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Welcome to Caps 'Round the Clock, a blog covering the Washington Capitals and the NHL. In season, I update the Blog after every practice and on game day with Caps news and information, and then provide a recap and analysis after each contest. I also write a periodical Prospect Watch and weekly feature pieces on the state of the Men in Red and other things Capitals. And of course, I will post videos and tidbits from around the League and offer my two cents as the season wears on. In the offseason, I write a Report Card for each player, and will keep you updated on all the news about the Caps through the summer. I'm glad you're here, and hope you come back!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gameday: Boston at Vancouver - Stanley Cup Final, Game One

The Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks will meet tonight in game one of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.  The Final pits the President's Trophy winning Canucks against the Northeast Division champion Bruins.  In their road to the final, the Canucks beat the Blackhawks in seven, the Predators in six, and the Sharks in five, while the Bruins beat the Canadiens in seven, the Flyers in four, and the Lightning in six.  This is the third Stanley Cup Final in the Canucks' history, of which they have won zero; while this is the sixteenth Stanley Cup Final in the Bruins' history, of which they have won five. These two teams have never faced each other for the holy grail, and combined, neither team has brought home Stanley in over 70 years.

Boston coach Claude Julien will give the nod in net to Tim Thomas, who has played every minute in these playoffs so far.  He has had some rough patches, particularly in the Bruins' last series against the Lightning, but is still fourth overall in postseason GAA (2.29) and second overall in postseason save percentage (.929).  Thomas also has two shutouts to co-lead that category in postseason play.  Boston is led in scoring by David Krejci and Nathan Horton, who both have 17 points.  The Bruins have no major injuries to discuss, and it looks as though enforcer Shawn Thornton will take a seat for game one to continue to make way for rookie Tyler Seguin for Boston.

Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault will roll with Roberto Luongo in nets for his team, who has played in all of the Canucks' 18 games this postseason, starting 17 of them.  Luongo has also had some stenches of poor play, particularly against the Blackhawks, but overall is also fourth in postseason GAA (2.29) and sixth in postseason save percentage (.922).  He also has two shutouts this postseason, tied for the lead with Thomas.  The Canucks are led in scoring by their captain Henrik Sedin, who really turned it on in the Sharks series and leads all of the NHL in postseason points with 21.  Vecnouver has a rather clouded injury situation, with star defenseman Christian Ehrhoff and star center Ryan Kesler both questionable with injuries.  The Canucks are also missing top-six winger Mikael Samuelsson and third-line center Manny Malhotra with more serious injuries and it is almost certain that neither of them will play tonight.

Puck drops for this one 8:15-ish with all of the hoopla that is sure to precede the game.  Check back later for updates from the morning skates, etc.

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