Tomorrow marks the first visit of the Boston Bruins to the scene of their 2011 Stanley Cup triumph. That series went with the home side for the first six games, then the Bruins dominated the Canucks to win the all important Game 7, clinching the cup. As the Bruins celebrated on the ice, the city of Vancouver had to endure rioting on the streets to add to the pain of Game 7 Stanley Cup defeat. The teams met once since in Boston when the Canucks got a small measure of revenge in a Cory Schneider in net victory.
The Canucks have failed to get past the first round in the two seasons since their 2011 Stanley Cup appearance, leading some to say that they have missed their chance. The Bruins are defending Eastern Conference champions, losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in last year’s final, and are fancied to go close again in 2014.
That Game 7 loss, coupled with their last two first round playoff exits have lead to claims of the Canucks not being tough enough to win the Cup. The Canucks have added size in recent seasons and in new coach John Tortorella, toughness will be added to their arsenal. This match up will be a further test of where the Canucks are and how they can compete against high skilled but physically tough opposition. To get through the West they will have to be able to compete against tough, skilled teams.
Boston have grown since their 2011 Cup win into one of the top teams in the league. The Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins are widely seen as the Top Two in the East and the Bruins are guaranteed to have a big say in 2014,
The Canucks are on a good run of form, winning their last 6 games and going 7-2-1 in their last 10. Boston are also in good form, winning 4 in a row and are 8-2-0 in their last 10, sitting on top of the Eastern Conference. This further sets up this exciting match up.
Rogers Arena is known for being a quiet arena, but the noise level should be at a season high as there is a lot of emotion involved when Vancouverites think of the Boston Bruins. Expect a high octane atmosphere and a game of big hits in this eagerly anticipated clash, as two team in rich form duke it out at the first rematch in the scene of that famous Game 7 clash in 2011.