Boston Bruins Defeat Vancouver Canucks, Win Stanley Cup
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When the Boston Bruins fell 2-0 to the Vancouver Canucks in the first two games of the series, they faced incredible odds of making a comeback:
According to WhoWins.com, the team that goes up 2-0 in the Finals has won the series 87% of the time across all sports and 91% of the time in the history of the NHL.
The Bruins stormed back, winning Games 3 and 4 by a combined score of 12-1. The Canucks then edged the Bruins 1-0 in Game 5 but the Bruins weren’t going to give in — they came back to Boston where they won by a score of 5-2. Despite forcing a Game 7, winning on the road had only been done a handful of times across all major sports.
The story of the game (and possibly the story of the season) was Tim Thomas’ brilliance. Thomas stopped all 37 shots that the Canucks fired at him and was rightfully awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP. Thomas was stellar all season long, recording the highest save percentage of all time at .938. He maintained his pace in the playoffs, stopping 94% of all shots with just a 1.98 goals against average.
On the other side of the coin is Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo. Often labeled as one of the best goalies in the NHL, Luongo was good at times but didn’t show the consistency necessary to win a Stanley Cup. In their first round series of the Chicago Blackhawks, Vancouver fans were calling for Luongo’s head when the team blew a 3-0 series lead, with Luongo allowing a combined 10 goals in Games 3 and 4. It was actually very similar to what happened in the Finals. The unfortunate thing for Vancouver is Luongo is the highest-paid goalie in the league and is signed through 2022.
The 2011 Stanley Cup Finals left many fans hungry for more action. Fortunately, the 2011-2012 NHL season is only a few months away.