If you are a Vancouver Canucks fan you know what’s happening tomorrow morning in Boston. I know I’ve had it marked down on my calendar since the beginning of the season. Without a doubt the most anticipated game of the NHL season so far and it couldn’t come at a better time. Both teams have been en fuego the last few months and both teams are now either at the top or near the top of their respective conferences. Both teams are clicking on all cylinders: both starting goalies have been playing at an elite level, the offences are filling the net regularly and both defences have been in shut down mode.
Of course what most people want to see is how the Canucks respond to last years painful Stanley Cup defeat. The Bruins physically abused the Canucks for 7 games, often using after the whistle intimidation to get in the heads and under the skin of the Canucks star players. Players like Brad Marchand and Shawn Thornton are now ingrained in Canucks fans’ heads forever as infamous evil doers. So will tomorrow’s game be a rowdy penalty filled game with cheap shots, epic fights and misconducts galore? I’m thinking no unless something crazy happens like an Aaron Rome on Nathan Horton type hit. The Canucks know they are not built to beat the Bruins with physical play, they have to win with their power play, speed and skill.
One thing that does disappoint about tomorrow’s match up is that Roberto Luongo will not be given the start. Instead, the Canucks are giving Cory Schneider the start because he is from Massachusetts and they want him to have a shot at playing in front of family and friends. I call bullshit, to me this looks like the Canucks are protecting Luongo from a possible mental breakdown if he ends up having a horrible game in Boston. Yes, Luongo did play awful in Boston during last year’s cup final and yes, maybe a loss in Boston would mess up his mojo. However, I think for the team and even more so for the ever so critical Canucks fans they need to see Luongo overcome his demons to fully respect and get behind their #1 goalie. In sports and heck even life, in order to progress or grow you need to face adversity and overcome your barriers. Shying away from them doesn’t solve anything. In actual fact benching Luongo tomorrow may hurt his psyche even more because in the biggest game of the season the Canucks decide to bench him. If you want to have the best shot at winning against a tough opponent you put your best team on the ice. Benching arguably your most important player makes little to no sense. It’s like the Canucks want to have an excuse in case they lose, ‘oh, well we didn’t have our #1 in the net so yeah…’
Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not saying because Schneider is in net the Canucks are bound to lose. I think the Canucks win regardless of the goalie between the pipes. Im just saying it would be more beneficial for the team in the long run for that winning goalie tomorrow to be Luongo. Damn, I wish the wife would let me get back into sports betting because I’d love to throw down on the Canucks at +150…hmmmmm
Enjoy the game!