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Written by Dani Toth | 09 May 2010

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.

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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.....

*Update:

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:

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But O'Brien is a trooper, gets stiched up and comes back to play the game. What a beast.

Recap continued after the jump...

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Written by Dani Toth | 09 May 2010

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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.

As always, check out Blackhawks Down Low for your opposition blog, their game preview is here. Game time is 5pm PT

Demitra will be back in the lineup tonight with Tanner Glass out.

Your pre-game reading links:

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Written by Dani Toth | 08 May 2010

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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.

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Written by Dani Toth | 07 May 2010

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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
Bold AV, that is bold. I've been complaining about seeing Demitra on the PP as the point guy, but to have him scratch from the game, well that's more than I could ask for. He hasn't been producing and is essentially invisible on the ice so I like this move. With him off the PP we might see Burrows in on the PP instead.

As always, head over to Blackhawks Down Low for your enemy blog, their game preview is here.  I've also found a new opposition blog called the Hockey Broad, so please do pay her a visit.

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:

And not Hawks or Canucks related, but if you are into the IIHF WC's going on, I've written a primer over at Raw Charge no comments

Written by Dani Toth | 05 May 2010

How do you score on Luongo? Well what do all three photos have in common?

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Luongo is either on his ass or on his back....

This game was frustrating to watch. Luongo made the save, then dropped a rebound, then the goal gets shoved in. Repeat. Sometimes it had some help, maybe from Bieksa or Ehrhoff....

What's the worse part of this loss tonight? I can't go near the Team 1040 for the next 48 hours unless I want to listen to people throw the team under the bus.

So what happened? The Hawks played well and Niemi was solid tonight. The Hawks wanted it more. They brought their A game tonight. The Canucks on the other hand had some seriously atrocious goaltending. It's not all a big reffing conspiracy, we just sucked. Fix that sh-t Canucks. Fix it now.

ps. I miss Willie Mitchell

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Written by Dani Toth | 05 May 2010

It's game three, the series is tied 1-1 and is now back in Vancouver. With Vancouver stealing game one, the Canucks now have the oppotunity to get some wins on home ice. This is not a 'must win' by any statistical sense, but if the Canucks want to assert some dominance in the series these next two games are big. I'm with ChiBlackhawks of Blackhawks Down Low in thinking that really anything can happen tonight.

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Besides which cookie Kes is going to choose, one of the big questions going in to tonight's game is:

Where the hell is Alex Burrows? or maybe we should try: Où est Alexandre Burrows?

So I get that since he's not on the top line with the Sedins that he won't be as proficient at scoring (ahem 35 goals...), but his only goal in the playoffs so far is one empty netter in LA. Where is the agitating Burrows that I had come to know and love? I don't want him to take penalties out there, but he's just dropped off my radar Demitra style.

The rest of the preview after the jump...

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Written by Dani Toth | 03 May 2010

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If your defense only shows up for 20 minutes of the hockey game in the Western Conference semi-final, you aren't going to win the hockey game.

First off, Luongo had a great game. He made some clutch saves.

But if you're team isn't going to score some goals, then you aren't going to win. If your defense decided that 20 minutes of hockey was enough for them, then you aren't going to win. Edler and Ehrhoff made some really atrocious decisions and got caught a few times. If your team doesn't want to outwork the other team, then you aren't going to win. If you don't fire pucks on Niemi, you aren't going to score. If your PP sucks, you aren't going to win. All reason of why we didn't win tonight.

The Hawks wanted it more. They outworked us and pushed harder than us. The bumped Luongo, they snow sprayed and slashed him, yet it seemed like the Canucks didn't care. The Canucks had plenty of powerplay opportunities, but cute passes mean nothing if the puck doesn't go in the freaking net. The Sedins came out a -2 each and Bieksa, back to his old self firing the puck wide. I'm a little shocked that looking at the boxscore that Alberts isn't a minus-something, but I guess that's when Luongo was making all his big saves.

I'm over this loss, this lack of effort, we still stole a road game and now we are coming back home. For the Canucks, it's up to them to respond now with a strong game on home ice. Is it going to be like last year where they just rolled over for the Hawks?

Game 3 in Vancouver at 6:30pm

As always, check out Blackhawks Down Low for their take on the game

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