Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Canucks hoping for breakthrough

Categories: Boston Bruins, VAN vs. BOS, Vancouver Canucks

Story Tools

Ryan Kesler has only one point in the final heading into Game 7. (Harry How/Getty Images) Ryan Kesler has only one point in the final heading into Game 7. (Harry How/Getty Images)
By Tim Wharnsby, CBC Sports

VANCOUVER -- The highest-scoring team with the most efficient power play from the regular season will enter Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final with just eight goals and a 2-for-31 power play in the series.

So what has gone wrong for the Vancouver Canucks? Has it been solely Boston's magnificent goalie Tim Thomas, the leading candidate to win the Conn Smythe award, or have there been other factors involved?

"I think Thomas has something to do with it," said Canucks centre Ryan Kesler, who has only one point in the series. "Obviously we're playing a team that didn't get here by chance. They're a very good team and they play a very good defensive system.

"For us, we just need to keep getting shots, I liked what our power play did last game and we continue to improve on that.

"You want to score, help the team win, but, you know, tomorrow is all that matters. Everything in the past is in the past. If we win tomorrow, we become legends and I don't think anybody worries about that I have one point in six games."

The last time Kesler has played such an important game at Rogers Arena was for the United States in the gold-medal final against Canada at the 2010 Olympics. This time, however, the crowd will be cheering for Kesler rather than against him.

"It's tough to compare the two, but I think one difference is I think I got 18,000 on my side this time, an entire city and country," he said. "It's going to be a little different that way. It's going to be fun.

"Obviously, the Olympics was a great experience but I've seen what these guys have worked so hard for all year and as a team, as a family, we want this really bad."

Horton travels with the Bruins

Injured Bruins forward Nathan Horton made the trip with his teammates to Vancouver. But you can forget about some sort of miraculous recovery from his concussion to play in Game 7, even though his equipment was hung in a stall with his nameplate between teammates Andrew Ference and Adam McQuaid.

"That's something the guys wanted to do," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "They wanted him to be part of our group here. Until the third game of the final, he was a big contributor to our hockey club. If the doctors would let him, he would play tomorrow and we all know that that's the way he feels right now. He would be willing to play through what he's gone through.

"But we know that's not the right decision to make the way he feels. He wants to play so badly, he would be willing to play through that. So when a guy has that approach and has that will to want to do that for his team and teammates, the least you can do is honour him in your own way. Our players chose to honour him by making sure the trainers brought his equipment. Before the game, his sweater is hanging in his stall. He's part of our team and we want him there to the end."

Old-man Recchi

Bruins 43-year-old forward Mark Recchi happens to be the most experienced when it comes to Game 7s among all the players who will be on the ice on Wednesday. This will be the 11th Game 7 of his career. He has been on the winning side six of his previous 10 deciding games. Recchi also has scored three goals and six points in this final to lead all players.

"This is what we dream of," Recchi said. "We've had pressure all year, pressure all through the playoffs. It's come down to one game. There is no pressure, go play, go out and have fun with this. It's what you play for and what we've worked hard for all year. We're going to have a blast doing it. That will be the message.

"They'll see how I'm acting and see you can't let it grab you. You can't let it bite you. We're going to play on the road and go and play a tremendous road game and compete and try and win a hockey game. It's something the guys will be focus and ready."

The most experienced Canucks are Henrik and Daniel Sedin. They have gone 3-2 in seventh and deciding games.

Kaberle's bro

Five years ago, Frantisek Kaberle, the older brother of Bruins defenceman Tomas Kaberle, scored the Stanley Cup-clinching goal for the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 7 against the Oilers. Frantisek now lives in Tampa Bay with his family and talks to his brother every other day.

"It would be nice to get a second Stanley Cup in the family," said Tomas, whose father Frantisek Sr. won two world championships. His brother has been a five-time world champion and Tomas has one world title.

Game 7 history

This will be the 16th time the Stanley Cup Final has been extended to a seventh and deciding game. The home team has posted a 12-3 record in the previous 15 Game 7s. Interestingly, the last time a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final was played on Canadian ice was 24 years ago, when the Edmonton Oilers upended the Philadelphia Flyers at home.

Here is a glance at the outcomes of the 15 previous Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Final:

1942 -- Detroit 1 at Toronto 3 (Leafs score three times in 3rd to overcome 1-0 deficit)
1945 -- Toronto 2 at Detroit 1 (Babe Pratt's power-play goal in 3rd breaks 1-1 tie)
1950 -- NY Rangers 3 at Detroit 4 (2OT) (First Game 7 in final decided in OT)
1954 -- Montreal 1 at Detroit 2 (OT) (2nd and last Game 7 in final to be decided in OT)
1955 -- Montreal 1 at Detroit 3 (Alex Delvecchio scores two to lead Detroit)
1964 -- Detroit 0 at Toronto 4 (Maple Leafs' third straight Cup championship)
1965 -- Chicago 0 at Montreal 4 (Canadiens score four in 1st period and cruise)
1971 -- Montreal 3 at Chicago 2 (Henri Richard scores game-winner in 3rd period)
1987 -- Philadelphia 1 at Edmonton 3 (Oilers overcome early 1-0 deficit)
1994 -- Vancouver 2 at NY Rangers 3 (Mark Messier scores game-winner in 2nd period)
2001 -- New Jersey 1 at Colorado 3 (Ray Bourque celebrates his first and only Cup)
2003 -- Anaheim 0 at New Jersey 3 (Home clubs win all games for first time since 1965)
2004 -- Calgary 1 at Tampa Bay 2 (Ruslan Fedotenko scores both Tampa Bay goals)
2006 -- Edmonton 1 at Carolina 3 (Frantisek Kaberle scores game-winner in 2nd period)
2009 -- Pittsburgh 2 at Detroit 1 (Maxime Talbot scores both Pittsburgh goals)