Written by Dani Toth | 18 May 2011


When Aaron Rome scores one of the seven goals scored by Vancouver...you know it's going well. According to Kevin Bieksa, that was a set play*.

The Canucks have gone up 2-0 in the series that heads back to San Jose on Friday. Game 2 had everything going well for the Canucks. The Sedins scored, the 3rd line scored, Mason Raymond scored, Bieksa scored on a breakaway, I could go on...and again, Aaron Rome scored.

Outside of their PK ability, this game had lots of positives for the Canucks. One of the biggest things I saw was how the team was able to keep their composure throughout the game. Even though Bieksa did fight Marleau, the Canucks stayed focused during the whole 60 minute effort.

Even for a player that I thought could be a liability in the playoffs because of his past, Lapierre has blown me away. He's worked so well on the third line and has been such a key player in the faceoff circle for the team. And this is all without his previous antics from years past that had him taking penalties. Lapierre did make some funny faces at Ryan Clowe tonight, but that's where it ended.


On the Sharks front, Ben Eager may have lost the game for the Sharks single-handedly. Or at least it seems like he did as he is deflecting enough attention from the players from the Sharks who didn't show up in Game 2.

If I were a Sharks fan, I wouldn't be as worried about Eager's antics as I am at the lack of scoring by players not named Couture and Thornton. If it was just Eager, McCellan could just scratch him in Game 3, but this loss it not rightfully all due to his credit. Whatever Eager did tonight, will just deflect attention from the Sharks being outworked in two games straight. They've been pinned in their zone, have made some really sloppy turnovers in the neutral zone and can't seem to get a hold on the Canucks break-out pass. It is possible that this is the fatigue that comes from having played 7 games against the Wings in Round 2, but whatever it is, it's allowing the Canucks to take advantage of the situation.

The real test for the Canucks is the two games coming up in San Jose. Now we head to their rink and see if the Canucks can put themselves up 3-0 on Friday which I imagine will require every bit of effort it took to dominate Games 1 and 2.

*Bieksa just keeps getting better every interview these playoffs
no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 09 May 2011



For the third time in Canucks history, we're going to the Western Conference Finals! YESSSSS!!!!

The Canucks won 2-1 off of another game that had Kesler dragging his team over the finish line for, even while skating without a contact in. Jesus. What a player. What a six games he has played.

If it had not been for Kesler, we would not be moving on to the WCF. We came into this series pointing fingers at him as one of the players who had yet to score in the playoffs. Then, boom, Kesler is scoring. Kesler is winning faceoffs. Kesler is scoring more, splitting the Nashville D and taking pucks to the face.

The Canucks won this series because they had more tools in their toolbox than Nashville had. Although Nashville had great goaltending and a solid defence, they just didn't have the talent up front that could put the pucks in the net.

In tonight's game, the Canucks took too many careless penalties, especially to start the game, but were able to kill all five off. After killing off a couple of penalties, Mason Raymond opened up the scoring in the 1st period off of a centering pass from Ryan Kesler. Then Jordin Tootoo takes an unsportsmanlike penalty for diving off of a cross-check from Edler that Daniel capitalizes on while on the PP. 2-0 Canucks.

In the second period, Legwand scores early on with a puck that manages to slide under Luongo over the goal line. Luongo tries to hide it, and they review the play, but no dice, score now 2-1. Then the Canucks reverted back to trying to just protect their 2-1 lead and only managed to get two shots on goal. Not good enough. Vomit city in the 2nd period there.

Scariest moment of the game comes up with Martin Erat on a breakaway only to have Jeff Tambellini streak down the ice and move Erat off the puck.

Samuelsson wouldn't not have been able to catch up to Erat. Just saying.

Whatever was said in the dressing room at the intermission changed the mentality and the Canucks came back in the third period to outshoot the Preds 10-6. Lots of chances to get the empty netter, but it didn't happen. I don't know what Kostitsyn was doing behind the net there either. Luongo makes a big save at the end on some Predator.

Canucks win 2-1 and we don't have to watch Nashville hockey until next season.

no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 07 May 2011

Heartbreak city

When the Canucks needed to come out with a strong effort to eliminate the Preds, they didn't.

They had a good first period, a terrible second and an also terrible third. There are exceptions to what I'm saying of course. Ryan Kesler tried to again single-handedly win the game by himself, and Chris Higgins and Maxim Lapierre played a hard working game. And that's it.

Every other Canuck did not out work the other team, and even worse, made some really terrible decisions. The first goal by the Predators was scored shorthandedbecause Samuelsson coughed up the puck. Then there is the play of Edler on Legwand's second goal. And Bieksa didn't clear the puck out of the zone and the Predators capitalized on that as well.

And then there was the play of the Sedins. They were a combined -7 tonight. Although they looked better tonight, looking like they had better chances, they didn't convert and were held pointless. As fans, we're frustrated at watching them. Frustrated when they get put to take the offensive zone faceoff when maybe AV should be palying the guys who have been scoring. But it shouldn't be this way. Because if the Sedins were scoring, we wouldn't be in this situation, thinking it would be better that they aren't on the ice.

