CBC's PJ Stock speculates Malhotra to make big comeback in Stanley Cup final
Bruins or the Canucks?
Stock is a former Bruins player, which likely means divided loyalty between team and country. Is he secretly rooting for the Bruins to win over the Canucks?
"I don't really cheer for any teams, never really have," replied Stock with a diplomatic grin. "I cheer for friends, and I'd love to see them have success. I have a bunch of friends in the organization of Boston still, and some on the team. I'd love to see them win for that. I know it'd be great for the city of Boston."
That said, Stock adds that Vancouver's win would energize the Canadian hockey fans, who have long watched the Stanley Cup go to cities south of the border.
"So many people are looking at this opportunity for Vancouver to win and bring the Stanley Cup to Canada. Canadians are so proud of their hockey, it would be great for Vancouver, it would be great for the hockey organization, and for Canada.
He said he wouldn't mind which team won in the end, as long as it's a good show.
"I love entertainment. I don't really care who wins," he said. "Both teams have won by making it this far already, as long as it's an entertaining series, I'm content."
Watching out for Tim Thomas
"Both goalies have been great, but one thing that Timmy Thomas has is that he has the capability of stealing a hockey game," said Stock. Thomas, whose 2.29 goals against average this postseason is on par with Roberto Luongo's, made several impossible-looking saves that edged his team to victory against Tampa Bay.
"I think Vancouver is deeper in a lot of positions, so if Boston's going to win this series, Tim Thomas is going to have to steal one of the first two games. Vancouver will win if they get the first two -- Boston can't come back if they're down two games to zero."
Regarding Tim Thomas' 3-0 win record against the Canucks, Stock said the regular season stats don't matter when it comes to this series.
"Throw all that out the window," he said. "In the playoffs, I don't care if you've got a broken leg, if you're on the Vancouver Canucks, and you're going out there tonight, it should feel like nothing can stop ya. It's these moments you dream about. How the team did six months ago, or three years ago, means nothing."
Stanley Cup prediction
Despite being an NHL insider, Stock doesn't want to make any predictions on the outcome of this Stanley Cup playoffs. Asked which team will take the Cup, and in how many games, Stock didn't provide any easy answers.
"If I knew it, I'd be betting a whole lot of money," he laughed. "Vancouver's power play has been successful, but these teams don't play enough to know. I think Vancouver's a better team, they're faster, the defense is deeper. The top flight players for Vancouver are better than the top flight players for Boston."
"But Boston has more depth in scoring. It's more spread out whereas in Vancouver, all the scoring is coming from the two Sedins, Kesler and Burrows. In Boston they have three lines that are equal in their scoring. Yet their power play isn't working, so it's hard to judge."
And Stock's prediction for the winner of the series? He joked:
"I say Montreal in eight."