In the NHL, the puck dropped for the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday night, with the President’s Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks facing off against the Boston Bruins. Both teams are looking to bring long-awaited glory to their respective cities, as Boston won its last cup in 1972 and Vancouver has yet to win a Cup in the team’s 40-year history. Canucks fans are hoping history holds true and the Canadian team that hosted the last Olympics wins the Stanley Cup as well. Bruins fans are hoping to forget last season’s playoff collapse, as their team dropped a 3-0 series lead to the Philadelphia Flyers during the Eastern Conference Finals.
Hockey fans saw a glimpse of what this series would look like on Wednesday, as the battle in Vancouver was actually a war between two goalies. Tim Thomas of the Bruins and Roberto Luongo are both Vezina Trophy finalists this year (the award given to the league’s best goalie) and during Game 1 it was apparent why. Luongo preserved the shutout for the Canucks, making 36 saves. Thomas also looked sharp for the Bruins, but one mental slip with only 19 seconds remaining in regulation gave the Canucks the 1-0 victory. The latest commercial in the NHL’s “History Will Be Made” series seems appropriate for this series, as it proclaims, “History goes down to the wire.”
Game 2 on Saturday also had a flare for the dramatic with the Canucks going up early, but then surrendering two quick goals in the second period to the Bruins. Vancouver tied it up halfway through the third period, which forced overtime. The Canucks only needed 11 seconds to score the game-winner and take a 2-0 series lead.
The series will head back to Boston on Monday evening for Game 3, where the Bruins will look to close the gap. The home team is no stranger to playing from behind, as the Bruins have fallen behind in two of the first three series, first to Montreal and then to Tampa Bay, before advancing to the next round.