Reed Review 5/30: Stanley Cup Final More Interesting Than You Think

Two teams vying for the infamously worshiped Stanley Cup, of all aspects of this matchup it’s not their scoring, goaltending or anything similar that I’m interested in. Instead I’m more intrigued of the fact we have our first Stanley Cup final in which both team captains are NOT North American. For some not a big deal but interesting to note considering only one European captain has ever led a team to win the Cup and only two have led teams to the finals in the entire history of the NHL.

In the era of the NHL every Stanley Cup final has consisted of American and Canadian captains save two. Big Zdeno Chara becomes the first captain from the Czech Republic, and Henrik Sedin becomes the third Swedish captain behind Daniel Alfredsson and future hall of famer Niklas Lidstrom.
Referring to an article I wrote a few weeks ago it only furthers my very opinionated idea. The fact is the sport of hockey is becoming much more an international game.

If you’ve read this far I suppose today I will throw you a bonus, my two cents summarizing this final.

Vancouver, I would say the most commonly picked team to win, has solid scoring. Kesler & the twin Sedins have been unstoppable as of late. Unless the big bad Chara can shut them down, Tim Thomas is going to have a run for his money in net. I can’t say much to the Canucks defence as nothing really has jumped out at me besides the fact that they are playing good enough for people not to notice. It seems only when someone’s playing bad or good that they get noticed, average performance gets you average attention. Roberto Luongo the once Vancouver captain has finally hushed a few critics with some interesting play. If he can perform like he did for Team Canada than Lord Stanley could be residing in Canada.

The Bruins are my pick for most well-rounded team in the NHL. When everything is working they have a complete squad combined of; offense, defence, checking, goaltending and even special teams. If it comes down to a game of depth I would put my money on Boston but they first need to shut down the first two lines of the Canucks. Peverley and Ryder are a few of my favourites on this team as underdogs, third liners that are producing those few extra needed goals.

All in all if I had to put money on it I would say the Vancouver Canucks will take this in 6 or 7 games. However, my somehow accurate gut feeling/instincts point towards a Boston Bruins win in 6 or 7 games. The ratings for this series I’m sure will be off the chart as fans from both major NHL countries gear up to watch arguably the two best teams in the league. For me, I cannot wait to see this series, definitely much more exciting than watching Philadelphia last year.

Matt Reed
Writer for The Reed Review, The Checking Line, Hockey Independent and Inside Hockey
http://twitter.com/NHLMattReed