Sixteen teams began the quest for the Stanley Cup in mid-April. Just two – the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks -- remain.
The Boston Bruins earned their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 21 years when outlasted the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Friday's victory earned them a berth against the Vancouver Canucks, who knocked off the San Jose Sharks in five games and will have had a week to rest before the Final gets under way on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS).
Here's a look at some of the key numbers and figures as we get ready to determine a champion:0 –
Stanley Cups won by the Canucks since entering the NHL in 1970. They have company -- the Buffalo Sabres, who entered the League with the Canucks 41 years ago, don't have one either.1 --
Goals allowed by Boston goaltender Tim Thomas in his three career starts against Vancouver. The Canucks' lone goal against Thomas came on Feb. 26 in Boston's 3-1 victory at Rogers Arena.2 –
Shutouts during this year's playoffs by Thomas and Vancouver's Roberto Luongo
, tying them for the playoff lead. Both also enter the Stanley Cup Final with the exact same goals-against average -- 2.29.3 –
Power-play goals scored by the Bruins in the Eastern Conference Finals, giving them all of five for the playoffs. Vancouver had three in less than two minutes during Game 4 of the Western Finals and finished the series against San Jose with seven.4 –
Overtime wins in this year's playoffs by the Bruins, who haven't lost in OT this spring. The Canucks are 3-2 in overtime, including their series-winning double-OT victory in Game 5 against the Sharks.5 –
Consecutive losses in the Stanley Cup Final by the Bruins since their last championship. Boston lost in 1974 (Philadelphia), '77 (Montreal), '78 (Montreal again), '88 (Edmonton) and '90 (Edmonton again). The Canucks have lost both previous trips to the Final, in 1982 (Islanders) and '94 (Rangers).6 –
Losses by both the Canucks and Bruins in this year's playoffs. Vancouver has seen its total drop from three in the opening round against Chicago to two against Nashville and one against San Jose. Boston lost three times each to Montreal and Tampa Bay, sandwiched around a sweep of Philadelphia.7 –
Consecutive series-openers won by the Canucks, including all three this year. Luongo has been in goal for all seven and is 8-1 lifetime in Game 1s. The Bruins lost two of their three openers this spring.8 –
Goals scored by Boston's Nathan Horton in this year's playoffs, in seven games. The Bruins have won all seven, with Horton getting three game-winners, including a pair in overtime and two in Game 7s.9 –
Regular-season shutouts by Thomas, who was second in the NHL behind the Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist. Luongo finished the season with four.10 –
Goals scored by Boston's David Krejci in this year's playoffs. He's tied for the League lead with Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis. Daniel Sedin
leads Vancouver with eight.
Career victories against Boston by Luongo, who is 11-10-3 all-time against the Bruins in 25 career appearances. Thomas has won all three career starts against the Canucks.12 –
Assists by Vancouver's Henrik Sedin
in the Canucks' five-game victory against San Jose in the Western Finals -- a big reason he leads all scorers with 21 points, including 19 assists.14 –
Point differential between the Canucks (117) and Bruins (103). It's the first time in their three trips to the Final that the Canucks have had more points than their opponent. Vancouver won the Presidents' Trophy for the first time; in their two previous trips, the Canucks were facing the Presidents' Trophy winner.
Years since a team has won the Cup after winning Game 7 in the opening round since Pittsburgh did it in 1992. That streak will end this year – both finalists had to go to seven games in their first-round series.22 –
Years since a Stanley Cup-winning team will have a roster without a player who has already won a Cup. Both the Canucks (Mikael Samuelsson) and Bruins (Mark Recchi) have players who've won it all -- Samuelsson with Detroit three years ago and Recchi with Pittsburgh in 1991. The last team to win the Cup without a player who had previously won was the 1989 Calgary Flames.
Victories by the Canucks in their 108 regular-season meetings with Boston (the teams have never met in the playoffs). That total represents the fewest wins by Vancouver against any team that it has faced 100 or more times since entering the NHL.39 –
Years since the Bruins have won the Stanley Cup. Boston hasn't won it all since beating the New York Rangers in six games in the 1972 Final for their second Cup in three years. It came in the Canucks' second season in the NHL.182 –
Career playoff games for Recchi, the only player on either team who has played more than 100. Recchi's 58 playoff goals are also more than anyone on either team -- Vancouver's Samuelsson and Daniel Sedin
are next with 22.
Author: John Kreiser | NHL.com Columnist