BOSTON – After taking the first two games in Vancouver in dramatic fashion – with game-winners from Raffi Torres in Game 1 and Alex Burrows in Game 2 – the Canucks come into Boston after a 3,000 mile-plus trip looking to put themselves one step closer to that ultimate prize.
The Canucks are used to traveling a long distance from Point A to Point B with lengthy trips throughout the season. This includes first and second round matchups with Chicago (over 2,000 miles) and Nashville (over 2,500 miles), respectively. Meanwhile, the Bruins longest trip in the first three rounds was only over 1,300 miles when they traveled to Tampa for the Eastern Conference Finals.
“We’ve had a lot of long trips throughout the season,” said Canucks forward Henrik Sedin. “We had to travel a long way to Chicago, Nashville and San Jose and have done that extremely well and I think we’ll be able to do the same here [in Boston].”
Although this might work out in Vancouver’s favor on paper, head coach Alain Vigneault doesn’t see if there’s an advantage to either side.
“I don’t know if we have an advantage. I do know that we’re more accustomed to traveling than Boston,” he said. “We’re more accustomed to time zone changes. We’ve done that all year long, because we travel the most in the NHL. That’s one of the reasons why we try to get a scientific approach to where our guys would have the utmost energy.
“I think it’s worked out fine throughout the season. Hopefully we’ll find out [if it works out] in the playoffs.”
Neither team skated yesterday while traveling to Boston. And after going through the media routines last night, both teams should be well-rested and ready to go for Game 3.
“We didn’t skate yesterday, so we just traveled and got our rest last night,” Bruins forward Michael Ryder said. “It’s a little adjustment, but I don’t think its’ going to affect us too much. I think we’re used to it and we just need to be ready.”
“I think we feel good,” Sedin said after the morning skate. “I felt that we were fresh out there and we look like we are ready to go tonight.”
The Canucks have seemingly taken advantage of their opportunities in the first two games when presented to them, and they’ll look to do the same in front of a hostile TD Garden crowd Monday night.
On the other hand, the Bruins will look to use their crowd to generate some momentum.
“It will be great,” said Boston defenseman Andrew Ference on the atmosphere at TD Garden. “It’s been great all along and it’s great to be at home especially with fans that have waited a long time [21 years] for the finals.
“[That said] there’s obviously a job to be done,” Ference continued. “So while you enjoy it, and while you see the city pretty excited, it’s kind of background noise to us right now.”