Things That Make You Go Hmmm: Beat The Heat, Conn Smythe and a Well-Timed Break
[Inspired by Arsenio Hall's "Things That Make You Go Hmmm…", Clayton Imoo talks about Canucks-related things that make him go hmmm… You can follow Clay on Twitter at (@canuckclay) or on his website, Clay's Canucks Commentary.]
With a win tonight in Boston, the Vancouver Canucks can win the Stanley Cup for the first-time in their 40-year history. But it won’t be easy – the Bruins hammered the Canucks by a combined score of 12-1 in games 3 and 4. As we look forward to what could be the most memorable night in Canucks’ history, here are some Things That Make You Go Hmmm:
- The parallels between this game and game 6 of the NBA Finals. Congrats to the Dallas Mavericks for winning the 2011 NBA Championship by disposing of the Miami Heat in 6 games. That’s the first parallel. Secondly, the Mavs won game 6 on the road in Miami, as the Canucks are hoping to do in Boston’s TD Garden. And thirdly, it was the Mavericks’ first-ever NBA title. And we all know that the Canucks are tantalizingly close to their first-ever Stanley Cup. If Vancouver does indeed win however, I hope that their post-game celebration is a bit better than that of Dallas: that was one of the strangest and most subdued championship celebrations I have ever seen. It was touched off by MVP Dirk Nowitzki leaving the court for the locker room with seconds still on the clock. I know he was emotional and likely still feeling the effects of his sinus infection, but can you picture Luongo or the Sedins leaving the ice and/or bench for the locker room instead of celebrating with their teammates? I think not.
- The Conn Smythe candidates. There has been a lot of talk about Tim Thomas winning the Conn Smythe Trophy, which is given to the most valuable player for his team in the playoffs. Note that unlike the MVP awards of other leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB), the Conn Smythe is supposed to take into account the entire playoffs, and not just the Finals. It’s only natural though that voters would be biased towards the finals, given that it’s the culmination of the playoffs. So having said all of that, is Thomas the favourite right now even if the Canucks win the Stanley Cup? If so, he would be the first player of the Stanley Cup runner-up to win it since Jean-Sebastien Giguere did it in 2003 backstopping the Anaheim Ducks. With the Sedins and Kesler having a quiet series, the Canucks’ best hope for the trophy is likely Roberto Luongo. Sure he’s had a few bad games but he also has 4 shutouts, including 2 in the finals. It’s just too bad that 2 of his poorer games came in this series.
- Some rest for the weary. The extra day between games 5 and 6 will benefit players from both teams, but hopefully even more-so for Canucks centres Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler. Both seem to be nursing injuries that have hampered their effectiveness in this series; Henrik has no points in the series while Kesler has only one assist. While it’s not imperative that the two of them score points for the Canucks to win, it certainly would help. The Canucks third line has come up big in both 1-0 victories (game 1 and game 5): Torres scored in the opener and Lapierre had the GWG on Friday night. Maybe it’s Jannik Hansen’s turn to play hero?
After watching game 4 at Rogers Arena, I’ll be hosting a viewing party at work so I can be downtown for the post-game festivities. Will we be celebrating the franchise’s first Stanley Cup? Or will we be lamenting another lost opportunity in advance of a game 7? Hmmm…