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Canucks could win Cup despite stats disadvantage

Sunday, 06.12.2011 / 3:55 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Canucks could win Cup despite stats disadvantage
BOSTON -- The Bruins have scored more than twice as many goals as the Canucks, including two while being down a man.
 
That's only the beginning of it.
 
Tim Thomas' goals-against average is more than 100 percent better than Roberto Luongo's. Henrik and Daniel Sedin have combined for the same amount of points in the Stanley Cup Final as Bruins' fourth-liner Daniel Paille. The Canucks' power play is operating at a four percent success rate.
 
The statistical edge in this championship series leans so heavily in Boston's favor that it's almost stunning to believe that the team that can actually win the Stanley Cup on Monday is the one from Vancouver.

Going solely by the numbers, it's almost stunning to believe that the city of Boston isn't already planning a parade for its beloved Bruins.
 
Talk about strange, but true.
 
"Stats are for GMs and player agents; what matters is a win," Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. "During the regular season everyone is trying to get their stats, but in the playoffs, I can only speak for our team, nobody could care about stats.
 
"We obviously had a couple of lopsided losses against Chicago where things went the wrong way. We've had two lopsided losses here. Stats aren't going to be in our favor, but you're not playing for stats. You're playing for a win and that's all that counts. That's the benchmark."
 
Vancouver has set the benchmark at home with three wins -- each by a single goal. It hasn't even come close in Boston.
 
The Canucks are getting dominated in just about every statistical category in this series because they've been outscored, 12-1, at TD Garden.
 
They're playing Game 6 on Monday (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS) with the luxury of knowing that, if necessary, they can play another game at home this season. But, the Canucks want to return home champions, so they better figure out why things went so badly here last week and correct everything.
 
"The two games in Boston, our second periods were a problem," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said, referencing the Bruins' 6-0 scoring edge in the second period during the two games here. "We played real well in the first period, and for whatever reason the game got away from us in the second. We all know that we need to be better. We need to make every shift in every period count."
 
Vigneault trusts that Henrik and Daniel Sedin will help make that happen. Like everyone else, he also must find it difficult to believe that the Canucks can actually win the Stanley Cup without getting a single point from Henrik and five games without a point from Daniel.
 
Or, can they?
 
"You've got to give credit where credit is due -- their goaltender has made some great saves on them and their defensemen have done a great job," Vigneault said. "They have been shut down for a few games, but I'm confident the tide should turn here soon."
 
As for Vancouver's ailing power play, which was better -- yet still unproductive -- in Game 4, Henrik Sedin sees it coming around, as well. After all, the Canucks can't win the Stanley Cup by scoring just one power-play goal against Boston.
 
Or, can they?
"Stats are for GMs and player agents; what matters is a win. During the regular season everyone is trying to get their stats, but in the playoffs, I can only speak for our team, nobody could care about stats." -- Kevin Bieksa
"Last game was a big step in the right direction," Henrik Sedin said. "We're looking forward to (Monday's) game and getting a bounce because we've been working hard for it."
 
Luongo is looking forward to Monday's game, too.
 
What a statement it would be for him to put together a winning performance in the building that for now is considered his own personal house of horrors and in front of the fans that had so much fun at his expense last week.
 
His goals-against average at TD Garden is a ghastly 6.99; his save percentage a pedestrian .793.
 
The Canucks absolutely will not win the Stanley Cup in Boston if those numbers don't change.
 
"I don't want to start making excuses for what happened here in the first two games," Luongo said. "(Monday) night is all about having fun, making sure you enjoy the moment and come ready to play hard, lay it all on the line and see what happens."
 
On the ice, not the stat sheet.
 
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter: @drosennhl
Quote of the Day

I think Loui Eriksson is a player that can be even better than he was last year. I think we started seeing that at the end of the year, and he could be a replacement for Jarome as a possibility.

— Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien on forward Loui Eriksson's potential