Race for Conn Smythe wide open

Roberto Luongo takes a breather during the Vancouver Canucks' practice in Boston. (Eric Bolte/QMI...

Roberto Luongo takes a breather during the Vancouver Canucks' practice in Boston. (Eric Bolte/QMI AGENCY)

Chris Stevenson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:54 PM ET

In a Stanley Cup final in which Alex Burrows' bicuspids, Roberto Luongo's tires, Aaron Rome's timing and a Boston Bruins jacket from the 1980s have all played starring roles, there has been some hockey played.

That's what it will come down to Monday night when the Stanley Cup will be in the house and the Vancouver Canucks will have a chance to lift it with a win.

Some hockey.

Not that there haven't been some great story lines from a hockey standpoint in this Stanley Cup final. They've just been swallowed up by Bitegate or run over by who should be pumping up whom's tires.

In another bizarre story line, the Canucks could score twice in a Game 6 win and still set the record for the fewest goals scored by a Stanley Cup champ in a best-of-seven series. The Canucks have been outscored in this final 14-6, but lead 3-2.

The record for the fewest goals scored by a Cup winner in a best-of-seven series is nine, a mark set by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1945. In a series that went seven games.

The Leafs won the first three games of the 1945 final over the Detroit Red Wings by shutout (1-0, 2-0 and 1-0; thank goodness there were no TV highlights like today. What would the highlight shows have done?) before the Wings won the next three games by 5-3, 2-0 and 1-0 scores.

The Leafs won the Cup with a 2-1 win in Game 7, leaving both teams with nine goals scored in the final. And eight of those 18 goals came in one game.

The Canucks have gotten to within a game of the Stanley Cup despite scoring just one goal on the power play in the final. (Remember when all the talk was how bad the Bruins power play was earlier in these playoffs? The Bruins are just 3-for-21 in the final and are looking good by comparison.)

Bruins defenceman Dennis Seidenberg admitted the B's are frustrated sitting where they are despite giving up just over a goal a game.

"Definitely," he said. "Especially because we know what we didn't do. It's a pretty simple game plan and if you don't execute the way we did in the last game, it's definitely frustrating."

In large part because of the Canucks lack of scoring, the run for the Conn Smythe Trophy has turned into a bit of a turtle's race.

The difficulty facing voters, should the Canucks win, is they split the vote. Certainly if Luongo puts up another bagel (which would be his third of the final and tie a record), he'll likely be the favourite from the Canucks' point of view. That's even with giving up 12 goals in just over five periods of work in Games 3 and 4.

The Sedins haven't been consistent. Ryan Kesler, an early favourite, has had a quiet final as well and that could make Alex Burrows the favourite among the Canucks skaters.

Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas has given up six goals in five games, but say he loses Game 6 by a 1-0 or 2-1 score. Luongo would get serious consideration and Thomas, who would be bidding to become just the fifth winner from a losing team, could be shut out despite giving up just seven or eight goals in six games.

Wow.

Boston's David Krejci leads all playoff scorers going into Game 6 of the final, but, really, is anybody giving him some serious love for the Smythe?


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