Posts tagged ‘tim thomas’

June 8, 2011

5 reasons why the Bruins will beat the Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals

Stanley Cup 2011 finals After losing 8-1 in Game 3, the Canucks are in trouble in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. Game 4 is going to be more physical and the pressure is building on Vancouver after another anemic performance. All of that means this series that seemed won on Saturday night could be lost. Here’s why.

1. The Legend of Tim Thomas. If Ben Affleck is going to make another movie about the tough Boston streets, he might want to cast the Bruins’ goalie in a lead role. Thomas is Southie wicked and lived up to his nickname, Tank, on Monday night when he bowled over Henrik Sedin about seven minutes into the third period. That hit got laughed away too quickly. What it does is reinforce the Canucks’ stereotype as a team with skilled players who can be pushed around while also elevating Thomas’s stature even more inside and out of the Bruins’ locker room.

Only once in the past 39 years has a team come back from 0-2 down in a Stanley Cup Finals series to win it all (Pittsburgh did it in 2009 vs. Detroit). Like Affleck’s “The Town,” the Bruins are poised to pull a heist and it’s thanks to the guy in the mask.

When he’s off, Thomas looks like a blind man trying to barbecue. When he’s on, he’s the most entertaining thing the NHL has going for it. In Game 3, he tracked the puck like a cat does prey and gobbled up all but one of Vancouver’s 41 shots in the stunning 8-1 win that turned this series around.

After Aaron Rome’s illegal hit sent the Bruins’ Nathan Horton to the hospital, Boston failed on a five-minute power play and the Canucks had the chance to seize the momentum — and the title. Instead, Thomas stonewalled them and the Bruins’ bevy of goals in the second and third periods had to have shaken more than Roberto Luongo’s respect for his coach and teammates.

The Canucks have turtled before — losing 7-2 and 5-0 to the Blackhawks in the first round of this year’s playoffs after taking a 3-0 series lead — and are dealing with the adversity off this latest shellacking. Expect Vancouver to come out with cross-ice passes to get Thomas moving from side to side and for Alexandre Burrows to cause havoc in front of the net. The Canucks aren’t likely to get Thomas off his game, though. As with any hot goalie, they have to hope he gets out of the zone he’s in.

2. Alexander Edler Exposed. You find a weak spot and you hammer at it. The Bruins found that in the sloppy, jittery play of Edler, who was minus-4 on the night in Game 3. Worse for the Canucks, with Aaron Rome suspended and the injured Dan Hamhuis probably out for Game 4 and possibly longer, Edler is going to have to play more minutes. You can be sure the Bruins will forecheck him hard, hoping to cause turnovers, and to be ready to pounce when he pinches again.

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June 2, 2011

Hazelton Hotel scores big with Canucks fans in Toronto

2011 Stanley Cup Finals at Hazelton Hotel

Almost like being there? The Hazelton Hotel's Silver Screening Room was a terrific spot to see the goal on Wednesday.

George Cavey should’ve been there when Raffi Torres scored the goal. The Canucks’ fan had tickets to Game 1 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals but had to give them up when a last-minute business trip jettisoned him to Toronto on Wednesday. Luckily for Cavey, the Hazelton Hotel helped to ease the sting of not being there.

The hotel is showing all games of the best-of-seven NHL series in its 25-seat Silver Screening Room, a superbly comfortable Hollywood-style theatre with a giant 16×9 screen that delighted Cavey. “We just got off the plane and came straight to the hotel and they asked us if we’d like to watch the game down here. We said, ‘Sure.’ This is great.”

Cavey was high-fiving with the others in the room — all cheering for the Canucks — when Torres lit the lamp at Rogers Place on a terrific feed from Jannik Hansen with 19 seconds left in the third period. The 1-0 win over the Bruins moves Vancouver a step closer to bringing the Cup back to Canada for the first time since 1993.

“This is a big event. It’s a big deal to have a Canadian team in the finals. We wanted to do something special and open up this space for people to enjoy it,” said the Hazelton’s general manager, David Mounteer.

The hotel threw in some complimentary beer, soft drinks and popcorn for guests, who could also order food and drinks from ONE, Mark McEwan’s on-site restaurant.

Dan Winer wasn’t a guest at the hotel but he’s held a few events in the Screening Room and got the invite to attend from the Hazelton. He brought along a few friends who responded to his posting on Facebook that encouraged them to come.

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