In one corner, you have a team that has not won the Stanley Cup in its 40 years of existence.
In the opposite corner, you have an Original Six team that has not won the cup in 39 years.
Two teams. For Cup-less decades. Like I said, this Stanley Cup Final was a series that was destined to go to seven games. And one of these two teams — the Vancouver Canucks or the Boston Bruins — will break a long Cup drought.
Hunter S. Thompson could not write a better hockey story.
Well, first of all, Dr. Thompson died six years ago.
Second of all, I'm pretty sure that many of the details in whatever hockey story he wrote would not be conducive to the NHL Substance Abuse Policy.
He's just a very enjoyable writer, and he was the first great author who popped into my head.
Hence, you also get my stretch of an attempt at a fun title for this post.
However, on that topic… there is no fears on either side tonight. The Canucks know that they play good, tight hockey at home in this series. Daniel Sedin predicted that the Canucks will win Game 7 the Stanley Cup tonight, although he apparently backed off from that earlier today.
Now, obviously, those are some bold words. They're also easy to say when a reporter puts a microphone in your face. Then again, the last guy I recall guaranteeing a win in the next game during the Stanley Cup Final was Mark Messier in 1994.
And he happened to be right.
There are certainly arguments for both sides. As already mentioned, Vancouver has played very well at home in this series. And on the road you could probably get a beach ball past Roberto Luongo without the help of Photoshop (I got a couple funny e-mails after Games 3 and 4).
This game is in Rogers Arena. Potential advantage: Vancouver.
Boston has dominated at home and, despite three losses on the road, has hung with Vancouver in Rogers thus far. Boston kicked six kinds of hell out of Vancouver on Monday, so outsiders could just as easily argue that the Bruins have all the momentum.
Potential advantage: Bruins.
Vancouver's clutch men could finally snap out of their funks and catch fire tonight. The Bruins could also break through that metaphorical brick wall that Luongo has been on home ice.
Maybe both could happen.
Maybe neither could happen.
Either way, I smell another one-goal game in Rogers.
And 40 guys leaving it all on the ice.
No, there is no fear. But you can bet the loathing is certainly there.
Nathan Horton knocked out in game three Mason Raymond knocked out in game six. The Canucks have taken it on the chin, but have played hard-nosed hockey at home. The Bruins have manhandled the Canucks at home, and play hard-nosed hockey on the road.
Rest assured, no matter what happens tonight, this evening marks the end of not only the hockey season, but also an epic series. Will it go down as the greatest seven-game Stanley Cup final in history? Probably not. At least not from the list that I saw the other day.
A nearly four-decade wait will end tonight for someone. And it will end in a Game 7.
That may be a little longer than I have been alive…
… but I defy anyone to top this series.
One more time, with feeling… Go Bruins!
Unleash hell in Vancouver.
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