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
How do you score on Luongo? Well what do all three photos have in common?
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 Mitchellno comments
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.
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...no comments
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 gameno comments
Game two tonight at the United Center. Even though we won on Saturday night, forget everything you saw from Saturday night. Why? Because after being embarrassed from a 5-1 loss, the Blackhawks will be looking to come out strong tonight. Tonight's game will be a better indicator of what the rest of the series will look like.
Last game the Hawks looked like they struggled with Vancouver's speedy lines and tonight the Canucks will try to continue to build on that. Luongo looked good in game 1 and when asked if last years playoff exit still haunted him he told media "not any more".
So we've done the statement game and good that we made it in the first game on the road, but playoff series' are not won on one game alone. There are still 3 more wins to be won before we are done with the Hawks. Let's not say Antti Niemi is awful just yet, because he had two shutouts in round one after losses. He's also let in a ton of goals in the games against the Predators when he wasn't posting shutouts but since Huet hasn't started a game since a loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 25th, don't expect there to be a goaltending change just yet.
No lineup changes for the Canucks, but Grabner is expected to be moved up to the 3rd line, while Demitra is dropped to the 4th line. For the Hawks, Adam Burish is expected to draw into the lineup
Game time is at 6pm and if you are in Chicago tonight, take a cue from the boys and hit up Giordano's for some of the best deep dish pizza in the city. If I may suggest, get the special or the spinach one.....now excuse your writer as she heads off to find something to eat, your links are after the photo.
Your pre-game reading links:
- The Vancouver Sun says the Hawks are ready to rumble
- The Chicago Sun Times says that no one is worried about Niemi
- The Chicago mayor, Richard M Daley, will have to send send Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson Pizza, Vienna Beef hot dogs, fortune cookies, beer and cheesecake if the Canucks win the series
- Province writer Gordon McIntyre waited 55 minutes for a cab outside of the United Center and in his boredom wrote about the types of cars that the Blackhawks players drive
- A Vancouver hockey fan was arrested in Chicago after Saturday night's game
- The Province's game preview
- Nucks Misconduct's game preview
- And Puck Daddy asks, what if Niemi doesn't rebound for the Blackhawks?
- And finally a piece about the opera singer turned anthem singer from Saturday night Jim Cornelison
Did you expect this?
Because I didn't expect this. I was predicting scores with Tempocrew before the game started. He predicted a 4-2 win for the Canucks, and I said a 4-3 win, clearly we were both very very wrong. Did anyone expect the Hawks to just crumble after 10 minutes of play in the 1st period?
There was plenty of jump in the first 10 minutes of the game. It was fast, it was open and both teams played hard. It looked like this was going to be a great game to watch if both teams could keep up the pace.
But by the end of the second period the shots were even at 25 shots for each team, but the score was 5-0 for the Canucks. Luongo ended up making 37 saves on 38 shots, and only let in one goal which was on a Chicago powerplay. The Canuck players also blocked a ton of shots, and I think we all cringed a little when we saw Burrows skate to the bench in pain. One of the biggest positives for Vignuealt out of tonight is that all four Canuck lines scored tonight.
The Canuck defense also looked good tonight. Bieksa, Ehrhoff, Salo and Edler all played over 20 minutes tonight shutting down the Hawks. Bieksa played a better game than usual, O'Brien continued his strong playoff performance and Alberts played a good game since there was nothing noticeable to gripe about.
At the other end of the rink, Niemi struggled at stopping pucks and was pulled after two periods. I questioned why Niemi wasn't pulled after 4 goals, because after the 4th goal, Chicago really should have made the switch then to Huet. But not all of the blame can be put on Niemi's performance since Chicago wasn't able to score either. Sure they did eventually score, but at that point it was a little too late. Chicago didn't put forth the net presence in front of Luongo that everyone was afraid of. There was no tone set by the home team saying this was home ice besides the cheering during the anthem that the fans did. By sitting Eager and Burrish, the Hawks lacked any energy in their lineup. And with no goals to cheer for the United Center was no madhouse, in fact it was deathly quiet in the 2nd and 3rd period.
Continued after the jump...no comments
All the cars on my street today have those notes on them. Awesome.
Heading out the door this morning, I realize it's May! That means spring hockey! And it's about time that the Canucks are back in action...the last few days things just didn't seem right with no Canucks hockey.
So we're heading back to Chicago for the 'rematch' of last year. Is this really a rematch? Sure we're facing each other again, but it's a whole new playoffs, a whole new series.
We had Canucks Day, they have this mural.....both cities are jumping the gun a little. And if you haven't seen this yet, msnbc gets punked by bloggers: Kyle Wellwood and Shane O'Brien organize a day log deep dish pizza crawl...
We all know this is going to be a long series, most people predicting 6 or 7 games so the Canucks are not going to win every single one. There will be losses Vancouver, so relax and take a deep breath when you feel like throwing the team under the bus. Tonight is a statement game in the sense that if Vancouver wins it they make a statement that this is a new series, that they aren't the same team as last year. Most importantly if they win tonight, they steal one on the road. If they don't win, not a huge deal. I don't expect the Canucks to win both game one and two, but if they can win one of them, then they've done what they need to do on the road.
Matt Sekeres' twitter says that Grabner will be skating on wing on the 4th line instead of Tanner Glass. And Botchford reports that Alberts will be in over Aaron Rome as the sixth defencemen and that Vigneault had said that Rome is "close to being 100%".
Game time is at 5pm on CBC. If you are in Chicago may I recommend Portillo's for a pre-game meal of Italian beef? God I'm going to die here in Vancouver just thinking about how good it is...and they deliver, but just not to Canada.
Your pre-game reading links:
- Richard Loat of CHB has his five keys to the series
- The Kurtenblog dissects Chelsea Dagger's lyrics
- The Canucks-Hawks series gets a new league supervisor
- Canucks need to get the puck upstairs to score on Niemi
- Iain Macintyre looks into the 'Mullet boy mystery: Who is Patrick Kane?"
- Chicago has 5 BC boys playing on the team - good read
- The Province's series preview
- Nucks Misconduct's game preview
- Vancouver Sun's game preview
- Puck Daddy's series preview