After the Vancouver Canucks won the first two games of the 2010-11 Stanley Cup Finals, a lot of people were saying things like...
The Canucks have too much talent...
The Canucks are the deeper team...
It's the Canucks year...
It was difficult to argue against those comments because in both games it seemed that the Canucks just looked like the better team.
Still, after those games, I was having a discussion with a hockey fan who was in the "Boston doesn't have enough talent to beat the Canucks" camp and I said...Boston has enough talent to win the cup. Plus, the team that wins the cup will probably not win because of talent...they will win because of hard work and perseverance.
Of course, the Bruins won the next two games at home in very convincing fashion.
In both of those games, the Canucks seemed like the team that was outmatched completely.
Game 5 was, by all accounts, the most evenly played game of he series. In the end, it was 1 goal...1 goal in total from both teams...that decided the contest.
Although the Bruins lost, continuing the trend of "home team wins the game", it was the best game the Bruins played in Vancouver.
Last night was back to Boston for Game 6 and unfortunately for the Canucks, back to being beaten in a rather handily manner, 5-2. Like all of the games that have been played in Boston, it was another example of how hard work beats talent that doesn't work hard enough.
As they head into game 7, there are a number of different ways you can look at this match-up to try and predict a winner...
Home teams have won the other 6...game 7 will be the same.
Boston is playing better in Vancouver with each game...they will break the home team streak.
Luongo wants to prove himself...this will be his shining moment.
Thomas has been the best player in the series...he'll lead the Bruins to victory.
Of course, we could go back an forth all day with reasons why each team will/should win.
In the end I think it boils down to this...
The Canucks are probably the team with more talent...but unless they can, to a man, match the work ethic of the Bruins, they will not win game 7.
When you get to game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, talent can only be the deciding factor if ALL other factors are equal.
Talent alone cannot win game 7.
Going into the series, I really didn't have a favorite.
As a fan of hockey, I wanted to see an exciting series...and if possible, one that would go to a seventh game.
The series, as whole, has been exciting...it's been a roller coaster ride that's approaching it's final hill.
I hope this game seven is one for the ages.
I hope it's one that both teams and their fans can be proud of.
Ultimately, I hope it's one the Bruins win...simply because after watching these two teams slug it out over the past six games, I feel the Bruins deserve the cup more than the Canucks do.
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