In a little while, the puck will drop for Game 6 at TD Garden. For one franchise, they'll aim to finally deliver a first championship to their city in Vancouver. Yes, the Canucks are in the driver's seat up 3-2 in what's amounted to a home ice series- reminding of the Devils' last hurrah when they went the distance to edge the Ducks in '03. Can a road team finally win in this edgy Cup Final that's seen plenty of shenanigans on and off the ice? We'll know soon enough.
The Bruins have other ideas like extending the series to a climatic Game 7, which is really what it deserves. In a year where the NBA somehow finished before the NHL despite our sport starting some two and a half weeks prior, we may as well have the kind of dramatic conclusion these playoffs need. It's been a fun ride for both combatants. The bad blood making it one of the more intriguing matchups in recent memory. Sure. The two Pens/Wings series were great back-to-back. But this isn't as much about skill even with star power on display. Rather an edgier brand of hockey that reminds of old school. These guys hate each other and will do anything to win. Even bite opponents. Well, I guess Alex Burrows was hungry. :P
Now Roberto Luongo, who of course had to get a shot in at certain Conn Smythe frontrunner Tim Thomas, is one game away from silencing the doubters, including yours truly even though we took them. Why he had to say he'd have gotten teammate Max Lapierre's goal that decided the best game of the series, remains a mystery. Guess Lou isn't Martin Brodeur, who ignored all the banter about brilliant counterpart J.S. Giguere in leading the Devils to their most unlikely Cup. One knew when to keep his mouth shut and afterwards, made it about the best trophy in sports instead of Playoff MVP. The other probably has grown tired of all the accolades Thomas is receiving. It's not about style. Even if awkward and adventurous, showing flashes of Dominik Hasek, the 37 year-old American vet gets it done. His team needs one more stellar performance to hold serve and push it the distance. If he and teammates deliver, anything can happen Wednesday. Just ask the Pens sans Marc-Andre Fleury on Nick Lidstrom.
Boston will be rocking. Our eyes will be glued to the TV set. Are the Canucks tough enough to win their first Cup in enemy territory or does a franchise that's lost the other two times have to go seven, increasing nerves and heart rates? Compelling theatre. Either way, we're about to find out who has the juice.