NHL PicksThe Vancouver Canucks scored more goals than any other team during the regular season while allowing fewer and they finished in the top-third of the league in nearly every important statistical category, an obvious recipe for a Presidents trophy-winning club. The Canucks beat out the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, and San Jose Sharks to get to the finals, but they still have their biggest challenge ahead of them against the Eastern conference champion Boston Bruins. Here are the five keys to the Canucks winning the 2011 Stanley Cup:

Use Speed To Zip Around Bigger Bruins

The Canucks won’t be able to hit Boston and win the physical game, so they will need to play smart and use their speed to control the tempo of the game. The biggest problem that the Bruins have faced this postseason was against the Montreal Canadiens in the opening round, and that was because their original six rivals knew how to beat them with their quick puck movement. Vancouver has a ton of talent beyond the Sedins, and they will need to come together to get the job done.

Luongo Will Need To Perform At Same Level As Thomas

The way that Vancouver is built, Roberto Luongo won’t need to be relied on to be better than Bruins’ goaltender Tim Thomas, but he will need to be able to perform at the same level. Luongo has been criticized in the past for not being able to raise his level of play when it matters the most, but after winning a gold medal with team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics in the same city he will now have a chance to exorcise those sports betting demons.

Special Teams Will Make The Difference

Boston was the league’s best team five-on-five this postseason, and that will make Vancouver’s top-ranked powerplay units that much more important to the team’s success. The Canucks have hit at close to 30-percent in these playoffs ahead of the 2011 Belmont Stakes betting race, and will need to continue to hit.

The Sedin Twins Need To Shine

The Sedin twins have broken through after struggling in past pay per head postseasons, with Daniel leading the league in points through the first three rounds with 21, and Henrik third on the team behind Ryan Kesler. Both will be tested with Chara and company at the other end of the ice, and they will need to continue to lead the offense both five-on-five and on special teams.

Deadline Deals Will Need To Prove Their Worth

The Canucks turned heads when they brought in Max Lapierre and Chris Higgins at the trade deadline, but as they head to their first finals since 1994 those two additions are having a huge impact on the club. Higgins has found his offense while Lapierre continues to outwork opponents and serve as a pest. Both will need to live up to their sports betting bonus billing again to lead Vancouver to a championship.


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