Samuelsson won't travel with the team to Nashville, and maybe right now with his lack of production, that's a good thing for the team.

Game 6 is Monday in Nashville at 5pm. Let's finish it off then boys.
no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 07 May 2011

Besides his defensive skills or his hip check on Douglas Murray, another reason why we Hamhuis:

After the afternoon practice between Game 3 and 4 in Nashville, Hamhuis spent the afternoon hanging out with Clay Butler, his best buddy with Down Syndrome, eating pizza and shooting some hoops at the YMCA. Great story over at Canucks.com

no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 05 May 2011


The Canucks came out tonight, like they did in Games 1 and 3, and were the better team on the ice. They worked harder, they shot more and Ryan Kesler was again a beast.

It was only a few games ago that we were asking: where are the goals? This 41 goal scorer didn't have any goals in the post season but clearly, you could see he was working hard. So we said the goals would come.

Kesler now has 3 goals in two games and came up with this beauty of a powerplay goal:

But that was the goal that gave the Canucks the one goal lead in the third. The first 47:28 before it seemed to follow the same script that we've been watching for the previous three games before: Canucks get one goal lead, Predators tie, Canucks get another goal, Predators tie sometime in the 3rd period....then OT

But tonight, the Kesler goal on the PP changed that and the Canucks fought hard to win in regulation tonight.

Henrik potted the empty netter, which doesn't pass for an actual goal there Henrik, but it did give the Canucks a 4-2 win.

But this game seemed like it was reflective of when the Predators stopped working as hard as their opposition.

During the 5-3 powerplay, with Lapierre and Rome in the box, the Predators were only able to get 1 shot on net. 1 shot. Now I know the Canucks don't have a great record for 5-3's either, but in Game 4 of the playoffs, just 1 shot? And where were the scary-ass shots from Weber? The Canucks did a good job and limiting his ability to shoot the puck, which had him switching positions like he was on a pendulum, but I wouldn't be pleased if I was a Preds fan. And if his slapshot takes too long to set up, why not settle for wristing it in and hope that with traffic in front, it might bounce in?

And since I'm picking apart Nashville here, we all see that the Sedins haven't been producing, it may have been better if he started to shift the coverage of Weber/Suter from the Sedins/Burrows to Kesler/Higgins/Raymond. Just a thought.

But in the end, maybe it's just that Weber and Suter are tired and the Preds just don't have the offensive players that score enough goals to get past the 2nd round. Weber and Suter looked like they just didn't want it as bad tonight. Not to say that they didn't play well, because they give a beating to the Sedins and Burrows every shift. And they have both logged a lot of minutes and at times stay on for some very, very long shifts.

It's not over yet, but since it has looked like the Canucks have been the better team throughout the series, it seems tough to think the Preds can come back from being down 3-1.
no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 05 May 2011

I've been a little wrapped up blogging about two different teams in the playoffs. It's been pretty crazy to try to cover two playoffs teams at once. LHB has taken away a lot of my attention from blogging about the Canucks, and for that I'm sorry. But now that the Lightning have swept the Caps, I have found myself with time to devote the rest of the series to blogging about the Canucks primarily. So programming should return back to being a bit more regular around here for all those people complaining to me about my laziness.

Playing your style of game
Unlike the Lighting-Caps series, this one looks like it could go the distance. Which, if the Canucks win, this will be unfortunate since it seems every other winner of the 2nd Round will have a lot more rest than Vancouver. This could end up problematic for the Canucks in the long run, but right now we're just worrying about Round 2.

One thing that is interesting after getting through the Tampa/Washington series, is how the Lightning continued to keep playing 'their game'. Now yes their game is a 1-3-1 system that to some can suck the fun out of hockey, but it works and in the playoffs, you have to play the style that works for your team. The Lightning executed that perfectly and are now on a 7 game win streak.

The Canucks aren't the Lightning, and I hope will never, adopt the Lightning's 1-3-1 system. Seriously, watching one team that plays that system all year is enough, I really don't want two employing that style. But the issue with the Canucks is that I find that they keep getting away from their game. They have gotten better in Game 3 in comparison to Games 1 and 2 where they adjusted to playing the style of defensive hockey that Nashville can play. But what the Canucks were successful on all year was their style of aggressive, goal scoring play.

Now going into Game 4, I'm not personally as worried about the Sedins' style of play because I see them working hard, and I have to assume that with the chances they have that the scoring will come in time. Like the style of the play of the overall team, the Sedins played their best game of the series so far on Tuesday. So there's progress right? But it's frustrating to not see them score, no?

So although I may not be worried about them, the reality is that if your best players aren't your best players, then you aren't going to be successful. And really, there are only so many more games for them to do it without dragging this series on for the full 7 game span. They need to step it up asap and start showing up on the score sheet. no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 05 May 2011

no comments