Canucks have folded
Despite the last five Stanley Cup champions going 14-2 at home in the finals, unless the Rogers Arena ice morphs into an extra skater, this 2-2 series is over after the Bruins' utter domination of the Canucks at TD Garden.
Why? Vancouver's top-ranked power-play unit has vanished under Boston's smothering penalty kill, going 1-of-22.
Because a gimpy Ryan Kesler has gone from MVP to MIA.
Because the Sedin twins have a combined two points.
Because Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo has snatched LeBron James' shrinkage tag to such an extent he'll need a shrink after allowing 12 goals in five-plus periods.
Hit fuels Bruins
Los Angeles Times
If the Bruins go on to win the Stanley Cup, they should send a thank-you card to Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome.
It was Rome's hit on Bruins winger Nathan Horton in Game 3 that turned this series around, giving the Bruins emotional fuel, casting the Canucks as the bad guys and jumbling the Canucks' error-prone defense. Horton's season-ending concussion was expected to hurt the Bruins more than Rome's four-game suspension was supposed to hurt the Canucks, but instead the inspired Bruins swamped the Canucks in a 4-0 victory Wednesday.
Bruins fans chanted, "We want the Cup" near the end of Game 4 and they just might get it if their team can play as well in Vancouver on Friday as it did at home in Games 3 and 4.
Boston is cooking
Quick message to the Canucks: It's better to let a sleeping Bruin lie — or something like that. Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome's cheap shot on Boston forward Nathan Horton certainly woke up the Bruins and they seem like a team on a mission now. Even without Horton for most of the last two games, the Bruins scored 12 goals and exposed some major weaknesses in the Canucks' defense.
I thought going into the series that the Bruins had a much stronger defense and the better goaltender. The question was if their offense could score. Boston is now cooking on offense and with Tim Thomas standing on his head, the Bruins are going to be tough to beat.
I predicted Boston in six games before the finals and I'm sticking with the Bruins. They are wide awake and they are winning this Cup for Horton.
Canucks will take over
Conventional wisdom would point to the Bruins riding a wave of momentum to their first Stanley Cup since 1972. Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo is a mess after yielding 12 goals in the last two games. His counterpart, Tim Thomas, has been rock solid.
The Canucks found themselves in a similar situation in the Western Conference quarterfinals when the Blackhawks got into Luongo's head and nearly pulled off a startling comeback. Expect the Canucks to take advantage of home ice in Game 5 and regain control of the series against a Bruins squad that is motivated by the loss of Nathan Horton to injury but will also miss his offense.
The Canucks will turn things around and — when the dust settles — celebrate their first Stanley Cup.