Today my LA Kings blogger buddy The Royal Half is roadtripping to Vancouver. It will be his first time in Vancouver and his first playoff game since he got his half season tickets to the Kings 8 years ago. I'm hoping the game tonight will not disappoint, and if it is anything like game 1 then there is no way that it could, no matter which team wins.
This is my first playoff game of the season (hopefully not the last) and I'm getting excited for it. My favorite things about playoff games in Vancouver has got to be the intro video to the game and the anthem at GM Place. The intro video starts that nervous feeling that sets aside playoff games from regular season games. When the players hit the ice to U2's 'Where the Streets Have No Name' and Mark Donnelly sings the anthem, I have shivers down my arms....that's what I love about playoff hockey.
Looking forward to what my blogger buddy thinks about seeing a game here where really, everyone is an expert about hockey. During playoff time, everyone wants to talk about hockey (even if you actually don't know that much about it). I'm ok with all you bandwagon jumpers since it means just more car flags driving around the city.
I'll write up a post on our adventures sometime tomorrow.
Thoughts on tonight's game:
The Canucks just need to do everything exactley the same as they did at Game 1 with the exception of Andrew Alberts. Last game we outchanced and outshot the Kings 39-21. Only because of the stupid penalties taken did Vancouver not end the game in regulation. With Aaron Rome still not ready to go, we're going to have to deal with another night of Alberts (unless Baumer gets put in) so brace yourself Vancouver, never have you wished for Aaron Rome to be healthy so badly.
*According to Scott Oake's twitter, Grabner in and Pettinger out for tonight's game
- Battle of California's game preview where Rudy Kelly thinks we're becoming Montreal fans
- Nucks Misconduct's game day preview
- Cam Cole writing what we've all been saying, where the hell is Pavol Demitra?
- Aaron Rome is not ready to go
- Richard Loat of CHB on The Physical Game
- Ed Willies thinks Game 1 should have been over a lot earlier than when it actually ended
- Jewels from the Crown gives some pointers to the Kings on how to do better
- Life in Hockeywood thinks our anthem signing is pretty cool too, for Canada
- Kings coach Murray states the obvious, Kopitar needs to be better
- The Royal Half's twitter
This year Edler has been pretty mediocre. He's made mistakes, lots of them, and some nights I feel like he has regressed in his progress as a defenceman. But last night, well he were pretty awesome. Edler played 21:37 in the game and had a team high 6 hits including that monster he nailed on Drew Doughty. I didn't expect Edler to step up his game to this level, and what I saw last night was a great surprise.
Alberts, Alberts, Alberts. In the 8:25 you played in last nights game, you were in the box for both of the Kings goals. The first you got late in the 1st on an interference penalty that carried over into the 2nd period where Jarret Stoll got the first goal of the game. The second was due to your boarding penalty on Brad Richardson. Thankfully in the 5 minute major handed out, the Kings were only able to score once.
In the post season players are supposed to step up their game, and instead you were a liability. When you got your game misconduct for the boarding hit, I could not have been happier. Your ejection from the game meant that the Canucks did not have to deal with your liabilities on the ice for the rest of the game but that also mean that you made your team play with only 5 defencemen for 40 minutes of the game. It has come down to the point where I am hoping for Rome to get healthy enough to play so that you don't.
The "best" is after the jump...no comments
The best part of last night's game really came in video form. Either Sully or Force (I don't know which one is which but the dark green one in this case) went all out last night with a full on handstand when Jack Johnson was sent to the penalty box. Awesome stuff by the the green men last night.
Luongo also looked like he was standing on his head with this huge goal line save. Average goaltending would have satisfied me, but this was a game saving one! And may have elicited a ajjklwjfkelh! reaction from me after he made it.
And here is the game winning goal from Sedin to Samuelsson:
According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, Andrew Alberts will not be suspended for that boarding hit on Brad Richardson. A recap may follow out later today (think way later today) with *gasp* praise for a strong game by Edler.
