I still haven't gathered my thoughts for an end of season post mortem, but will have that up when I get some time in the next few days.
Last night I attended my last Canucks game of the season. Yes the loss was disappointing but before going to the game I knew that there was the potential to be disappointed. After the 1st period I was still cautiously optimistic but after those two quick goals in the second period by the Hawks were like a dagger to my heart. Highlights of the night involved the crowd chanting "Balls of Steel" for Salo when he carried the puck up ice.
Now I love playoff games. Really, really love them. The crowd is completely different (sometimes a little bit more bandwagoney or douchey) but for the most part the energy off of the fans that go to playoff games, well it's awesome. It all starts with the nervous anticipation, the intro video that gives you chills, the beers, the anthem, the high fives and Woos and sometimes the really disappointing losses.
Here is my photo adventure from game six:
Click on read more to see the photos...no comments
Disclaimer: I'm to nervous to even write a traditional game preview, so this is what you are stuck with. Apologies
Last game's win meant our playoff lives get extended. We need two more wins for this to mean anything in the long run, but let's just take this one game at a time boys.
Road teams have been tearing it up in this round, tonight would be a good night to change that Canucks.
Our defense pulled together last game, let's hope in the assumed absence of Sami Salo that they'll be able to do it again. It goes without saying that the team is going to need a strong game from Luongo tonight. It really is balls to the wall tonight.
Gonna be nervous all day today Vancouver.
Game time is at 6:30pm PT at GM Place, as always your opposition blog is Blackhawks Down Low. Bring your Woo tonight.
Your pre-game reading links are after the jumpno comments
What a night.
I could barely breathe watching this game. So nervous throughout it, even when we are up 3-0 I was still nervous. But the Canucks came up big tonight. They played a full 60 minutes of solid hockey. They were controlled with their emotions and didn't take the stupid penalties like we saw in games three and four.
The defence came up huge tonight and in more ways that one. Ehrhoff with the initial goal that quieted the UC, then Bieksa joining the rush and scoring off of a pass from Kyle Wellwood. And Bieksa again with a slapshot on the ailing Canucks' powerplay.
Who is this guy Bieksa and where did he come from? Actually I don't want to know if he just keeps playing like he did tonight.
And then this happened:
TSN reports that Sami Salo may have a ruptured testicle from a puck that hit his groin.....
The Province reports that Sami Salo does not have a ruptured testicle.
But the Canuck D stepped it up to cover the minutes he logs, then this happens:
But O'Brien is a trooper, gets stiched up and comes back to play the game. What a beast.
Recap continued after the jump...no comments
Could tonight be the last game for the Canucks? Maybe, or maybe not. Could tonight be the last time you see Demitra or O'Brien in a Canuck sweater, or even Mason Raymond for that matter? Maybe. But why ask the questions now? We still have one more game to play tonight. It's back to the United Center for the Canucks, and it may turn out to be the hardest game they have ever played this season. It may be one of the hardest games I'll watch all season.
There was a lot of anger in the city after Friday night's game. If you went to the game, well I know what it feels like to walk away from GM Place after witnessing a loss like that. But for everyone else throwing the team under the bus, it's just a game. Relax. If you can't handle loss, give up on the sport. Sure it's gut wrenching to watch your team give up 7 goals in a game, but it's just a game. And just think, at least you weren't like Ed Willes who watched the game in a Chicago bar that played Chelsea Dagger every time the Blackhawks scored and once after for the win.
ProHockeyTalk asks, has the world soured on Luongo? I'm sure the rest of hockey fans have because his performance has been abysmal. I'm hoping that tonight he'll have a great performance to make up for the past few games. But were they ever a fan of Luongo? I don't feel that was ever the case since he's never 'proved himself' to the rest of the hockey world. If he doesn't win tonight, we'll have lots of time to discuss his performance, his lifetime contract and the team's faults during the summer months.
Yesterday some people got in a huff about O'Brien commenting about the teams chances going into tonight's game, well he was speaking the truth. Besides I don't even know the context is what he was commenting on for him to say that to the media. Don't get so riled up about what he said, it's the truth that statistically a team down 3-1 won't come back to win the series, but it doesn't mean the him/the team has given up on playing game five. There's always a chance, so stop taking what O'Brien said personally or thinking that Vigneault should bench him for what he said.
