Free Stanley Cup Finals Picks, Free Tips and Odds – Game 5 Boston Bruins @ Vancouver Canucks Favorite, Moneyline, Total and Predictions 6/10/11: For anyone that doesn’t believe in the power of home ice, the Stanley Cup finals are doing their best to win over the doubters. When the series left Vancouver, the Canucks were up 2-0 after winning a pair of close games. After a pair of blowout wins for the Bruins in Boston, the series is returning to Vancouver tied 2-2. The question now becomes whether or not a return to Vancouver will mean a return of the Canucks’ winning ways or if Boston’s momentum will carry into Canada. In either scenario, expect a very physical series to only get more intense the further along it goes.
There is no question that the Bruins looked much more capable of winning in Vancouver than the Canucks appeared capable of winning in Boston. Vancouver needed a last minute goal in Game 1 and an overtime goal in Game 2 to get by the Bruins. Meanwhile, Boston dismantled the Canucks on their home ice by a combined score of 12-1, including an 8-1 demolition in Game 3.
The stellar play of Bruins goalie Tim Thomas has been the one constant in this series. He has only surrendered five goals in four games, and he stopped an incredible 78 of 79 shots in the two games in Boston. In addition, the Bruins have held the dominant duo of Henrik and Daniel Sedin to just four combined points. Meanwhile, Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo must once again face questions about his ability to perform under pressure after getting torched and eventually pulled from the net in Game 4.
While the play of Thomas and Luongo may ultimately determine which team wins the series, the turning point thus far has been Aaron Rome’s hit on Boston’s Nathan Horton. The blindside check has shelved Horton for the remainder of the series with a severe concussion, while Rome will be sidelined after being suspended four games for the hit. The loss of Horton – one of Boston’s top scorers – figured to hurt the Bruins chances. Instead, the hit has seemed to inspire the rest of the team. The Bruins have imposed their will, pushing around the Canucks and disrupting the top-scoring offense during the regular season.
Ironically, Vancouver’s biggest perceived advantage has turned out to be one of the team’s biggest deficiencies. The Canucks were the most efficient team on the power play during the regular season and in the playoffs entering the finals. However, Vancouver has converted on just 1 of 22 chances against the Bruins. As well as Thomas is playing, the Canucks are going to have serious issues going forward if they can’t score with the man advantage.
While a return to Vancouver should help Luongo, it probably isn’t going to hurt Thomas. As long as he is in net for Boston, the Bruins are going to be tough to beat and even harder to defeat easily. With Boston getting 1 ½ goals in Game 5, bettors have to like their chances backing the best goalie in the league and an inspired offense motivated by the loss of one of their stars.
Free Tips, Picks and Predictions: Boston Bruins (+1 ½) Cover the Spread in Game 5
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|GAME 5 Boston Bruins at Vancouver Canucks
Time: 8:05 PM EST
2011 NHL Stanley Cup Finals Series: (Best of 7 Series: Series Tied 2-2)
Vegas Odds –
Favorite: Vancouver Canucks -175(moneyline) Total: Over/Under 5
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