In the immediate aftermath of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Friday night between the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins, there are a whole lot of jokes about how we're guaranteed a Game 7 now that the Canucks have a 3-2 series lead. The punchline, of course, is that Vancouver can't possibly win a Game 6 in Boston with the charged TD Garden crowd pushing their opponents.
But if they somehow can put Games 3 and 4 behind them and if they can somehow play like they did in Game 5 on home ice, they can most definitely win the Cup on the road on Monday night at 8 p.m. ET.
It was another game dominated by the goaltending, and Roberto Luongo was just an inch better than Tim Thomas. He bounced back from a pitiful couple of games in Boston, and more importantly, the shaken-up defense in front of him was just as good. Even on the lone goal of the game by Maxim Lapierre in the third period, a heads-up play to catch Thomas out of his net by defenseman Kevin Bieksa turned out to be the difference.
It might be hometown bias, but the Canucks out-hit the Big Bad Bruins 47-27 in the game, and that kind of disparity is just ridiculous for a team that's not supposed to play physical. Even if it's slightly exaggerated, there's no doubt that the Canucks had the extra jump and the extra energy in front of the home crowd.
Will the possibility of hoisting the Stanley Cup on Monday night be enough to fend off Boston's crowd, or will the jokes about a guaranteed Game 7 hold true? It's been a hell of a series, and that's sure to continue on Monday night.
The Stanley Cup Finals are ongoing, as the Vancouver Canucks battle the Boston Bruins. Stick with this StoryStream for full coverage of Game 5. For coverage on the Finals, stick with our Stanley Cup Finals hub, our Canucks blog, Nucks Misconduct, and our Bruins blog, Stanley Cup of Chowder.