Stanley Cup Finals 2011 Schedule: Wednesday Start Creates Even Playing Field

The 2011 Stanley Cup Finals schedule was released on Thursday, and we learned of a Wednesday start for Game 1 between the Vancouver Canucks and the Eastern Conference Champion, which will be determined tonight in a Game 7 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins

With that, the Canucks will have eight days off before hosting the East winner in Game 1, surely an advantage to have all that rest before the most important series in the team's 40-year history to date, right? 

Well, maybe not. Once you get to a certain point, it doesn't really matter that one team has had two extra days of rest. Five days for either the Lightning or the Bruins is plenty to lick wounds and get mentally ready for the next opponent, and when you consider that Game 2 isn't until next Saturday, it makes the rest even less of a factor.

The Canucks earned an advantage by defeating the San Jose Sharks in just five games. They're not really going to get it, but an even playing field heading into the Cup Finals isn't the worst thing in the world.

The full schedule:

Game 1: Wed., June 1 -- at Vancouver, 8 p.m. ET (NBC, CBC)
Game 2: Sat., June 4 -- at Vancouver, 8 p.m. ET (NBC, CBC)
Game 3: Mon., June 6 -- at TBL or BOS, 8 p.m. ET (VERSUS, CBC)
Game 4: Wed., June 8 -- at TBL or BOS, 8 p.m. ET (VERSUS, CBC)
Game 5*: Fri., June 10 -- at Vancouver, 8 p.m. ET (NBC, CBC)
Game 6*: Mon., June 13 -- at TBL or BOS, 8 p.m. ET (NBC, CBC)
Game 7*: Wed., June 15 -- at Vancouver, 8 p.m. ET (NBC, CBC)

More Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage:

- Full coverage of the Eastern Conference Finals at our Bruins vs. Lightning series hub.

- Full coverage of the Western Conference Finals at our Canucks vs. Sharks series hub

- Full Stanley Cup Finals coverage at our series hub.

- Coverage from all 34 hockey communities on our network, including our Canucks blog Nucks Misconduct, our Lightning blog Raw Charge and our Bruins blog Stanley Cup of Chowder.   

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