Our buddy Dani over at Benched Whale blogs about the Vancouver Canucks. She interviewed us for her blog, so we figure we'd return the favor. If you're looking for a Canucks fan/blogger to follow and read, Dani's a great start. She also roots for the Lightning, so she was one game away from having a huge bi-polar Stanley Cup.
Here are her views of the Stanley Cup Final. Note: Interview was done before Game 1. Not sure if that matters or not.
DOY: What's been the Canucks strength in this post-season run?
BW: Some of the players, er, Kesler, has been able to come up big for the team when the Sedins were being shut down. If Kesler hadn't decided to win the Nashville series himself, we wouldn't be in this SCF today. And if you look at the final win over San Jose, Luongo came up huge for the team keeping them in the game even though he faced over 50 shots. So having players step up their game when the team needs a win has been the biggest strength for the team.
DOY: Who on the Bruins scare you the most in regards to the Canucks facing Boston?
BW: The monster on your blue line. I think it's accepted that Chara will put a strangle on the Sedins' offense but his size and potential to injure a player freaks me out.
DOY: How would you describe the Canucks playoff run so far? It looks like they've gotten a little more solid with each round.
BW: The Canucks have had quite the storylines in their playoff run so far. They had a Game 7 OT win over their nemesis, the Blackhawks, a Luongo benching, Ehrhoff and Rome going out with injury, and players scoring on one leg to tie up games and send it to overtime. Basically, it's been magical
DOY: Obviously the Canucks have a lot of offensive threats -- has anyone surprised you with how they're playing (either good or bad)?
BW: I've been surprised at Maxim Lapierre. When Gillis acquired him through trade at the deadline, my first thought was to his play during his time for Montreal where he was a yappy penalty taking machine. He is still yappy, but he's not talking many penalties and has been great in the faceoff circle. He's not as good as Manny was in faceoffs, but he's been doing a great job so far.
DOY: On CBC Vancouver we were asked if we thought Habs and Leafs fans should root for Boston because "Boston's more like a blue collar Canadian city than Vancouver." It caught us (Justin) off guard so much that he accidentally called Canada ugly. Other than Justin not being allowed in the country anymore is this really an "issue" up north? We just figured the Habs fans have slit their wrists after seeing the match-up and Leaf fans are so nose deep in a sand trap they don't even know what's going on anymore.
BW: I don't really care who the rest of Canada cheers for, neither do I think they need to cheer for Vancouver just because we are a Canadian team. It's like when Calgary was in the cup final, I was not going to cheer for them just because they are Canadian. So if they want to pick a team to cheer for that's great for them, but I don't care either way who they want to win.
DOY: Vancouver is a pretty big favorite in this series but some VAN writers look like they're already making excuses for when the Bruins win the Cup. Are VAN fans this nervous or are the team writers just as crazy as some of our Boston scribes?
BW: No, Vancouver fans are not nervous for the first time in these playoffs. I think there was way more uncertainty going into the 1st round then there is right now. Even though Vancouver is the favorite, I think we also realize that Boston is a good team and its not going to necessarily be an easy win.
DOY: Biggest key to either team's victory will be....?
BW: Goaltending but maybe that's just an easy answer and I expect that the goaltending should be at at least adequate. So if the goaltending remains at least average, the key for both teams will be to stay focused on their system and just try to outwork the other team. Vancouver will look to roll their lines off offense and try to capitalize on the powerplay and the Bruins will need to stick with their system of defense first, physical play.
DOY: Series prediction. We're assuming you're going with Vancouver
BW: It's been a long time coming for Canucks fans, and since the confidence is high, I'll predict that the Canucks win in six. Thomas will be able to steal two games by himself, but the Canucks are the better team coming into this and I think that will help them in a longer series.
Thanks again to Dani!