Since their arrival in the NHL in the fall of 1970, no team has made life more miserable for the Vancouver Canucks
than the Boston Bruins
The Canucks-Bruins matchup in the Stanley Cup Final is the first playoff meeting ever between the two franchises. That's probably just as well for the Canucks, who've never fared well against Boston.
In the 108 regular-season meetings between the teams, Boston is 68-24-15-1, while the Canucks are 25-66-15-2. The 25 wins are the fewest the Canucks have had against any team they've played 100 or more times druing their 40 NHL seasons.
The Bruins' domination of the Canucks began early.
The teams met for the first time on Oct. 18, 1970, when the Bruins came to the Pacific Coliseum for the sixth game in franchise history for the newly-formed Canucks. The Bruins, on their way to one of the great regular seasons in NHL history, left town with a 5-3 victory.
Despite their geographical disparity, the Canucks were placed in the Eastern Division with five of the Original Six teams and their fellow newcomers, the Buffalo Sabres
. That meant the Canucks faced the Bruins six times during their first season. Boston won the first three before the Canucks delighted a Pacific Coliseum crowd of 15,570 by beating the Bruins 5-4 on Feb. 16, 1971, when Rosaire Paiement
scored the game-winner with 47 seconds left.
The Bruins won the next eight meetings before the Canucks got their first-ever victory in Boston, beating the reigning Stanley Cup champs 5-4 on Oct. 22, 1972. The Bruins then went 9-0-1 in the next 10 games between the teams, meaning that they were 20-2-1 in the first 23 meetings.
Things have gotten a little better for the Canucks over the years, but not much.
As they enter the Final, Boston has won 68 times (66 in regulation, twice in overtime since 2000, when OT losers were awarded a point), with Vancouver winning 25 (24 in regulation, once in a shootout). The other 15 games ended in ties.
Boston won the only meeting between the teams this season, beating the Canucks 3-1 on Feb. 26. The Bruins have visited Rogers Arena just three times since 2002, losing 5-2 on Dec. 4, 2004, before winning 1-0 on Oct. 28, 2008, and again this past February. Since 2005, Boston has won four of the five meetings.
Going to Boston has been a horror show for the Canucks. They are just 8-38-7-1 all-time in Boston – although they did win 3-2 in a shootout in their last visit to TD Garden on Feb. 6, 2010. The Canucks have visited Boston just twice since 2003.
In all, the Bruins are 29-17-8 in Vancouver and have won four of their last five visits (one in overtime). They have never been shut out in their 54 trips to the Pacific Northwest, and own five of the six shutouts in the all-time series.
Those aren't good numbers for the Canucks – but here's a couple that are in their favor. They are the first team since the 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens
to lead the League in both goals scored and goals against, and those Canadiens won the Cup. The Canucks also won the Presidents' Trophy – and the last four Presidents' Trophy winners to make the Final have gone on to win the Cup.