Game of the Night (Pt. II)

2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Game 5: LA Kings vs. Vancouver Canucks @ GM Place
2-7 Final

No elimination tonight.  After a stellar win the other night, Canucks look to continue on at home and get closer to round 2.  And a few line-up changes were needed to start tonight.

The much questioned Andrew Alberts makes his way back onto the roster after Nolan Baumgartner got injuried.  And now Alex Burrows is on the secon line, with Mikael Samuelsson up with the Sedin twins.

Even with the roster changes, Vancouver continued where they ended a couple of nights ago.  Emotions were running high and so were those skates.  The pace of game was brilliant right off the bat, and there some excellent motions (and emotions) made by both teams.  And we got a bit of that as O'B took Wayne Simmonds to the dog pound and dropped the gloves with him near the end of the game.  It was good to see both of them get their frustrations out, but I don't like to see the Vancouver D get into something that could put them in injury.  And then Rick Rypien and Rich Clune FINALLY dropped their gloves and put a different kinda spark into this game.

But this wouldn't have been as interesting without the Emotion in it!  Shane O'Brien wasn't the only one getting a little heated tonight.  Those among the heated were Roberto Luongo, Kevin Bieksa, and Alex Burrows.  Of course, these aren't names that usually aren't associated.  Those 4 names usually come with intensity and a rise of emotions.

AV's new(ish) line combo of the Swede powers (Samuelsson and the Sedin's) gave us 2 of our goals and chased Jonathan Quick out of the Kings' net and in came Erik Ersberg (and then ran Ersberg out of the net and put Quick back in).  Yet another goalie who hasn't seen NHL playoff hockey before this year.  But after Burrows hasn't been getting the type of game from himself than he wanted, he was bumped down to the second line, and hello Swede-ness.  And yes, it was just as Swede as you can taste.

But the new found spring in the step for the Canucks wasn't the only thing that elevated them to the game they played tonight.  The confidence and emotion came back to the Canucks and that gave them the game they needed.  With confidence and emotions in the playoffs, one can easily go over the top and lose their cool.  I think the Canucks have found the perfect balance.  And the fact that our PK is back on top, all we needed was a little shake-up and that got us our wake-up.

What went wrong for the Kings though?  Maybe the playoffs finally caught up with all of them and their youth and inexperience?  Time and fatigue catches up with everyone - even the most jubilant of players.  There is also the possibility that they got over-confident.  They went for 6 PPGs in a row and defeated one of the best home-ice teams around.  Too much, too young, too fast?  They're gonna drink it up, while it lasts! (Altered lyrics from Airbourne's Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast.)

But yes, they had their run.  And when it came down to it, there wasn't enough experience to handle the quick rise and fall of the change of play and momentum in the playoffs.  Vancouver was just more relentless and determined than they were.  After about the 3rd or 4th goal, the Kings just laid off a little and let it pile on atop of them.

In the end, Vancouver just ran away with a stellar win.

3 stars:
1) Mikael Samuelsson
2) Pavol Demitra
3) Steve Bernier

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