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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.
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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

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Written by Dani Toth | 05 May 2011

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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.
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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

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Written by Dani Toth | 04 May 2011

If the roles were reversed, I would probably bitching about this outcome.

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But we won. And Kesler is a beast.

Canucks take a 2-1 series lead with the next game on Thursday. no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 03 May 2011

After drowning some of my sorrows from Saturday night in a pint of beer, I'm moving on from this weekend. And with these past few days off, I think I've resumed my sense of calm about the series. My primary annoyance this past weekend was not with the loss or how they played the overtime, but rather, how they played in regulation. They played like they didn't care that there was a game on the line.

So hoping for a better effort tonight, ok boys?

In the meantime, here are some links I've been reading:

There will be some lineup changes coming into Game 3 with Cody Hodgson on the 4th line centering Tanner Glass and the now demoted Mikael Samuelsson according to Ben Kuzma of The Province.

And Sami Salo is a possibility to be also back in the lineup after skating with the team on Monday.

And, I hate to return to the negative, but go read this article by the Kurtenblog, who writes "If your go-to goalscorers don't score goals, you're screwed."

Botchford writes that this big kerfuffle with the Predators complaining to the NHL and CBC talking about how the green men should be limited is ridiculous. Oh and they will be at Game 3 in Nashville CBC.

And from the lovable Shane O'Brien, this insight:

"I wouldn't want to see myself in one of those tight green suits — I can tell you that. I guess they feel good about themselves to dress up in all green. I noticed there are never any chicks sitting beside them, they're always sitting beside dudes. Maybe they've got to figure that out and they'll be able to get a date or something." -The Province

Leave it to Shane O'Brien to pay attention to whether the green men come with girls to the games
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