By Brian Willwerth
On paper, it doesn’t scream like a marquee matchup. In fact, Saturday’s game is the only meeting of the season between the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks. But Boston and Vancouver both have Stanley Cup aspirations.
The numbers tell the story:
The Canucks have the best record in the NHL. The Bruins are tops in the Northeast Division.
Vancouver has scored a league-best 205-goals. Boston’s Tim Thomas leads the NHL in goals-against average (1.99) and save percentage (.939).
The Canucks are the best home team in the league, having lost just five times all season at Rogers Arena. The Bruins are the third-best road team in the NHL, behind only San Jose and Philadelphia. They are undefeated so far on their current six-game road trip.
Offensively, Vancouver is loaded. The Canucks boast two of the top offensive threats in the league in twin brothers Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Daniel has 32-goals, good for third in the league. He and his brother have combined for 106-assists.
Saturday’s game is a homecoming for Bruins’ leading scorer, Milan Lucic. The Vancouver native has 26-goals on the season, and is coming off a two-goal performance against the Flames Tuesday night in Calgary.
A Stanley Cup Finals preview? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But no matter how you break down the stats, it’s worth staying up late for a 10:00 faceoff in British Columbia.