Tonight the Hockey God's will be in attendance as Gary Bettman and the NHLPA crown a new Stanley Cup Champion tonight, but who will win?
Each team is exhausted. It has been a long and hard road. Many are starting to figure out both goalies. For example, to beat Thomas you need to get him to move east to west, and with Luongo you need to go glove hand. He has a slow glove and tries to time everything just right. In Game 6, he was beat glove side high, so the next shot he tried to stay high a little longer and time going low but could not squeeze the pads and let in a second of three goals before getting the yank.
Boston his definitely in Vancouver's head. Boston took out another player as Raymond was sent into the boards awkwardly and had to be taken to the hospital where it was found he has a broken vertebrae. The rest of the game Vancouver looked taken aback and never established a rhythm.
Boston has been the better of two teams in this finals, outscoring Vancouver as well as outplaying them for the puck everytime. Having watched the last game, whenever the puck was dumped into the boards I saw three Vancouver players and only one Boston player yet Boston got control of the puck.
Vancouver needs to get back to the basics and find their game plan. During the San Jose series, Vancouver had a track record of letting them back into the game. It is no different in the Finals, but to overcome this I have noticed a few things they could change.
Vancouver has stepped it up and decreased odd man rushes that plagued them in the San Jose series but they have fallen back in aggressiveness. In past series Vancouver was aggressive to the puck and flew down the ice at every opportunity. I saw maybe one or two dump and chase attempts from them in Game 6 which is not their style, the fast legs of Sedin brothers and Burrows should give them the edge in that department.
Speaking of Sedin's, where have they been? If it wasn't for the fact the two of them are on the ice almost 30 min. a game you would never think they were in the series. Henrik had a goal in Game 6 which should that maybe he can start leading the team in Game 7 but I wonder how much he has left in the tank.
Vancouver needs to have a talk with Luongo. I think a good thing is the fact that Game 7 is in Vancouver tonight but the crowd will still attempt to get into his head. He has been shaky most of this series and needs to get his confidence back. For goalies, its not just simply looking at the next day and practicing harder it has to do with mental abilities too. I think a big thing is Vancouver needs to play better in front him and get that first goal (key factor). The team with the first goal has won each game in this finals series.
Keys to victory for Vancouver: Go hard to the crease. Get into Thomas' grill, cause penalties and establish your ground in front of the net. Again to beat Thomas you need to get him going left or right. Continue to pass around get the play set up. If the puck is at the top bring it around the glass or into the corner, you can get the battles and then that will open up the middle or sides to get Thomas moving.
Keys to victory for Boston: Get into Luongo's head quick. Fast transitions are key, use your speed and quick hands. If Vancouver doesn't show physical play, then start it. Keep getting young guys involved in the play, Paille and Seguin are having a great series and can continue. I would say keep out of the penalty box but Boston has done well a man short. Not only have they scored short handed, they were able to control the puck for over half the penalty not once but twice in Game 6.
At this point it is hard for me to figure out who will win. Vancouver has bounced back every time they have been down and Boston makes mistakes too. This has been a great series. I was a little disappointed when I saw San Jose get knocked out but I do think this goes down as one of the best Finals series in 5 years. Tonight will go down in history!
I will post up after game thoughts and recap the game. Also follow me on Twitter @WillWodka2133