Sunday, May 29, 2011

Canucks Center Malhotra Cleared For The Cup, How Will It Affect Boston?

Vancouver Canucks center Manny Malhotra has been cleared to play in the Stanley Cup finals against the Boston Bruins. Malhotra has been out of action since mid-March after he sustained an eye injury when he took a deflected puck to the face. Many people believed that his career was over, so this is nothing short of a miracle.

Malhotra is the Canucks third line center who has a similar style of play to Bruins third line center Chris Kelly, a shutdown player who plays both ends of the ice very well. It will be very likely that Malhotra will be matched up against Kelly if he returns. Even though he has been cleared to play, there is no guarantee that he will be inserted into the lineup for game one on Wednesday. Malhotra had 11 goals and 19 assists in the regular season.

The David Krejci line (Krejci-Horton-Lucic) will be matched up against the Sedin line (H. Sedin, D. Sedin, Burrows). If that is the case, then Patrice Bergeron will be paired up with Ryan Kesler who has arguably been the playoff MVP. Kesler has 7 goals and 11 assists thus far in the postseason. Both of these teams are very evenly matched, from the coaching to the goaltending. Not that it matters at this point in time, but the Bruins own a victory over Vancouver this season when they defeated the Canucks 3-1 in Vancouver. That victory was part of their late season 6-0-0 road trip.

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