Waiting for the flatline

The Vancouver Canucks rolled through the regular season with very few bumps in the road. One of those, a 3-1 home loss to the Bruins in February, was the fifth win in a perfect 6-0 road trip by Boston. At the time, there was nary a word about a potential meeting in the Stanley Cup Playoffs three months down the road.

But here we are.

And in the span of six periods, the Canucks have gone from resting comfortably in the driver’s seat to being hog-tied and helpless in the trunk. A loss in tonight’s Game 5 in the Rogers Centre would be absolutely devastating for Vancouver, which entered the series as heavy favorites.

But something was lost during that cross-country flight on the heels of Vancouver’s demoralizing overtime victory over the Bruins in Game 2. Or maybe it was simply Aaron Rome’s brutal cheap shot hit that ended Nathan Horton’s season that provided the wake-up call Boston needed. Since then, the Bruins have outscored the Canucks 12-1 and thoroughly dominated play.

The Bruins have been maddeningly inconsistent at times this season but  seem to have regained their focus at the absolute most opportune time. Perhaps a return to home ice will provide the boost the Canucks need. But if the Bruins play their game — aggressively forecheck, stay out of the penalty box, capitalize on turnovers, get rock-solid goaltending — there’s no reason to believe they won’t be returning to the Garden holding a 3-2 series lead.

If that’s the case, you might as well start decorating the Duck Boats right now because, come Monday night, there will be a sparkling piece of sterling silver being hoisted overhead by a bunch of black-and-gold cult heroes who could really use a shave.

 

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2 thoughts on “Waiting for the flatline

  1. Good post bud. The series really has shifted and suddenly Boston is the team to beat. However, people seem to forget that the Bruins were pretty much counted out after game 2. For the first time in these playoffs home ice advantage might finally be the factor that pushes a team over the edge. We’ll see but there’s no way anyone should count the Canucks out at this point for sure. Roberto Luongo needs to come back strong, Kesler and the Sedins need to score, and the defence needs Hamhuis back. I feel like the Canucks are going to come back strong in a home game 5, but I thought they’d come back strong in game 4 so that probably doesn’t mean much. Also, you think you could check out my blog cuz I’d love to hear what you have to say. http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/trip-back-in-time-killing-canucks/

    1. Chris, thanks for the post. Only time will tell if the Bruins can carry their momentum over into Game 5. You’re right about the home ice. If you’re going to have a best-of-three series, you want two of those games at home, and that’s what the Canucks have. But if they don’t answer the call tonight, I honestly think it’s over in 6. The first two games in Vancouver were nowhere close to being one-sided and, honestly, two mistakes are probably all that stand in the way of the Bruins having the advantage in this series.
      It’s been entertaining, that’s for sure. I expect a pretty good game tonight.

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