cup finals, I thought it’d be wise to drop in my predictions. I know I haven’t done any predictions for the 2011 playoffs like I have for previous years, mostly because it’s been a crapshoot this year, but I’m weighing in now. Here we go.
While these two teams are closer than a lot of people are willing to admit, I think there are two key areas (that everyone else hasn’t already mentioned) that separate the Vancouver Canucks from the Boston Bruins.
There’s no doubt that the Bruins have some terrific offensive depth. It’s a large reason why they are in the Stanley Cup finals. However, their top line of Lucic – Krejci – Horton isn’t quite a top line. It’s more of a strong second line and it pales in comparison to the D. Sedin – H. Sedin – Burrows line of Vancouver. It’s not even a debate. When you break down the Bruins second line of Marchand – Bergeron – Recchi, it’s solid, but no better than the Canucks second line of Raymond – Kesler – Higgins. Boston are rocking a 2a and 2b type set up for lines. Sure, it’s good enough to get you through the East, but not the Western Conference champs in Vancouver.
The 2011 Bruins remind me so much of the 2011 San Jose Sharks. They’re strong and skilled with lots of depth, but are significantly slower than Vancouver. I’m still blown away by Vancouver skating circles around a very good San Jose team. In short, I foresee the exact same thing happening with the Bruins. The Canucks are just too fast. As we approach games four and five, it will become a big difference maker for Vancouver. It’s going to really wear down a slower Boston team.
It should come as no surprise that I am picking Vancouver to win the 2011 Stanley Cup. Boston will put up a good fight, but Vancouver are too skilled, too strong and too fast. This is their Cup to lose. Canucks in six games.
Stay classy, future Stanley Cup Champion Vancouver Canucks. (God I really hope I’m not wrong on this!).