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McKenzie: Canucks, Bruins have provided bizarre Stanley Cup

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Bob McKenzie
6/12/2011 7:16:16 PM
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Some thoughts from the NHL on TSN Panel on Sunday night:

It's been a bizarre Stanley Cup Final between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins, it's really been out there on the edge.

We've had biting, we've had taunting, we've had embellishment, we've had a major suspension and a player being knocked out of the series, and there have been a lot of comments on and off the ice.

I'm a little surprised at how unruly things have been and how the animosity level for this series got cranked up as quickly as it did.

I had a casual chat with some of the officials who do the games and they were a little surprised that the players have been out this far on the edge.

We'll see as things go along here, as the two teams get closer and closer to the ultimate prize, whether this behaviour will continue. There's no margin for error now for the Bruins and you would think both teams will try to keep this thing more between the lines than it has been.

Power Outage

We haven't really seen power-plays for either team be very effective in this Stanley Cup Final series and that's a huge surprise on the Vancouver Canucks' side of things.

The Canucks have only scored one power-play goal in 25 attempts in this series. They have not scored a power-play goal since early in Game 2 when Alex Burrows got a goal. Since then, it's basically been nothing as far as the power-play goes.

Four per cent for the Canucks' power-play in the Stanley Cup Final is absolutely bizarre.

The Bruins' power-play has actually improved dramatically, it's all the way up to 14 or 15 per cent in the final, but it's still not dangerous at all. They got a power-play goal in Game 2, they really won the special teams battle in a big way in Game 3, but since then they've been lacking on the power-play as well.

After this Final is over, neither team is going to have a power-play percentage that they are going to be proud of but maybe it's going to come down to a moment in a clinching Game 6 or Game 7 if it goes that far, where the power-play goal will actually be the difference.

Challenge Ahead

I think the big challenge for the Canucks is to try and bring the same physical side in Game 6 that they had in Game 5 on home ice.

The Canucks were not very physical in either of the first two games in Boston; they played a very soft game I thought.

The biggest difference was Alex Edler stepping up in the early going on home ice in Game 5, setting the tone for the entire Canucks team.

The Canucks drastically out-hit the Bruins in Vancouver, now they have to try to duplicate that on the road and send a message that they are going to close this out with strong physical play.

Canucks Cup Quest: Recchi and Lapierre (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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