Canucks Must Continue to Dictate Physical Play to Finish Off Bruins in Game 6 in Boston

Canucks Must Continue to Dictate Physical Play to Finish Off Bruins in Game 6 in Boston After being thoroughly dominated in Games 3 and 4 in Boston, the Canucks returned to the style of hockey that won them the first two games. They now control the Stanley Cup Final, needing to win just one of the final two games to bring Vancouver its first Stanley Cup championship.

The Bruins, meanwhile, will hope that a return to the TD Garden will reawaken the Boston offense, which was shut out in Game 5 after putting up a total of 12 goals in Games 3 and 4.

It's do or die for the Bruins, who sit one game away from elimination. Vancouver Sun hockey writer Ian Walker joins us to share his thoughts on Monday night's pivotal Game 6.

NESN.com: Roberto Luongo did a pretty good job of answering the critics by pitching a shutout with the weight of British Columbia on his shoulders. What changed?

Walker: If there's one thing Luongo has proven this playoffs, it is the ability to put bad games behind him, most notably in Vancouver's first-round series against the Chicago Blackhawks. More than anyone, Luongo is also victim to unfair criticism. If things go bad defensively, it's his fault and his alone, which shouldn't always be the case.
 
NESN.com: How important was coming out early and establishing a level of physicality in Game 5 for the Canucks?

Walker: It was paramount. When the Canucks are the aggressors, good things happen. We've seen it throughout the playoffs and Game 5 was just another example of how much the team feeds off dictating the physical play. They'll need to continue that trend if they hope to have any success in Boston.

NESN.com: What have the Bruins done so well to slow down the Canucks' power play?

Walker: They've been the best team so far at limiting Vancouver's top players' time and space. They are not letting Vancouver set up in the offensive zone and on the odd occasion the Canucks do, they are guilty of being too cute. Boston has also taken away the point, limiting the use of the big shot.

NESN.com: What do the Canucks need to do to avoid another meltdown on TD Garden ice?

Walker: Vancouver has to treat this game as a Game 7. All the pressure is on Boston. The Canucks have to go in there and dictate the physical play, not get frustrated by the goaltending of Tim Thomas and keep their composure. They need to do all the same things that have given them success on home ice.

NESN.com: Will the Canucks close out the Stanley Cup Final on Monday in Boston?

Walker: I'd like to think so, but it seems this Vancouver team likes to make it difficult on itself. As a result, I wouldn't be surprised to see a Game 7 on home ice. And then, it's anyone's series.

Thanks again to Ian Walker for answering our questions. You can read more from Ian by clicking here. Please check back before every game of the Bruins-Canucks series for more Across Enemy Lines. You also can read NESN.com Bruins reporter Douglas Flynn's contributions to this feature on VancouverSun.com.