The rest of the goal videos are tucked after the jumpno comments
First off, I've completely stolen the format of this playoff preview from fellow Bloguin blogger Jibblescribbits. Instead of a normal preview breaking down the forwards and defense of the teams, he went with addressing questions that he felt were important to the series and well I like his idea so here is your Canucks vs. Kings playoff preview.
The Canucks have been 3-1-0 against the Kings this season. Their loss was the most recent game played between the two, where the Canucks lost 8-3. As I had said previously, the Kings were my team of choice of who the Canucks would face in the first round. With the travel between the two cities being just an hour of flight time and with no time change, this was the best match up for the Canucks based on team location alone. And the lack of time change is also good for the fans as all the games start at 7pm PST.
So let's look at what I think is the only aspect important to this series:
For both teams there is a question about the goaltending and this may be what the series comes down to. Neither goaltender looked good coming down the stretch and nothing else matters if they aren't playing at least reasonably. In LA Quick won the starting position as goalie from Ersberg and played 72 games for the team this year. In the last 10 games that Quick started he has lost six (three of which were in the shootout), got pulled in two and won two. He was a workhorse through the season and looks like he may have been overworked. The Kings did bring up Jonathan Bernier from the AHL at the end of the season for a few games to give Quick some rest but he has since been sent back down. The Kings have Erik Ersberg as their back up for Quick but with some good performances from Jonathan Bernier, could they call him up instead if Quick crumbles?
Luongo, well we know what he has looked like recently. That 8-3 loss against the Kings on April 1st, albeit with a really bad defence performance and no Daniel Sedin, was a terrible performance from the netminder. He was never pulled in the game and was in net for all 8 goals and maybe that was a good thing. After being shamed by letting in 8 goals, Luongo will want to prove that he can come back from that embarassment.
The rest of the stats to compare between the two teams, like power play % (Canucks 20.9 v. Kings 20.8) or penalty kill % (Canucks 81.6 v. Kings 80.3) are eerily the same between the two teams. The Canucks do have the edge in goals scored per game with 3.27 v. the Kings' 2.82.
The rest of the preview after the jump...no comments
Sorry to disappoint, I'm not going anywhere, you are still stuck with me in Vancouver for the whole series. But Bloguin blogger buddy The Royal Half is making a roadtrip out to Vancouver for Game 2 on Saturday. For reals.
Playoff preview will be up tomorrow. But I'm assuming everyone in Vancouver knows what we are up against: The LA Kings are young. They are exciting. They are only a 1 hour flight away. They are in the same time zone as us (thank god!). CBC is carrying the games, so montages! The Canucks were shellacked last time we played them 8-3, hopefully Luongo wants to prove a point with a huge bounce back game against the Kings. Blah blah blah. We'll get into that tomorrow.
All the series' in the West look great, I am truthfully excited to catch all of them. The two day break from hockey has been long enough, I'm ready to get back into it. Bring it on Kings!
Oh and Salo says he'll be ready to play on Thursdayno comments
Before we get on all that playoff preview stuff, let's take some time to think about what we've seen this season:
- 268 goals scored, that's 2nd in the league right behind the Washington Capitals
- 9 short handed goals
- 49 wins
- Christian Ehrhoff was 3rd among defencemen in plus/minus with 36
Henrik Sedin became the first Canuck to win the Art Ross Trophy. He had 1.365 points per game.
And his brother Daniel, averaged 0.46 goals per game played and 1.34 points per game (do you wonder what could have been had he been healthy the entire season?)
Let's just take today to appreciate what a great year this was
Read these stories if you want more Canucks love:
Thursday, April 15 at Vancouver, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 17 at Vancouver, 7:00 p.m.
Monday, April 19 at Los Angeles, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 21 at Los Angeles, 7:00 p.m.
*Friday, April 23 at Vancouver, 7:00 p.m.
*Sunday, April 25 at Los Angeles, TBD
*Tuesday, April 27 at Vancouver, TBD
*Games played if necessary
Games will be broadcasted on CBC and times are in PST. Here is the full schedule of Round 1 of the NHL Playoffsno comments