Demitra will be back in the lineup tonight with Tanner Glass out.
Your pre-game reading links:
- Jason Botchford this familiar tale needs a better finish
- Gord McIntyre gives some odds at coming back from being down 3-1
- Tony Gallagher with some praise for Niklas Hjalmarsson
- Troy Brouwer, who was a healthy scratch for the Hawks in game 3 and 4, has been dealing with his father being in the hospital. Great words from a dad to a son on Brouwer being a healthy scratch
- Chicago Tribune: Hawks seek to keep pressure on
- Daily Herald blog says that Adam Burish bought his mom flowers and a ticket to tonights game, and the only comment on the article is about the Cubs.
- Vancouver Sun game preview
- Nucks Misconduct's game preview
Where do I even start?
Ryan Johnson says it best:
"It's not similar to last year, it's exactly the same," Ryan Johnson said. "It's the same type of situation and the same results." -The Province
The Canucks had absolutely no composure during the game and took penalty after penalty. The problem for the Canucks is that their PK isn't killing penalties, to the point where every time the Blackhawks went on a PP last night, I expected the Hawks to score. It was a small feat when the Canucks could kill off a whole two minutes with some player in the box for taking some stupid penalty.
The goaltending, again was atrocious. Seabrook's goal 18 seconds into the game was a save that had to be made. When you pay your goaltender the ridiculous money we pay our goaltender you expect him to steal games. It's worse when he can't even just be just average. You would expect that if the Canucks scored 4 goals in a game over the Hawks that should have meant they were at least close to a win, but the 4 goals meant nothing since the Hawks got 7.
In a game that was a 'must win' for the Canucks, they took themselves out of the game. I've dealt with losing, I am a Canucks fan after all, but last night was embarrassing. I had hoped out of this series that I would get to see some great hockey from both sides, but instead all I've watched is how the Hawks can put on a powerplay clinic. What is frustrating is that this Canucks team with all their talent looks like it has the potential to go all the way, but their emotion and stupidity has been their downfall. Canucks now go to Chicago for game five on Sunday night.
If you can separate yourself from the anger or just overall disappointment of the game last night, I'd like to point out that Jonathan Toews played an excellent game. He had five points from three goals and two assists. He forechecked hard and was in the right position at the right time.no comments
It's game four Vancouver and the Hawks are up 2-1. The Canucks got outworked, pushed around and according to Ed Willes of The Province, were "emasculated" in GM Place. Now it's time to show the Hawks that the Canucks can push back. It's a bit of a must win tonight, because if the Canucks lose tonight and go down 3-1 in the series, well no good can come out of that.
AV says the Canucks need to emulate Toews and not Byfuglien
"The guy going to net the hardest is Toews," said Vigneault. "He's pitch-forked and run Louie and everything you need to do to create offence and top of that, he's a real skilled player. We know what we need to do here and we're confident we'll get it done." -The Province
Byfuglien has turned into a hated man here in Vancouver
"From playing juniors out here, I still got some friends and stuff and they say everyone out here hates me. And I think the best thing for me is to stay in the hotel room and go from the hotel to the rink." -The Province
AV gave the boys a day of rest yesterday with an optional practice at GM Place. At first I thought Vigneault would stick to the same lineup, but there are going to be some bold changes*:
- Demitra and Rypien are both scratched
- Michael Grabner and Tanner Glass are in
Game time tonight is at 6:30 pm PST. Bring your Woo!
*Not confirmed by AV as per TC Carling, but according to every other reporter on twitter is what is going to happen
Your pre-game reading links:
- Henrik Sedin, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin were all named finalists for the Ted Lindsay Award (formerly named the Lester B Pearson Award). It's given out to the league's most outstanding player as voted on by the NHLPA
- Manitoba Moose coach Scott Arniel has been interviewed by CBJ, and will interview with the Thrashers next
- Stating the obvious, Ed Willes says that the Canucks must play to their strengths
- An interesting 'did you know' on Dustin Byfuglien
- The Yankee Canuck has a PSA written for Canuck fans
- And if you missed Andrew at BHDL's message to both fanbases
- Nucks Misconduct's game preview