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(Page 22 of 25)
2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Checking out how the Canucks, Bruins match up

Wednesday, 06.01.2011 / 5:29 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks rolled through the regular season to capture the Presidents’ Trophy as the top team in the NHL. The Boston Bruins were near the top of the Eastern Conference all season, winning the Northeast Division for the second time in three years.

Vancouver avoided a historic collapse in the first round of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, yielding a 3-0 series lead against nemesis Chicago before escaping with a Game 7 victory. Since then the Canucks have looked like a Cup favorite, dispatching the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks.

Boston dropped the first two games of its opening-round series against archrival Montreal before rallying to win in seven games. Next, they exorcised some demons by sweeping the Philadelphia Flyers a year after collapsing against them. Finally, the Bruins sweated out another epic seven-game series against Tampa Bay before winning 1-0 in Game 7 at TD Garden.

Now, both teams are here -- Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final is Wednesday night at Rogers Arena. Who has the edge in some key areas? Let’s take a look:
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Six Questions: Can B's curb Sedins' effectiveness?

Wednesday, 06.01.2011 / 4:50 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Dan Rosen and Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writers

VANCOUVER -- It's been 39 years since the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup and it's been, well, never for the 40-year-old Vancouver Canucks. One team will take a big step toward erasing that history Wednesday night at Rogers Arena with the 2011 Stanley Cup Final ready to finally get under way.
 
The Bruins and Canucks don't have much in the way of history. Boston has been to the Stanley Cup Final five times since Vancouver entered the League in 1970, but never has it faced the Canucks, who lost in this round in 1982 and 1994. The Canucks and Bruins met only once this season with Boston winning 3-1 here at Rogers Arena thanks to a three-point night from Vancouver-native Milan Lucic.
 
All that means absolutely nothing with Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS) only hours away. Here are six questions to ponder as you wait for the championship round to begin:
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Good Game 1s have fueled Vancouver's playoff run

Wednesday, 06.01.2011 / 2:33 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

"Obviously there's going to be some butterflies, all that good stuff, but as soon as the puck drops … we're going to enjoy this ride we're going to be on."
-- Ryan Kesler

VANCOUVER -- Apart from grabbing the early series lead, Henrik Sedin believes the Canucks' success in Game 1s this postseason has done wonders for the team's psyche and confidence.
 
"It shows you can play against the other team, and you don't really have to change a lot of things," Vancouver's captain said Wednesday morning. "The next game they're going to have to make adjustments to beat you. That's an advantage for sure."
 
Vancouver has won all three Game 1s this postseason and seven straight dating back to the 2009 Western Conference Semifinals. But Wednesday's Game 1 (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS) signifies the start of the Stanley Cup Final, and that's a totally different animal.
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NHL.com staff Stanley Cup Final predictions

Wednesday, 06.01.2011 / 2:31 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

NHL.com

After eight months of grueling and breath-taking action across North America, the hockey world has finally reached the ultimate destination: The Stanley Cup Final.

Starting Wednesday night in Vancouver with Game 1, the Canucks and the Boston Bruins will battle it out for hockey supremacy in the best-of-7 series. Boston has not won a title since 1972, while the Canucks have yet to win the Stanley Cup in their 40-year-old history.

So, who will emerge victorious? The opinions are as varied as the miles between these two cities.

Here is a sampling of what some of the NHL.com editorial team is thinking as we wait for puck drop; and below are their predictions on who will win the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.
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Torres making sure to enjoy his second Cup Final

Wednesday, 06.01.2011 / 2:08 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

VANCOUVER -- Twenty players will dress for the Vancouver Canucks in Game 1 against Boston. Nineteen of them will be making their Stanley Cup Final debut.
 
Raffi Torres is Vancouver's grizzled Cup Final veteran, and even he can't believe it.
 
"It is a little strange," said Torres, who played all seven games with Edmonton in the 2006 Stanley Cup Final. "You think with all the great players that we have on this team ? obviously Vancouver hasn't been far off the last couple of years. I think with this team, the leaders that we've got in the room, they're really keeping it easy for everyone in the room."
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Malhotra still day-to-day ahead of Game 1

Wednesday, 06.01.2011 / 1:44 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Dhiren Mahiban - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- For the second straight day injured Canucks center Manny Malhotra did not skate with his teammates, and Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault reiterated Malhotra's status remains "day-to-day".

Malhotra, 31, has been out of the Canucks lineup since March 16 when he was struck in his left eye with a deflected puck. The veteran center underwent two surgeries on the eye, and according to the team, has one more, which will take place in the offseason.

This past weekend, coach Alain Vigneault announced Malhotra was cleared to play, but GM Mike Gillis adjusted that stance Tuesday.

"He hasn't been cleared to play yet, he's been cleared for some contact, and he gets monitored every day."
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Reading list: Last-minute prep as Game 1 beckons

Wednesday, 06.01.2011 / 11:16 AM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

NHL.com

The calendar has flipped over to June and the puck is set to drop on Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night at Rogers Arena (8 p.m., NBC, CBC, RDS).

When the Vancouver Canucks clinched the Presidents' Trophy as regular-season champions, it assured them home-ice advantage throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and they've retained that by winning series over Chicago, Nashville and San Jose, making shorter work of each successive opponent.

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Lapierre, Higgins enjoy big role in Canucks' run

Tuesday, 05.31.2011 / 11:18 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

VANCOUVER -- As the 2011 NHL trade deadline approached, the Vancouver Canucks were atop the Western Conference but injuries were causing problems for the team's defense corps.

General Manager Mike Gillis was confident in the organization's depth on defense, and instead made a pair of moves to improve his already stacked group of forwards. Given the way the rest of this season has gone for the Canucks, it now looks like Gillis' forward thinking was spot on.

He added Maxim Lapierre from the Anaheim Ducks and Chris Higgins from the Florida Panthers, and both have been important figures for the Canucks in part because of injuries to Manny Malholtra and Mikael Samuelsson.
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With retirement possible, Recchi wants one more Cup

Tuesday, 05.31.2011 / 11:11 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

VANCOUVER -- Mark Recchi has been a successful NHL player for longer than almost every other player in League history, but he's decided if his Boston Bruins win four more games it will be the final achievement in his amazing career.

Recchi, who turned 43 years old in February, had another solid season as a complimentary forward for the Bruins and could probably continue. His reasoning for wanting to call it quits if he gets to lift the Stanley Cup for a third time is pretty simple -- he wants to revel in the spoils of being a champion again.

"I know it because I'll never be able to train hard enough and have way too much in the summer," Recchi said. "It is too short. September would come way too quick for me. I think if I get that opportunity to win again, I'd want to really enjoy it. I'd try to want to be at as many Stanley Cup parties as I can be, so that's really what led to that [decision]. This is a special group, and if we do get that opportunity, I want to take full advantage of it."
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Bruins back in city where roster changes began

Tuesday, 05.31.2011 / 10:55 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

VANCOUVER – Believe it or not, the Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins were likely conceived right here at Rogers Arena.

As the trade deadline approached at the end of February, Boston made a flurry of moves. GM Peter Chiarelli was looking not only for some specific help in skill areas, but additionally chemistry in the dressing room as the team began the home stretch for what it hoped would be a long run into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

In the marquee move, Chiarelli scored veteran puck-moving defenseman Tomas Kaberle from the Toronto Maple Leafs. But, the supplementary additions of lower-line forwards Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley were also instrumental in the process.
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